White tea is very different from other types of tea, especially green and black. White tea leaves are plucked from a special varietal tea bush called the Narcissus or chaicha. The leaves are not steamed or pan-fired like those in green tea, or fermented and fired as black tea leaves are. Instead, the white tea leaves are naturally withered and dried in the sun. Only two distinct leaves and the bud are selected from the bush. These leaves must show a very light green almost gray white color and ideally be covered with velvet peach fuzz. The leaves for Shou Mei, also called Sowmee, are plucked during April, May and June in the Fujian Province of China. The lack of processing and hand selection is evident in the leaf appearance of this tea. As far as its flavor, Shou Mei has a pronounced taste profile - along the lines of oolong tea. Many white tea drinkers prefer Shou Mei, favoring its 'substance' compared to the delicate nuances of other white teas.