Tea: Baimudan (White Peony)
Type: Fuding White Tea (Dabaihao cultivar)
Harvest: Spring 2015
Region: Bailin Village, Fuding, Fujian
Producer: Yuanming Tea Garden
Tasting Notes: Chocolate, raspberry, vanilla, cream, mint
This tea has been aged loose in an exceptional environment (a dark, warm, humidity controlled, charcoal lined wooded warehouse). The leaves are very dark, while still showing tones of green through the natural browning. The buds likewise are beginning to turn gold, yellow, and orange.
The aroma of the dry leaves is a lovely mesh of chocolate and berry mixed with the pleasant scent of brittle paper and old books. There exists a tantalizing fragrance of vanilla mingled in with the aromas of the warmed leaves. The pick consists of much more leaves than the 2022 Mudan Wang or the 2017 Baimudan, this is responsible for the tea's sweetness, for a more bud-heavy baimudan would age in a much more spice-laden and vanilla-led way.
The tea brews up in a clean and modestly golden way, with darker tones of reddish hues steeping out if left longer. The taste is very clean on the tongue for a delicate tea that has been aged so long, giving proof of Qiu's impeccable storage conditions. The sweet berry taste continues as the mint flavors deepen in the first half of the session.
There is a saying in Chinese regarding white tea, “一年茶三年药七年宝” meaning “one year old is tea, three years old is medicine, seven years old is a treasure.” This tea has just passed its seven-year mark, and it is distinctly different from fresh tea. This tea represents one expression of a white tea aged to this mark of 'treasure'. Since its leaves are much larger while still being connected to fuzzy buds, it is quite different from a 7 year silver needle, or a 7 year shoumei.
For those interested in comparing aged Baimudan, check out the Dead Flowers Sample Box, which compares White Peony at these three different ages.
Check out more of Qiu's white teas, watch our sourcing trip to the farm, and take a crash course in general Fuding white tea knowledge.