White tea (Bai Cha) is one of the most natural of the Chinese teas. 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. This year's White Peony was grown in the Fu'An area of Fujian province. Fu'An offers a terroir that creates very special tastes in its white teas & wonderful leaf colors. Harvested in early April 2019 and made of unopened silver buds and fresh light green to brown leaves. Lot #9.
Our lot is an early-pick, "before the rain" as it was picked and processed in the first week of April 2019. These first whites tend to be smaller leaf and a little 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.
This lot was grown in the mountains surrounding Fu'An, a main production area for this tea. Located along the coast of Fujian Province, 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. The tea bush is known as Varietal #6.
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.
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.