This is a beautiful cake, full of rich green leaves on the edge of darkening with age and bright silver buds, there is often a small cloud of trichomes surrounding us as we handle this cake. While fewer people press baimudan into cakes, as the source material is much more valuable than shoumei, it still ages like all the other Fuding White Tea, that is to quote “1 year tea, 3 year medicine, 7 year treasure”. This tea is completely different from a fresh baimudan.
The first whiff off the warmed leaves is rich with vanilla mixed with honeysuckle, which the grassy and vegetal fresh baimudan simply does not have. While this tea is noticeably less sweet on the tongue when compared to the 2018 Shoumei, it still delivers quite a rich mouthfeel and still offers traces of vegetal notes. As with all of Zhang’s White Teas, this tea was charcoal roasted and rested before being pressed into a cake, which certainly improves the mouthfeel and better conditions it for longer storage.
This tea reminds us more of an aged Silver Needle tea rather than an aged Shoumei tea. Where the shoumei is all sweet flowers, this aged Baimudan is a little more complex, with notes of vanilla, sweet grass, tobacco, and cardamom.
Although small, this 100-gram tea cake should provide over 16 gongfu sessions (depending on the size of the vessel) or over 30 grandpa tea sessions.
As with all our white teas, we brew 6 grams in a 100-120ml gaiwan with water right off the boil. You can experiment with different water temperatures, cooler temps give the tea a little more floral nots, higher temps bring our more umami.
Never bought a tea cake before? Check out our video on how to break it apart!
For storage tips, check out our blog post on how Zhang stores his teas!
Huge thanks to Janice Wardle for creating the Wrapper Artwork. Follow her instagram @Janice.Wardle and check out her website here!