White tea (Bai Cha) is perhaps the most natural of the Chinese teas (except for the traditional sun-dried Pu-erh teas of Xishuangbanna). Picked, withered and dried, the leaves are presented as they naturally appear after drying. The finest whites – such as Yinzhen (Silver Needle) & Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) - are arguably grown and processed in Fujian Province, although other provinces produce wonderful tasting whites as well. Our White Peony offering is grown in a specific geographic place with a terroir that creates its unique flavors. Harvested in early April 2018 and made of unopened silver buds and fresh light green to brown leaves, the lot we offer was grown and produced in the Fuding area, an area recognized for its white varietals and unparalleled quality. The plant varietal is Fuding Da Bai (Big White). The leaves are slightly oxidized (8-16%) due to the air-drying process. Harvest: Pre Qing Ming, April 2018.
Why we selected this lot: Our lot is an early-pick, "before the rain" as it was picked and processed in the first week of April 2018. These first whites tend to be smaller leaf and more to the green side in coloration. This lot of Bai Mu Dan is made in the conventional or traditional style of farming and processing. Toward this, we look for a lot that has a mix of silver buds, shades of green and brown leaf – in contrast to the increasing “green look” being marketed widely today. As a result, this mix will offer a "rounder" mouth feel.
Interesting facts about our selection. This lot was grown in Zhenghe County, in Fuding. This is one of the main production areas for this tea. The area has a sub-tropical climate. Bai Mu Dan is processed by withering in a warm room on bamboo racks, then heat dried. In this case, the leaves are air dried at a low temperature preserving and enhancing the varietal’s natural flavors. It is also known as the world’s most forgiving tea.
Tasting Notes. Steeps to yield a clear, straw-like liquor with tastes of melon, grape and herbs. Tea has a nuanced flavor, decidedly sweet, with a "round", smooth mouth feel that will linger. This lot has an abundance of buds, contributing to its rich flavor. This tea pairs very well with both savory and sweet foods.
Brewing. Use 3-4 grams or a well-rounded tablespoon per 8-12 ounces of water. Water temperature can vary but is perhaps best at between 185-195 degrees F for 2-3 minutes. It is a very forgiving tea so astringency due to over steeping is not an issue. Leaves will yield multiple steeps.