Shou Mei 壽眉 (Longevity Eyebrow)

Tea type
White Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Victoria
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Comparing Shou Mei and Bai Mu Dan. Gold diggers better take last one, as the color is very doré, as the French say. The Shou Mei has a more fruity touch, but this is a good bargain. The aftertaste...” Read full tasting note
    82
    Pé Té 19 tasting notes
  • “When I am looking over my tea collection, I often find that I am in the mood for this tea. I discovered it in the dim sum houses of Hong Kong, and even though it is a cheaper cousin of Bai Mu Dan,...” Read full tasting note
    82
    keliyah 3 tasting notes

From Wing Wah (Hong Kong)

This is a “new style” leafy white tea from Fujian, China. It is composed of a heterogeneous, multi-hued mix of mature leaves and stems and a small proportion of silver-green, long and flossy tips. The result is a fragile, fluffy and voluminous mix.

After the pluck, there are just two steps to the processing: withering and drying. After a long withering period to reduce humidity (2-3 days indoors and outdoors), they are air-dried and sometimes finished by baking over a charcoal fire or in a drying oven to further reduce moisture content (giving the tea a faint toastiness) before being very slightly oxidized. The drying process makes the vegetal flavours milder than in green tea.

The pluck for shou mei does not usually contain the bud because it is made after the plucking for Bai Hao Yin Zhen (bud only) and Bai Mu Dan (bud and first leaf). Shou mei is typically a configuration of large leaves plucked with the branch, which is later discarded, with the classic “eyebrow” curve of the leaves remaining. This particular product has some silver tips mixed in.

The flavour is stronger than other white teas, and strikes an agreeable balance between the savoury notes of green tea and the sweetness of traditional white tea. The dry leaf has the wonderful scent of wicker and mown hay. It is known as a great thirst-quencher that is popular especially in dim sum houses in Guangdong and Hong Kong.

About Wing Wah (Hong Kong) View company

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3 Tasting Notes

82
19 tasting notes

Comparing Shou Mei and Bai Mu Dan. Gold diggers better take last one, as the color is very doré, as the French say. The Shou Mei has a more fruity touch, but this is a good bargain. The aftertaste of the BMD, as rappers call it, is very charming and long-lasting.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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82
3 tasting notes

When I am looking over my tea collection, I often find that I am in the mood for this tea. I discovered it in the dim sum houses of Hong Kong, and even though it is a cheaper cousin of Bai Mu Dan, I enjoy its distinctiveness – soft and rich with flavours that suggest apricots, honey and chestnuts. This tea coats the mouth with a lingering sweetness. My tea manual refers to the understated vegetal quality of “steamed squash”, but I can’t pinpoint that yet.

Because it is light and fluffy, I fill half of my gaiwan with the leaf and then infuse for 15 seconds at only 160 degrees because it is such a delicate leaf. In fact, it crumbles to dust quite easily just from shaking the tin. A subsequent 3 or 4 infusions are longer in duration to get the necessary strength.

I have difficulty telling the difference between Bai Mu Dan and Shou Mei, if (in this case) the Shou Mei includes downy tips. In fact, I am not convinced yet that this isn’t a low-grade Bai Mu Dan. I note the low ratio of buds to leaves, and the dark overall colour of the leaves (leaves that have grown too long are dark and gangly). For Shou Mei, I understand that the pluck is a grouping of three or four large leaves with no bud. The Chinese on the box says 白牡丹壽眉, while the English simply says Shou Mei. Perhaps it is a blend of Shou Mei and Bai Mu Dan as the Chinese printing would suggest. Whichever it is, it’s always nice to find such a satisfying inexpensive tea.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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