Shoumei: Age Comparison
One River Tea
This sample set is intended as an exploration of how white tea changes over time. White tea is often aged in China, and many people place great value on aged white teas. There is a common saying in Chinese about white tea: White tea starts as tea, after three years it becomes medicine, after seven years it becomes gold.
Due to this recent surge in popularity, many producers are intentionally making their fresh shoumei appear brown (see Tones of Terroir sample set). This allows future wholesalers intending to press shoumei into cakes to fabricate the age of a cake, often adding 5 to 10 years on top of the actual harvest date. This is why it is exceedingly important to know and trust your vendors and producers. Aged white tea only became widely popular around 2010, so any aged white tea from before that date is slightly suspect.
In this box, you will find Autumn harvested Shoumei from a beautiful plot near the Taimushan nature reserve in Fujian, China. Shoumei is harvested in the Autumn, between mid September and early October and is usually the favorite to age among white tea producers. Shoumei is not often drunk fresh; similar to raw puer in the early 2000s, but when a skilled producer makes it correctly; it is a more floral foreword tea than the White Peony. While almost any tea can be processed as a white tea, it is only tea produced from this Fujian varietal (Dabaihao) that is officially recognized as white tea.
In the set:
- 40g Green Shoumei 2020 Autumn
- 40g Shoumei 2014 Autumn
All the teas were made and curated in the Autumn of 2020, when we visited the farm and met with the producer in Fujian. We are very impressed with the quality of his fields and his production methods.
Recommended brewing is 6-7 grams of tea in a 100-120ml gaiwan with water right off the boil (though also consider boiling the later infusion).
We are very excited to share this tea tasting opportunity, as comparison brewing is one of the few ways to really understand the complexities of certain types of teas.