Tea: Orange Peel White Tea (Chenpi Baicha 陈皮白茶） Type: Shoumei, Fuding White tea Harvest: Autumn 2021 Press Date: Autumn 2021 Press Size: ~5g biscuits Region: Diantou, Fuding, Fujian, China Tasting Notes: Orange, Pepper, Fruit, Clove, Rock Sugar
These curious biscuits were sourced for us by our good friend Master Zhang. As a man who enjoys experimental teas (see his Charcoal Roasted Tea Seeds) it is no surprise that these interesting pressed whites were on his radar.
The Orange Cracker is a brown shoumei that has been pressed with dried orange peel. The addition of orange peel in tea is a common practice in Yunnan with the cooked puer teas as well as in Fuding with the Aged white teas. Typically the orange peels are boiled with the tea at the end of the session, so this tea lends itself to the simmering and boiling preparation method.
When placed into a warm gaiwan or teapot, the first impression is of the orange peel; a rich, yet mature expression of citrus flavors. While the flavors of the Flower Cracker are high and bright and dominate the beginning of the session, the Orange Cracker provides a much more subtle flavor that really begins to bloom later in the session.
While the fragrance on the wet leaves continually exudes a warm orange rind aroma, perfuming the tea table every time the lid is lifted to add more water, the taste of the tea is a very well balanced mix of shoumie and dried fruit afterthoughts. In China, dried orange peel is often drunk to sooth coughs or other such irritations, and this tea certainly feels good on the throat.