Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake 2013

Tea type
White Tea
White Tea Leaves
Earth, Floral, Hay, Mineral, Smoke, Dried Fruit, Malt, Raisins, Maple Syrup, Tangy, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Grapes, Honey, Grass, Wood, Autumn Leaf Pile, Smooth, Eucalyptus, Grain, Sweet, Green Wood, Sugar
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 5 g 10 oz / 290 ml

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24 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is one that Teavivre had sent to me previously for review with some other white teas, but somehow this one got missed! The beau and I were going to brew up one of the new blacks/shou pu for...” Read full tasting note
    Uniquity 707 tasting notes
  • “This is a odd one, in a good way. I ordered a sample because this might be only Teavivres tea that has scored five stars. (At least was, checked it) As usual it’s a small chunk from the cake,...” Read full tasting note
    Riimu 53 tasting notes
  • “I don’t understand how unflavored white tea can be so tasty! I haven’t had much luck with it in the past, but clearly this is different! I really really loved it! Exclamation...” Read full tasting note
    whatshesaid 630 tasting notes
  • “i was drinking this most of the morning but sadly my taste buds are not cooperating today or maybe it’s my brain. the taste of this one is super familiar and yet, i can’t place it. ...” Read full tasting note
    Silaena 6570 tasting notes

From Teavivre

Origin: Fuding, Fujian Province.

Ingredients: one bud with two or three leaves

Harvest time: Dec 26, 2013

Taste: full, strong, has fresh and brisk aroma

Health Benefits: White tea contains various functional components, including caffeine, tea polyphenol, tea polysaccharide, theaflavin, theanine and so on, which are beneficial for human health in multiple aspects. For example, tea polypgenol can anti-aging, by antioxidation and clearing free radical away; caffeine is diuretic due to its function of restraining the re-absorbing of sodium, chloridion and water; flavanols, and also caffeine, help to refresh mind and remove fat.

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24 Tasting Notes

707 tasting notes

This is one that Teavivre had sent to me previously for review with some other white teas, but somehow this one got missed! The beau and I were going to brew up one of the new blacks/shou pu for review but I wanted to round out the last batch. We are also both really intrigued by a white tea cake. He has a cold as well, so hot tea sounds lovely.

We’re using the whole sample packet in boiling water in a 24 ounce teapot. This is a really big sample so I am comfortable with those parameters. The dry leaves consist of obvious chunks from a cake in several large pieces and a few smaller broken pieces – possibly from transport and storage. I gave the big infuser a shake and nothing fell through. No crumbs in sight, despite the odd smaller piece.

I am not hugely familiar with white teas, but I did like the ones I tried from Teavivre recently, and I am very interested in how this comes off, since it seems to share similiarities with blacks/shou pu which are more my area. The smell is sweet and honeyed, like hay and fields but also strong. Not very floral in the dry aroma, but very strong. Steeped, the leaves are HUGE. They’ve taken up the entire infuser. If I put them loose in the pot they probably would have filled the whole thing. They are like something from Goosebumps, growing bigger and bigger…

Tastewise, this isn’t what I expected. It reminds me of a lightly roasted oolong, with a hint of smoke and some strong earthiness. But there is also a light floral note which is mixed in really well. I don’t know that I would have guessed this is a white tea if I were presented with it unknowingly. It reminds me of rock oolongs with a bit of a mineral note. I’m really curious to read everyone elses notes on this one!

The beau says it is earthy, but light. Tastes like a white tea but with something more heavy and earthy, like puerh. He also gets a little bit of smokiness.

All in all, this is a really interesting tea experience. I wouldn’t keep it on hand for myself, but that is because my tastes are toward stronger darker teas. I think it would be a really cool introduction to white tea for someone who prefers those stronger flavours though. Really neat!

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Hay, Mineral, Smoke

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53 tasting notes

This is a odd one, in a good way. I ordered a sample because this might be only Teavivres tea that has scored five stars. (At least was, checked it)
As usual it’s a small chunk from the cake, it’s made from whole leaves that are pretty big, also some stems are visible. It has different shades of brown, from dark to light brown and smells bit fermented and hay. I used western style 7mins and 100C, when I poured water on the leaves they started to smell something like dried rhubarb. It smells really much like black tea, and tea is also yellowish-red in color. I didn’t expect this. Also leaves turned into reddish brown.
It has honey like flavour that has raisins, dried fruit and malt in it. It’s like black tea with white tea like note in it. I can’t decide if I like it much or not. I really like that raisin and dried fruit notes but it’s still too black tea like for me. But everyone who like black teas should try this at least once.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Hay, Malt, Raisins

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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630 tasting notes

I don’t understand how unflavored white tea can be so tasty!

I haven’t had much luck with it in the past, but clearly this is different! I really really loved it!

Exclamation points!

Had a good robust taste to it, not an average white tea. I enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you to Teavivre for the sample!

Wish listed :)

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6570 tasting notes

i was drinking this most of the morning but sadly my taste buds are not cooperating today or maybe it’s my brain. the taste of this one is super familiar and yet, i can’t place it. very frustrating. I’m going to have to order more of this one because it is super delicious, refreshing….yeah that’s all i’ve got for now heh

Matt Warren

You might say the taste of the tea is on the tip of your tongue in more ways than one.


hahaha yes!

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1803 tasting notes

Thank you for the samples, Teavivre! I was waiting for a rainy day to try this one. I’ve never seen a white tea cake before! It actually looks like compressed white tea, made into a cake like pu-erh. I wonder why other types of tea aren’t made into cakes?

Steep #1 // 15 min after boiling // rinse // 2 min steep
Teavivre suggested using boiling water because this is fermented and also seven grams for a 12 ounce mug, so I used most of my ten gram sample pouch. I didn’t want to use boiling water, especially for the first steep, so I waited 15 minutes after boiling. The scent of the steeped tea reminds me of maple syrup and it’s in the flavor too. A very sweet smooth white tea. It does taste differently than most white teas I’ve tried, except for a Kenyan white tea… I wonder if that one was fermented as well? It also has a mild autumn leaf flavor. This doesn’t look like one of the fuzzy leaved white teas, more like the “rainbow of autumn leaves” white teas.

Steep #2 // 12 min after boiling // 3 1/2 min
I’m noticing that like the maple syrup flavor, the color of the brew also looks like maple syrup! Very interesting. The maple in the flavor is still here, but there is also a tangy flavor (not astringent or oversteeped) that I wasn’t getting before. It could almost remind me of a mild, less sweet apple juice, but that sounds to me like a raw pu-erh and it definitely doesn’t taste like that.

Steep #3 // 8 min after boiling // 4 min steep
Another nice cup.. loses some of the tangy but also loses some of the flavor. I can’t believe how full my infuser basket is! I’ve never seen so many leaves. I really like this one for its seemingly “all the senses” theme: the appearance of autumn leaves in the dry leaf (and the flavor) as well as the scent and flavor of maple syrup while also looking like actual maple syrup in the cup.

Flavors: Maple Syrup

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3013 tasting notes

Thank you to Teavivre for letting me sample this tea! I unfortunately didn’t take great notes the first time around, but do have another packet that I intend to get to as soon as possible. What I do recall, is that the flavour was fairly tasty (sweet and hay-like), but rather light, considering I used the entire packet for an 8 oz. mug (and did infuse for the instructed time, somewhere between 6 and 10 minutes). I’m not used to white teas, for the most part, so I expect that might be part of it (also, unfiltered work water and/or drinking other more-flavoured teas around the same time). Perhaps I’ll do more of a white tea tasting one day, where I am sure not to eat strongly flavoured foods, or drink other strongly flavoured teas.

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485 tasting notes

Whenever I review samples that were given to me I like to try and sit down and really take the effort to enjoy and think about the taste. This fall it has been hard to find the right opportunity for this. Tonight I FINALLY get to sit down with this tea which comes as a sample from Angel at TeaVivre. Thank you!

About two weeks ago I purchased my first ounce of aged white tea. I had never heard of such a thing until both of these teas ended up in my cupboard. This type of tea is amazing and this sample makes me immediately log onto the TeaVivre sight and plot how to get my next fix. The tea for me offered a fairly complex session. My first two infusions seemed to be a combination of apple, peach and cinnamon. Three and four taste similar to my description of hot southern ice tea with lemon, sweet with a fruity finish. 5 and 6 added some depth to the taste with a tad bit of astringency.

This is a really good tea. I wish I could have sipping on it but I got a bit distracted with chores around the house.

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514 tasting notes

I’m not even sure how to describe this tea. This is one of if not the best White tea that I’ve had.
Thank You Angel for this sample!!
I’ve had this these samples for a while now and just havent tried some of them until now, I think I got them
in the Spring
I’m really glad that I waited until Autumn to try this one because it’s a wonderfull fall time tea IMO, like I
said tho I’m not even sure how to describe it.
I’ll start by saying that this one is quite different than most whites I’ve had even white tea cakes, it’s difficult because this one actually has most of the same typical notes that I also get from all the other whites that I’ve had with the honey, hay, grassy, spicey, fruity notes ect everything that I’ve ever tasted in other whites are in this tea somewhere AND also has IMO many characteristics of other tea types as well from yellow, to oolong and even at times similar to a raw puerh.
It’s a Chameleon!
Some other notes that I don’t usually get from white are Malt, Toast or Roasty notes, Nutty, Earth, Vanilla(I’ve got slight vanilla from just a few whites but this has really nice vanilla notes) Fruit(this one had typical peachy, apricot notes that I generally find in whites as well as raisiny and plum like notes that i find in some blacks)
even some whiny grapey/muscatel notes like someblacks or darjeelings and thats not even all.
NOTHING at all off putting or bitter or atringent or anything in this one, Absolutely Perfect!

This Tea really blows me away, I love it, I have to say perhaps it’s actually the best White Tea that suits me and Surely one of the best Teas period that I’ve, It’s got so much going on.
I have to give this one 100 here because of it’s wonderfully complex diverse flavors.

I must have never had a Shuo Mei or maybe not a good one perhaps.


Ooo, I LOVE shou mei! I will put this on my wish list!


this sounds wonderful…


sounds delicious.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

It is really really good :)

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1320 tasting notes

A sample from Angel at Teavivre. I’ve drank a fair few white teas on my journey so far, but I don’t think I even really knew they came in cake form. Once again, Teavivre broadens my tea horizons! The pouch directions specify 6-10 minutes in boiling water, so (with trepidation) I jumped in at the bottom end of the scale for my first steep.

The liquor is bright amber, very orangey. The scent is honey and hay, very thick and sweet. To taste, I picked up a distinctive (and unexpected!) mushroom flavour, and a touch of of damp leaves. So autumnal! I was expecting something more reminiscent of your average white peony blend, but this is completely different (and delicious).

On second steep, the liquor is again bright orange/amber. The main flavour this time is cinnamon, followed by the deep, rich flavour of dried apricots, rounded off with smooth, sweet honey.

Third steep, and the liquor has lost some of its amber/orange colouring. It’s now a more “ordinary” red-brown. The scent is more like I’d expect from a shou mei, quite floral (peony-like), with notes of hay and honey foremost. The flavour is, again, savoury. The damp leaf flavour from the first steep has re-emerged, and is followed by a heavy floral note, then, right at the end of the sip, a tinge of raw, green wood. There’s still a light, smooth creaminess to the overall cup that I really like.

Fourth steep also has a reddy-brown liquor, very similar to the third steep. The scent is primarily floral, like an ordinary shou mei, but with hints of wood and damp leaf. To taste, the flavour this time is noticeably more delicate than previous steeps. The main note I can detect is wood, followed by a hint of cinnamon, rounded off with the floral, peony-like flavour I’ve come to associate with white tea. It’s a tiny bit drying in the mouth — not astringent or bitter at all, but a little powdery in the aftertaste. Mid-sip, the liquor itself is still smooth.

Fifth steep, again, results in a red-brown liquor. The scent is wood and an almost dusty floral. To taste, I can detect primarily peony. It’s a reasonably mild flavour all round, but still definitely identifiable as a shou mei. The drying, powderiness is still present.

Sixth steep, and the liquor is now more of a golden brown than a red brown. The scent is lighter this time around, but I’m picking up raw wood and peony. To taste, the main note is now just plain peony. I notice that the layers of flavour are diminishing a little with successive later steeps, although I still feel like this batch of leaves has a lot to give. The dryness I noted in my previous couple of cups is becoming more pronounced.

I’m pretty sure this one could have stood more steeps, but the work day is pretty much over. I’m not going to try and take the leaves home with me (lack of a suitable container, really) so it’s goodbye for now. I have another sample pouch of this one, so I’ll try and fit a few more steeps in next time. Given that it’s entertained me all day, though, I consider it great value! I’d definitely consider buying white tea in cake form in the future.

Many thanks to Angel and Teavivre for providing this sample. I really do feel like my understanding of white tea has improved since I started the sampler!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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259 tasting notes

Thank you, Angel, for providing me a sample!

Brewed Western-style.

Never thought that a white tea could be pressed into a cake. I studied the chunk of cake included in my packet. An aesthetic pleasure. Varying shapes and sizes of the leaves, short twigs, earth tones mixed with silver – an instant of the big picture vs the small picture, how both are beautiful individually and as a whole. I bet the cake is something else to behold.

The dry aroma is one of those you can’t stop smelling. Rich, yet gentle. First, honey, then grapes, and, lastly, a pile of autumn leaves. Hay and cucumber dominate the wet aroma.

The liquor is the color of raw honey. Clear. Thick- and full-bodied. I taste notes of cinnamon, apples, maple syrup, honey, and influential challah bread (’tis the season for New Year). Juicy – the sweetness sticks to the roof of my mouth. Refreshing feel. This tea implores you to “stop in your tracks” and to really sense it.

I wouldn’t have thought to buy this tea on my own, thinking that it’s not “my cup of tea”. I am sure glad of these kinds of surprises. Truly enjoyable! It’s the first of its kind for me, so no rating. It’d be in the low 90s.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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