The wild harvested 2018 Shoumei comes from a garden of trees left to grow tall, spindly, and forever unpruned. Up on the slopes of Taimushan where one of the oldest certified organic white tea gardens resides, these trees are allowed to reach their roots deep into the rich soil to obtain essential minerals. These mineral notes find their way into the leaves giving this tea a unique 'wild' taste.
As is common for the wild harvested teas, this picking is a little later than the early harvests common in garden grown white tea. As a result, the stems are thicker, the leaves re larger, and there are very few silver buds. Many new to the world of wild white tea might be alarmed at the amount of long stems in this tea, but they actually give this tea a mineral sweetness difficult to obtain in other types of Chinese tea. Although this tea is already 4 years old, there are a surprising amount of large leaves to be found, however these leaves are becoming very brittle, and there are also many more broken bits to be found in this tea than in its 2022 counterpart.
When this tea is finally fit into a warmed gaiwan or teapot (a challenging task due to the large leaves and long stems), it immediately gives off a melon-sweet taffy candy fragrance with a touch of vanilla. When brewed, the more savory umami notes of old leather and dried tobacco surface. The brew is a beautifully rich gold, and the mouthfeel is both thick and smooth on the tongue. Similar to the 2016 wild white, this wild harvest Shoumei gives an impressive chaqi, or tea energy, and although the session is much more forgiving and relaxed than many other tea types, the subtle power behind this tea is noticeable.