Bai Mu Dan

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White Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 10 oz / 295 ml

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8 Tasting Notes View all

From Samovar

Origin: South Fujian, China

Flavor Profile: Smooth, sweet, woody flavor. Hints of roasted walnuts, sweet corn, and hot cocoa. A warm aroma reminiscent of the toasty sweetness of dry walnut brownies.

Tea Story: Bai Mu Dan, also know as White Peony, is one of the most common styles of traditional white tea. But there is nothing common about this exquisite tea. Meticulously picked, this tea consists of two tealeaves and a silvery bud. Gentle processing, and a unique withering process, result in an amber-orange infusion with low astringency, weighty mouth-feel and a mild flavor that pairs well with most foods. You love the smooth, sweet flavor and slightly woody, toasted aroma of this fresh Bai Mu Dan.

Samovarian Poetry: The best Bai Mudan we’ve ever had. Fujianese white tea made from two leaves and one bud. A hidden sweet maltiness, with notes of dark Marin redwood groves, & mellow muscatel.

Food Pairing: Sip your Bai Mu Dan White tea while savoring sweet hot corn bread slathered in sweet cream. Perfectly paired with any dessert, why not drink it while nibbling on home made walnut brownies (whether or not you make them dry is up to you). At Samovar Tea Lounge, we love to pair the Bai Mu Dan White Tea with the Honeycomb and cheese platter. Delish!

About Samovar View company

Samovar's is dedicated to preserving the simplicity and integrity of the tea traditions and inspiring people to practice peace through drinking tea.

8 Tasting Notes

260 tasting notes

Sometimes I feel like I should just log teas every time that I drink them, but I wouldn’t be able to keep it up all the time [hahaha] and it would bother the completionist in me that I had missed some stuff. You should see me game, it’s horrible. If there are achievements, it bothers me to hell if I don’t get all of them. Even if they’re stupid difficult. RPG’s are the worst [and the best]. Usually in these cases, when I can see it coming, it’s better for me to stray from even trying, so that I don’t feel like I’m a big fail ball. When it comes to tea, this means that some of the teas I drink fall by the wayside, even some of the ones I drink fairly often. This is unfortunate, especially when they’re good teas, like Bai Mu Dan.

I haven’t had this from anyone else [though I think I might have a sample of Adagio’s that I haven’t bothered to try yet lying around somewhere] so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I really like it, though. When I was first drinking it, I think it was a little bit…darker, maybe, than I’m used to with white teas. The flavors aren’t bad, it was just different, so there was a small appreciation curve I had to slide up to get the point where I am now with it.

It has a lot of those darker sweet flavors to me. Corn, for one – more like…creamed corn [which I happen to like] than fresh corn, but it has that kind of corn sweetness to it. Sometimes I get notes that remind me lightly of honeydew melon. At times tastes toasted, almost roasty, which mainly happens when it hits the back of my throat. It reminds me of walnuts.

The flavor is light, but it’s not picnic in the park, butterflies flitting about light. It’s more like…end of a summer day, drinking lemonade on the porch as the sun sets through the trees light, if that makes sense. I’m trying to avoid the oxymoron of saying it’s a dark light flavor, but there it is.

It’s a good tea. I don’t drink it nearly as much as I do my other two Samovar favorites – Osmanthus Silver Needle and Downy Sprout, but I probably see it once a week or so. Maybe a little bit less, maybe a little more. It’s pretty easy going, so that’s how we roll.

160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I dream of the day when I’ll be able to pick up on all of those notes in a white (or black, or green, etc.) tea. Until then, I will loyally read your reviews and hope that some of your skill rubs off on me! :)


Yummm, cornnnn. :D I haven’t had any corn flavored tea yet. Sounds interesting, but corn and honeydew melon o.O, how does that work. Send some to teaplz, she’ll let us know if she detects any honeydew :D


Mmmm. I love your descriptive imagery. I totally know what you mean about the white being “darker” than normal.

Shanti, I was having problems, too, trying to pick up little subtleties. :) I found that if I just drink the tea by itself, and very slowly, sipping and smelling and sipping, I’m able to concentrate a bit better and figure out just what I’m tasting. Some tea is too difficult to describe in words, though!


P.S. I have completionist tendencies in video games too. Still trying to get “Superb!” on 4 Rhythm Heaven games (I got that rank on all the rest!).


@Shanti Hahaha, you probably already have the skills, it just takes some time to ease into them! It’s just like teaplz said; take it slow. Just make sure you’ve let it cool enough for it to be able to touch all the regions of your tongue without burning yourself and you’re golden! Also, completely unrelated, but is that your cat? He or she is adorable!

@Ricky Hahaha, actually, you’ve just spurred an idea for a fantastic summer salad for me. I’ll have to give it a whirl…in six months.

@teaplz Oh thank jeebus. Even as I was typing that out I was thinking, “They’re going to think I’ve lost it.” And that’s hilarious that you should say that because I’ve gotten superb on everything and need perfects on like, six more. COMPLETIONISTS FTW.


Okay, Rockstar 2 is giving me SO much trouble in RH. Ugh. That and the space shooter 2, Ping Pong 2, and the Moai 2. I am stupidly addicted to that game.


I HATE the strumming on Rockstar. Though it kills me, I’m probably not going to complete the extra little cafe strummy bonus thing. It’s by far my least favorite of all the things. Even more than ping pong.


I hate the way the little spikey-haired dude scrunches his face up when I mess up. I want to smack him with my stylus when that happens! I’ve gotten As on all the beginner songs, but I only place second in the cafe contest thing. :(


I haven’t had this brand of Bai Mu Dan but I have had Wegman’s brand. I thought this tea was very good, especially because I used it with cold water and didn’t actually steep it at all. Just let it sit around for a while in a water bottle then drank it. It has a very sweet floral taste.


Ah, celebration tea! Although mine is a different brand. :) I can definitely recognise a lot in your post, especially the bit about walnuts. I hadn’t thought of that before, but it just hit me when I read it. Of course it has walnut notes in it. :)


@teaplz Urgh, I know. I think I tortured myself into beating the first round of the cafe things, but there’s a point where it gets RIDICULOUS and I just said, “Well…poo on this.”

@Angrboda I can see this being an excellent celebration tea. I rather like it, too!


@takgoti Thanks! :) She’s my mom’s new kitten, actually. She’s the sweetest cat I’ve ever met, but she has such an angry, angry face!
She’s the angry grey one :)


AH! Fluffy kitties! I want to hug them!


Aww! I do like fluffy things!


Awww those are gorgeous! Maine coons?


@Angrboda They are actually Ragamuffins ( They’re very similar to Ragdolls, but come in more colors and have a couple other differences (larger eyes, puffier whisker pads, a scooped nose, a rounder forehead, etc). I had always wanted a Ragdoll, but was worried about their health and adopting from a kitty mill or unethical cattery, so I went with the ’Muffin. They are less interbred and the breeders are closely monitored by the breed association. I love Maine Coons too. One of our adopted former-shelter cats is part Maine Coon (probably)…I love pretty much any kitty (or puppy) that is fluffy ;)

@all Fluffy cats + tea = perfection!


Shanti, ah okay. MC is the semi-longhair that I’m most familiar with, but I can’t actually tell them apart, so that’s always my first guess. :) I had an MC and it’s a lovely breed, but I’m so done with semi-longhair. Mine had a deep hatred of brush and comb, so I had the hardest time keeping up with the fur. I’ve decided that if/when I get (hopefully) another cat I really really want a british shorthair. I like the larger breeds and they’re so cute with their round heads. :)

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911 tasting notes

I neglected to smell the dry leaf, but the leaf post-steeping smells super-roasty. The liquid smells very light, but similar. And when I say very light, I mean very light.

Taste-wise, this is surprising. I was expecting something sweet and it is, but I was expecting sweet flowery and this is more sweet starchy. Actually, it tastes like a diluted version of the liquid in the canned sweet corn niblets we used to get before I knew that, you know, corn was evil. (And I did love that corn juice so). But there is a slightly different note – a deeper, darker, more intense note – that the canned sweet corn juice didn’t have. I can’t quite place it but I’m guessing it is the roasted walnut bit they have in the flavor profile.

For such a light colored and scented tea, the tastes are very dark. It’s good but the connection my mind has made to corn is throwing me off. In my world, corn = evil. So I sip this and go “mmm, dark… sweet… oh crap, corn – EVIL!”

As it cools I’m getting more of the walnut taste (it definitely is the walnut they mention in the profile – it’s screaming walnut now but I’m not getting as much of the roasted as just straight walnut) than the corn taste and that helps with my mental aversion to it but I think I’ve already got a strong mental block against this tea so even switching to a more walnut taste isn’t making me enjoy it. The last few sips are sweet again but mixed nicely with the walnut. But again, the sweet flavor is very corn-sweet.

After thinking on it some, I’m not rating this tea. Because it’s too mixed up in my head with the evils of corn so nothing I give it would be fair. The walnut sweetness is really nice and the flavors are truly lovely so it deserves at least a green smiley but the corn connection make me think red icky face. But neither the green smiley face or red icky face would be an accurate representation of my experience with this tea. Sorry, I’m just too prejudice against the diluted sweet corn juice to rate this accurately.

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I gotta ask – why is corn evil? The whole corn syrup thing? Too carby?


No, I love corn (well, I used to) but it doesn’t love me. I’m allergic to it and anything derived from it. And it is really hard finding stuff with no corn-derived ingredients and my frustration with that plus the horrible things it does to me has translated to hating all things corn (except cornbread – I’m just sad about that).


Oh geez – that is a truly awful allergy. If corn syrup gets you too, that’s in EVERYTHING. Ick.


Yep. And xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, maltodextrin, lecithin… a huge list of stuff you’d never think of (or at least I hadn’t). It truly sucks.


Sorry Augs, should have thought that one out better before sending it your way.


Xanthan gum? Maltodextrin? Oh my gawd… you poor thing!!!!


@takgoti – No worries! I think if I had had it 6months ago, the corn-ness of it would have made me fall in a bit of love. But now…

@wombatgirl – Seriously, it is so hard to find non-corn containing food. Thus my new hatred of corn. And my much more expensive grocery bill. Eeevil.


Aww, sorries that this reminds you too much of the corn! Maybe you can look at it like a positive? Like, you can have corn-like flavor without getting the allergy?

Eh, I know how it is to have thinks make you sick, though, and transferring all the badness to that particular food. At least you appreciated the taste of this white!


Gosh, what an annoying and impractical allergy to have. My cousin (almost 11) can’t have eggs, and I thought that was impractical. I think you’ve got her well and truly beat here, with all those derivative products. :(


Haha – I’d totally agree with the impractical aspect of it! A few years ago my mom was diagnosed with celiac disease so she can’t have wheat gluten. I thought that was a pretty horrid thing to get stuck with but I’ve reevaluated that since at least wheat is something that is recognized as a big allergy and corn not so much (even though it is in everything). Ironically, a lot of gluten free products use corn derived ingredients as thickeners and whatnot so getting a meal that both my mom and I can eat is pretty impossible. Holiday meals were so interesting this year!


Corn tea, huh?… That sounds just awful! In my head at least. It probably tastes quite a bit better than I’m imagining.

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187 tasting notes

I am making audible happy noises as I’m drinking this. Thanks to takgoti, of course. MY GOD.

This is probably the most delicious cup of tea I’ve had in a few days. Seriously. SO. GOOD.

I felt like a white tea this afternoon, and I began rummaging around. I almost tried the Adagio Jasmine Silver Needle that Auggy sent me, but then the thought of this popped into my mind, so I decided to steep some up.

This doesn’t really smell like much dry, but the leaves are so pretty! Like real leaves. And downy tips. So pretty. Everything pretty much looks nearly whole. The infusion is a very light honey color. Beautiful to look at. And the smell is sweet like corn, with woodsy highlights.

On my first sip, I literally made an audible “MMMM” noise. It was very loud. And then I gave a little gasp on the swallow, because this baby has depth. It’s very light tasting, but actually pretty heavy on the flavor department. There’s a lot of complex layers going on here. I feel like I can get lost in this. So unexpected and deep, yet so completely sippable and drinkable!

So let’s try to explain this. I’m a bit incoherent right now cause I’m so excited about the taste of this, and I’m still in awe over the flavors that are packed in here, but we’re going to try. There’s deepness here. Toasty notes, as well as pure sweet and floral notes. I’m definitely getting the sweet corn that takgoti mentioned, kissed with a light bit of butter. Delicious and rich. There’s also the feeling of cocoa. I can’t explain this one… not the flavor of it, but the overall end feeling of taking a sip of that drink. I’m getting some sort of nutty flavor, maybe a bit of walnut?

There’s a mouthfeel here too. I think that’s the first time I’ve noticed it. A thickness, a deliciousness that cannot be described. No astringency whatsoever. This is a tea that just keeps on giving. I love the lingering feeling on my tongue of nectar and honey and goodness. I am just finding that I love white tea in general. How something light could be so deep… it’s almost like the Caribbean waters.

The flavors here are so round and pronounced, yet so different, distinct, and enjoyable. I really can’t even begin to properly describe this cup. I’d just suggest getting some for yourself. THANK YOU TAK-TAK FOR AMAZINGNESS, as usual!

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 45 sec

White tea, walnuts, corn and cocoa. Sounds so weird yet so delicious!


Wheee! I actually feel like your review makes more sense than mine, but I’m a bit ecstatic that you enjoyed this so much. It really is a very good tea. And I get what you mean by the cocoa thing, I think, but I can’t describe it either.

And now we’re conversing about it anyway, so I’m just going to tell everyone else what we decided – it’s like essence of cocoa, but instead of getting actual the cocoa flavor, it’s everything else. The texture, the darkness, etc. It’s really abstract, but that’s the best we could do.

I also think that it might be partially due to the walnut component of the tea.


takgoti is absolutely right! Ricky, I think the only “flavor” per-se that’s really going to come across strongly out of that list is the sweet corn, and maybe a bit of woodsy walnut-ness. Of course, white tea typical flavors… but much richer, deeper, and darker, while still being ridiculously light. It’s like a well of flavor! And mouth feelings and teases and flashes of something else, something more… the walnuts and cocoa are that “something more.” It really is sweet and delicious though!


You guys are making my Samovar shopping list grow…. evil evil evil.


@Ricky. White tea, got it. Walnuts, eh could get soggy and weird but got it. cocoa, YUM! But… CORN ??? Is a matcha mill on your Samovar list yet?


Let’s just make our own Bai Mu Dan blend. I’ll supply the corn :D

No matcha mill…. yet… I’m going the old fashion way, mortar and pestle.


@Ricky, you actually grind your own w/ a mortar and pestle vs buying it preground (except for your Rishi matcha)? WOW! Do you use tencha or some other tea? What brand?


There’s no corn in the tea! Or walnuts… or cocoa. No flavoring. It’s just plain leaves. Those were tasting notes. :(


@teaplz haha ok- darn. I was kinda psyched up for it lol.


Haha, no. Sorry for the confusion. I don’t even own a mortar and pestle. I’ve always wanted one though =X. I always accidentally purchase ingredients as a whole.


Yeah that may be smart. Matcha tends to fly if you even think about breathing so I think that’d be a big mess.


Can’t believe I haven’t had any samovar yet, this will be changing in early 2010. Wow.

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4833 tasting notes


I believe Azzrian sent me this sampling. I had this one hot summer night, even though I’m only just logging about it now. Yeah, I’m still behind. I will get caught up eventually. It will just take forever.

I’m amazed at how even though I’ve tried many different Bai Mu Dan teas by many different tea companies … with each new experience, I can taste subtle differences. With this Bai Mu Dan, I noticed hints of chocolate toward the finish!

A nice, sun-roasted type of taste to this cup, sweet and nutty.

A really nice Bai Mu Dan!

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53 tasting notes

I’ll be honest, I’m normally a darker tea kind of guy… I like deep, complex flavours, and as I’ve recently discovered I’m not a fan of added novelty flavours like caramel or coffee because they don’t taste like what I expect…

That said, this is a very light tea. A very, very light tea. However, somehow it manages to be on the right side of the “tastes like water” fence. It has just enough going for it to give it a unique, calming tea with almost some sort of buttery finale.

I had some sort of food poisoning last night so my body was recovering from a long battle (that it lost). I wanted to treat it to some sort of soft, calming tea.

I believe I chose the right one for the job.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec
Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I am not a believer that white tea should be brewed with lower temperature, even though many vendors instruct so. I am a believer of using hottest boiling water for white tea. May or may not work for you :D


Many people on here have said that bai mu dans are good for migraines, though I cannot confirm that. Sorry to hear about the food poisoning. Never fun.


I think the instructions said 195F which I was actually really surprised with, but it turned out great.


Oh wait! That was for the White Rose Bai Mu Dan. I don’t know if the same applies to the plain one, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t.


I loooove this one. Seriously at the top of my list. The flavors are just so delicious!


@Ricky The plain one says to brew at 160-165. Their latest method for brewing Downy Sprout [which is phenomenal, by the way] involves using boiling water, but that’s also at a really short steep time. I think that hotter water may affect caffeine content in the tea, as well.


Actually the temperature I put up was an estimate of what I was hoping I steeped the leaves at. At work we just have a water boiler kettle, but it doesn’t have a thermometer or anything so I have to guess based on time and how much steam is coming off if the temp is right. In any case, I may not even have waited long enough to bring the temp down to 180. =S

@takgoti, thanks for the tip. I’ll be sure to suggest this tea next time someone in the house gets a migraine.

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603 tasting notes

The dry leaf smell is very similar to Adagio’s White Peony, but the hay aroma is more in the background. The liquor is the same light brown color, and the brewed tea has almost an identical aroma to Adagio’s version.

Hmm, the taste isn’t quite as strong, but maybe that’s because I used a little less leaf. I’m actually surprised how similar it is. I expected a bigger difference because I thought that Samovar was higher quality than Adagio.

It tastes a little bit woodier and nuttier, with more flavor coming in the aftertaste than what’s present during the sip. It’s definitely delicious, but I’ll probably keep buying Adagio’s version because it’s significantly cheaper (Adagio $5/ounce, Samovar $12/ounce).

I wonder if my palate isn’t refined enough to notice the subtle differences, or if there simply isn’t much of a difference.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Only difference I’ve spotted is that the 3rd infusion of Adagio’s White Peony is usually my last. It gets pretty astringent by that cup. But the Samovar 3rd infusion wasn’t astringent in the least. Still, I don’t think that’s enough of a justification for the more than double price. I’m sticking with Adagio on this one.

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9 tasting notes

Overall meh. Dry, my box came with lots of sticks in the stick to leaf ratio, and the flavor from the tea was fairly dull. It’s not bad, but not luring me back. My least favorite Samovar tea.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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18 tasting notes

One of my favorite white teas for the days where I want something more subtle and less sweet. Very smooth.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with adding a little bit of jasmine pearl tea in and the two mix remarkably well!

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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