cold brewed in the fridge overnight – this makes a very refreshing iced tea!
“cold brewed in the fridge overnight – this makes a very refreshing iced tea!” Read full tasting note
“Getting to the end of my tin and dreading it!” Read full tasting note
“White Peony has a much darker, greener flavor than other whites I’ve tried. I usually steep it 4-5 times, which is great mileage compared to Silver Needle or similar. Great evening tea, very...” Read full tasting note
“Needs a low brewing temperature. Quite vegetal, very spinach-y – almost like a green tea. Very fluffy; it’s hard to fit an adequate weight into a gaiwan. It’s a decent tea, but not really my thing.” Read full tasting note
Flavor Profile: Delicate, herbaceous, autumnal aroma with a very smooth, sweet and nutty flavor.
Ingredients: 100% Organic White Tea Leaves.
Certified Organic by: Quality Assurance International (QAI)
Also known as Bai Mudan, White Peony is an organic, popular white tea.
Known as “Bai Cha” in Chinese, white teas are made ony from the newly sprouted buds of the tea plant that provide a honey texture to the brew. The buds are heat braised in covered pans or dried in direct sun with minimal or no oxidation. There are several grades of White Peony made and are distinguished by the age of the plants, season and quality of leaves.
Varietal & Technique
Original White teas are native to areas of China’s Fujian province. In particular, one bud and leaf sets from the Da Bai tea plant varietals of Zhenghe and Fuding counties are recognized as traditional white Peony teas. Nowadays White Peony style of teas are also made in other areas of China but the flavors are quite unique due to the differences in varietals, climate and soil.
Fujian Province, known as Min, is situated along China’s southeastern coast. Fujian’s mild, humid, subtropical and marine climate is especially conducive to tea cultivation. Fujian tea has a 1600 year history. The earliest written record of tea production in Fujian is kept on a stone tablet at the Lian Hua Feng (Lotus Peak)in Nan’an County.
Classic style White Peony is made in April, the young bud and one leaf are most flavorful at this time. The buds have distinct white hair that makes the brew texture smooth and refined.
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White PeonyZhi Tea
White PeonyDream About Tea
White PeonyStir Tea
White PeonyDeet's Place
White PeonyGreat British Tea Store
One thing I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year is reviewing a few more white teas. I have largely ignored them to this point in my reviewing journey. Though I went through a brief white tea phase back in college, white tea has never really been my favorite type of tea. I have always been more drawn to green, black, and oolong teas. I still hope to become more familiar with white teas, however, and have been taking tentative steps toward accomplishing that objective. I appreciate the fact that they tend to age gracefully and also often work really well iced. I first encountered this tea in iced form and I recall enjoying it. Unfortunately, trying it as a hot tea was a disappointing experience for me.
I noticed prior to brewing some of this up that I was forced to revisit my most frequent complaint with the teas I have been receiving from The Tao of Tea; the leaf quality appeared to be utter shit. There were tons of chopped and broken leaves and a lot of dust. I do not know whether this was a shipping issue or a storage issue on my end. This morning I broke open a pouch of their Nepali Oolong and Keemun Maofeng and the leaf quality looked great in comparison, so it may just be an issue with select teas.
Anyway, I prepared this tea in my familiar, personalized form of gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose leaf material in 4 ounces of 170 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds. 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes. I normally stop at either the 5 or 7 minute mark with white teas, but I just did not want to press on with this one.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of herbs, hay, straw, and honey. After the rinse, I picked up touches of grass and nuts. The first infusion did not really bring out anything new on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor expressed notes of straw, grass, and hay backed by touches of herbs, nuts, and honey. Subsequent infusions introduced impressions of dry leaves, tree bark, butter, malt, candied orange peel, lemon zest, rose, and minerals. I also picked up on clearly defined notes of chestnut and almond as well as more distinct herbal impressions (thyme, basil, eucalyptus, and rosemary). The later infusions were mostly dominated by notes of malt, minerals, and hay, though I could occasionally pick up fleeting impressions of nuts and herbs.
I know this is supposed to be The Tao of Tea’s introductory white tea, and I do have to give it some credit for working well as an iced tea and having a lot of aroma and flavor components, but I think they can do better than this. The tea lacked longevity and was more astringent than a Bai Mudan should be due to the poor leaf quality. Also, good Bai Mudan should not have much of a grass presence-it has always been my understanding that grassiness in a Bai Mudan is the mark of a lower quality picking. If this were a Shou Mei, I would not be as hard on it, but all I can say is there are much better teas of this type out there at more than reasonable prices. Consider seeking them out first.
Flavors: Almond, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bark, Butter, Chestnut, Eucalyptus, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Rose, Straw, Thyme
This is an absolute morning favourite of mine. I always gaiwan this tea.
It’s beautifully light and refreshing, nice lingering nutty and autumnal notes with a light caramel finish.
Wonderful tea, I normally get about 3-5 infusions with a 2-3 tablespoon serving.
Flavors: Almond, Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Nutty