This white tea is intentionally 'browned' in order to accelerate and improve the appearance of the aging process. Aged white tea turns a rich deep brown, and the flavors are more subdued and herbal. During the processing of this tea, it was allowed to sun wither without too much control. Thus, instead of a relatively uniform green as is found in the Green Shoumei, we are left with a much more naturally darker tea.
While some producers claim that this browning process yields an inferior tea, we find this tea to be superbly subtle in flavor with little to no bitterness. While the green shoumei counterpart can turn sour and bitter if produced poorly, the brown shoumei is much more forgiving.
The leaves give off a mixture of dried flowers and diluted honey when dry and wet. The liquid brew is a light gold that darkens with time and infusions. This tea is very soothing in comparison to the more action-packed green shoumei, or the spring-harvested baimudan. While age will make this tea even smoother, one can get a jump on that process with this browned shoumei. This tea is very thick in the mouth and earthy in the nose, however it does not have the higher more sweet and fruity notes found in the green shoumei. The 'bowned' shoumei is a very interesting insight into the modern world of shoumei production, as it is currently in vogue, and many vendors providing autumn harvested white tea from Fujian are in truth providing a 'browned' shoumei be they consious of this or not.
This tea comes from our friend Wu up in northern Fujian.