Tea: 2023 Old Arbor White (Gushu Bai) Type: White Tea Harvest: Spring 2023 Press Date: Spring 2023 Region: Kuashan, Lincang, Yunnan, China Producer: Sister Lan Tasting Notes: Cantaloupe, Black Cherry, Sweet Grass, Honeydew, Cream
We thought we’d never see the day, but here it is: we’ve pressed a White Tea that isn’t from Fuding, heck it isn’t even the Dabaihao cultivar.We’ve anguished quite a bit over this blasphemy, after the Fuding Dabai cultivar converted us to white tea fanatics so many years ago, we’ve finally done the walkabout and are ready to admit that other regions can do white just fine.
This beautiful spring white tea comes from Kuashan in Lincang and is some of the sweetest white tea we have tasted, hands down.This year, after tasting and pressing the Kuashan Raw Puer into the Hummingbird cake, we knew we were sold on the sweet leaves from this unknown region, and were keen on sampling the white tea versions.We were not let down either when the next month we received a big sample bag of Kuashan white, in fact, after a few infusions we called the farmer and asked for 20kg.This has to be the most exciting ‘off-white’ tea we have had since we’ve been drinking tea, and it is just right up our taste-profile alley.
The green leaves of this white tea are large and wild, made of the Big Leaf Varietal common to Yunnan and picked from a mix of Old Arbor and Gushu Trees.The fragrance on the dry leaves is melon sweet reminding us of honeydew or cantaloupe.Once infused, the leaves begin to give off the Yunnan White characteristic tannic fragrance that is redolent of malted barley and something akin to condensed cherries.
The marvelous part about this tea is how deeply imbued the sweet fragrances are with the brew itself.Every brew turns out candy sweet in the mouth while still being as refreshing as cold fruit on a summers day.Despite this light refreshing quality’s the brew is thick on the tongue and very rich in the mouth providing a pleasant huigan when drunk in quick succession.
We recommend brewing this tea in a gaiwan or porcelain teapot. Our brewing ratio is typically 6 grams of tea to 100-120ml of water in flash-fast infusions. We enjoy using boiling water when brewing our whites, but experimenting with cooler temperatures can create a more textured cup of tea.