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drank Pai Mu Tan by Pekko Teas
300 tasting notes

Many thanks to Pekko Teas to their very generously sized sample and offer!* It’s been awhile since I’ve had Bai Mu Dan/White Peony straight, back when I was exploring as many different grades and varieties of white tea mostly from Upton. It’s not something I would have picked out for myself now, but I’m glad for the opportunity all the same. I am always struck by the diversity of color, size and full/brokeness of the leaf. There are a few vibrant unfurled green leaves, many silver buds and lots of brown, olive and grey withered chopped up leaves.

I find White Peony to be both ugly and beautiful and am admittedly spoiled by whole leaf tea most of the time. This being said I do enjoy the herbaceous and woody personality Bai Mu Dan has compared to delicate Silver Needle. They remind me a bit of Darjeeling (and that’s the exact same reaction my friend had with this, her first White Peony) which also has a wonderful mix of color, but I find the company’s comparison to Keemun interesting, I’ve only had one unblended Keemun before so I can’t really speak to that, but I do get jammy.

I’m going to hold off on rating this one until I’ve had it a second time. I just guess I have a hard time seeing peony as a “luxury” tea and have a hard time justifying the price. but I don’t want to give it a low rating based on my bias. Still nice tea all the same!

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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