So, I’ve recently become quite enamored with white tea after having some for the first time in January after 2dog sent some aged white tea with the White2Tea January club order. I’ve gotten more tea from him, and I’ve also ordered some online. Mostly aged (and not so aged) Shoumei. I’ve been experimenting a lot with brewing temps and times, and am still doing a lot of learning through trial and error. I’ve been using a gaiwan, but it got me wondering about brewing in a teapot. Is there a particular kind of tea pot/clay that’s good for white tea, or do most folks just stick with a gaiwan or other glazed teaware?
I just use western style or glass teapot with infuser for my white tea, but thats what I have. glazed would be fine.
I’m guessing you have tried a few different yin zhen/silver needle, right?
I do the same as Rasseru. I have a 700 ml. clear borosilicate glass teapot with a huge fine mesh infuser basket and that’s what I use for my whites.
Interesting, can you recommend a shoumei? I love baimudan as well. I have a fondness for white tea
Shoumei is different than silver needle. It even has a wiki entry :)
I brew whites in porcelain gaiwan or glass tube thingy (not sure of proper name)
I love white tea and almost always use my gaiwan. If I’m really lazy I’ll just use a glass teapot, but I always prefer the taste coming out of a gaiwan. I just have to be willing to clean up all the parts :)
When I was introduced to aged white, it was prepared in a yixing pot. I’ve been doing mine gaiwan/glazed tea pot, but I got a yixing pot planned.
Young white definitely use glass or ceramic, however too subtle for yixing. However aged white you can totally go yixing with awesome results since the flavor is stronger. Aged white is very much a new thing, why we can’t find stuff older than 2000 to 2008.
And the jury is still out on how long an aged white tea will last. Can it truly last for fifty years like a properly stored puerh tea.
I was told by two separate sellers they have only started pressing white cakes since 2007/ 2008. My oldest cake is 2000 material pressed in 2008. Unless there’s a 1960s white kicking around, who knows.
My point is it is a gamble to attempt long term aging of white tea. We don’t yet know if it will work. It might just be that white tea can only be aged for six or seven years and then start to deteriorate.
haha we’ll find out each year whether it is still good. I don’t even know how to store it, I just keep mine in a crock.
I owned a camellia flower cake and it went buggy and bad within a year. After that, I am really cautious of any tea cake that is pressed with non tea things.
I have a couple of camellia flower cakes. So far luckily no bugs. Probably the bugs eggs were in the cake when you bought it and they hatched.
Well, now you’ve given me a reason to buy another yixing pot. I don’t know whether to be glad or to cry, lol.
> Aged white is very much a new thing, why we can’t find stuff older than 2000 to 2008
Though I cannot find the link, I am sure that I have seen a site for a Chinese seller who has what is said to be 1970s-era white tea in tins. In fact, as I recall, they claimed to have several batches of ‘70s-’90s vintage.
[EDIT] I’m pretty sure this is what I was thinking of: http://www.xm-tea.net/old-white-tea-leaves-1970s.html
Navigate up from the link to see the others they have. I first encountered this before I developed an appropriate level of skepticism about vendor claims. Maybe this is what it claims to be, but was not purposefully set aside for 40 years but rather was misplaced in a warehouse until someone noticed it and thought “Aged white tea is a thing now! Cha-ching!”
hahha I bet that happens! I’d use extra caution when buying aged white tea (or any aged tea) though. Aged white tea is gaining some popularity in China since people rediscovered its medicinal benefits. And many tea vendors are trying to come up with their own “aged” white tea in response to market demand. A tea vendor in Fuding showed me the different cakes he had—- some have been naturally aged, some are a blend of old and new leaves, and others have been stored in hot and humid environments to accelerate the fermentation process. There’s very few genuine aged white tea older than 10 years. In fact, making white tea into tea cake wasn’t even really a thing until about 8 years ago. So use caution when you see a 10+ year old white tea cake.
I would be surprised if 20 year old white tea wasn’t sold next to the 45 year old ripe puerh on Aliexpress. It’s always funny when you see a vendor selling ripe puerh from 1970 when it was invented in 1973.
I have no experience with aging white tea, though I just bought 3 cakes as an experiment. However, twodog told me that he once tried some quite old white tea (I think he said 30 years old) and that white tea should get better with age.
That being said, aging whatever tea is always somewhat of a gamble, including oolong, black tea, sheng and ripe. I’m curious to see how mine turns out in a few years.
That’s awesome, @bef! I’ve also been aging some shoumei and white peony cakes. Got a batch each from 2012, 2014, and 2015. I broke out my 2012 cakes and some loose leaves already. Trying to age the other cakes for at least 3 years before I enjoy them :)
Hey Allan, White2Tea had similar experience with those camellia cakes, but with worms and moths infested. https://www.reddit.com/r/tea/comments/4e9ma3/what_on_earth_is_this_found_on_aliexpress/d1ycue2
Personally I Don’t aged high grade silver needle white tea, because I think it is a waste of good stuff. Delicate flavor will lost and turn bland.
Lower grade white tea with higher fermentation like Shou Mei and White Peony are better for aging purpose. After 3-4 year the aroma just amazing.
Ok, another question for those of you more experienced with shoumei than me: Has anyone tried to cold steep it? If so, is it like any other cold steeped tea? I was going to throw about 5g in a 20 ounce tumbler tonight, leave it overnight and see what happens. Good idea? Terrible idea?
I haven’t tried cold steeped white tea but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. I tend to cold steep herbals for drinking in the evening.
Ok, so I cold brewed some 2008 aged Fuding Shoumei, 7g in a 20oz tumbler. I steeped longer than intended because I forgot about it, so it went about 20 hours. It was flipping delicious! I am wondering what it would be like to steep white tea in vodka. Or rum. Hmmmmmm…
this reminded me of this article on tea cocktails, which mentions a bit about using alcohol to infuse tea (which I’ve not tried): http://www.worldoftea.org/tea-cocktails/
Ive just made a TGY infused vodka, and put a shot with fizzy water and it is lovely without any extra garnish.
first try and nailed it :D
Interesting! do you infuse TGY very long, with the leafs in vodka in months/weeks or just a instant infusion?
Has anyone tried boiling your aged shoumei? Use 5-10g of tea with 2 cups of water. They say the “medicinal fragrance” comes out more when you boil it. Can’t wait to try it!
Haven’t tried it yet but they say just cook it for 3 minutes and let it cool down to 150F before drinking it. Let me know how it goes if you’re gonna give it a try!
I boil mine longer. About 10g/1000ml, slow boiling until it turns brown. Just a guess, but I would say that it boils for 8-12 minutes before it’s ready.