Results: A delicious journey from floral to peach then woodsy, I loved the way this tea evolved through steepings. The 1st, 4th & 5th infusions highlighted the fruity quality of this tea and made it shine.
Vendor: Seven Cups Fine Teas
Origin: 2017 Harvest – Shui Jie, Fujian Province, China
Tasting: 6grams / 190°/ 150ml/ R15-15-15-20-30-40
Gong-Go Gear: Tangpin Black 150ml Teapot
Average number of infusions: 5
Spring is finally here and what better time for tasting a Bia Mu Dan (White Peony) from this months Tea Haul I purchased from Seven Cups Fine Tea.
Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been developing a much great appreciation for white teas. Much of my experience with them had been centered around Silver Needles which lacks the complexity and depth of character that I look for in my tea.
On the tea scale, White Peony is somewhere between Silver Needles and a Shou Mei. When you look closely at this tea, you might swear that someone took a bit of both and mixed them together as it presents both fuzzy silver tips and darker full leaves.
Here’s what Seven Cups had to say about theirs:
As with all true white teas, Bai Mu Dan is made with the leaves from the Da Bai Cha cultivar of tea bush. A leafier grade of organic white tea, Bai Mu Dan is made with slightly more mature buds and tea leaves than Silver Needle. This tea was first made in 1922 in Jian Yang in Fujian. This area is at a higher altitude than the neighboring Fuding, and the buds are thinner and more dense than Fuding’s Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle). The ideal picking configuration aims at the leaf only being as long as the bud. This provides for a very robust and sweet Bai Mu Dan.
Something I’ve learned about both Shou Mei and Bai Mu Dan is that the top of the bag is much better than the bottom. All the fannings end up making their way down, and I’m afraid has affected this review. I’m going to have to change the way I work with these types of tea.
I generally drink through a bag before writing a review to get a feel for it first. And to make sure I’m giving it the best brew possible. But I do lean heavily on those final cups. In this case, as you can see from the photo to the right, by the time I got here the second and third infusions had turned bitter due to the remaining broken bits.
However, that was not the case from what I remember of my first few pots Moving forward I’m going to start saving the bottom half of the bags for iced tea and do my review from the top half for both Shou Mei and Bai Mu Dan along with any other type where the top of the bag is much better than the bottom.
I loved the top of this bag of tea, it was a delicate amalgam of floral, woody and peachy. The bottom of the bag gave a nice 1st, 4th &5th infusion but the 2nd and 3rd were much too astringent for a white tea. I’m also going to add that this was from a 2017 harvest. While I’ve heard that you can age these teas, I have to suspect that some breakdown in the delicate material of the dried leaves would also increase over time.
Delicate notes of woodland flowers
Top of the bag was light and fluffy, bottom broken and dense
Bright gold with a peachy aroma
First floral then peachy and woodsy
Ranged from juicy and sweet to dry and tart
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 1 :
Delicate floral notes with a woodsy finish
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 2 – 3:
Too astringent when you got to the bottom of the bag
Gong-Go Rating Infusion 4 – 5:
Delicious peachy notes.