This aged chocolate bar of shoumei is quite a find. Waipo Cha, or mother-in-law tea, is a legacy of Qiu’s first tea venture. This company only lasted a year before they had to rebrand (a restaurant chain in China with the same name claimed copyright violations), but these pressed bars remained. These bars, comprised entirely of Fuding white tea, are each 36 grams and contain 6 chunks each. They were made with the intention of convenient brewing and they make excellent travel companions when venturing far from the tea set.
As this tea is compressed fairly tightly, these chunks take some time to open up; around the third brew, the liquor begins to turn darker and the leaves unfurl and wake up. Tea compressed in this fashion have a slower aging process, which is particularly noticeable when compared with the 2014 shoumei of the same producer and farm. The tea is very smooth and soothing in the throat, and while the leaves are less overtly fragrant than white tea that has been aged loose, the versatility in brewing really pays off. With 6 chunks to each bar, there is plenty of chances to experiment with different brewing styles, try gongfu, grandpa style, and boiling!