I acquired the 25th of 100 of this series. I was a bit infuriated I missed the Year of the Tiger Yunnan edition.
I decided to include a new review on the tin’s label; as A&D and Aesthetic Apparatus’s decisions on label design are produced to almost expand upon the tea’s nature. Something I’ve noticed from previous series. So from now on, I will be reviewing A&D’s on their tin AND tea. Please skip the following mini-review if you wish to skip unto the actual tea review.Let me take note of the similar aesthetic design of the tin’s label, compared to last year. It has an almost absurd eye-blotting ~ pop art colour scheme. You could argue to use a different shade of pink. The colour is something so contrasting to the type of tea that is actually inside that it makes you think there’s some overly flavoured Jasmine green, or dank aromatic “plum oolong” which would discredit this series as a homage to Chinese tea, let alone to celebrate the year of the rabbit. However, the ‘lively’ colour scheme appropriately corresponds upon the nature and spirit of the rabbit itself.
The similarity in character design of the rabbit to the tiger of last year says: “lack of originality”; but there’s a lame “special” sense of continuity to last year’s design, that may pressure a future label in similar apparatus.
I may be a little too hard on the label, which I believe somewhat misrepresents Bai Mu Dan. But I appreciate the sense of effort, and individuality despite the clown colour scheme that yells: “THERE’S CANDY INSIDE!”. It still in a sense, appropriately represents the year of the rabbit, and the spirit of the new year.
Now unto the tea:
Prying the tin open with a butter knife, I humored myself that I’d discover cotton candy or bubble gum, or maybe paint of the label colour, being as the tin was a paint can.
Getting over myself, I discovered a lovely multi coloured collection of leaves ranging from fresh greens, to silvery hairs, to matte earthy colours. Similar aroma to most whites. Reminiscent of fresh cut grass, the warmth a hay, and sweet melancholy nature of a breeze in the country. The smell was enjoyable and inviting to brew. The leaf quality of a myriad of colours with somewhat uniform broken leaves and scattered rolled young needles.
I brewed two teaspoons in my red Tokoname kyusu (I’m currently ‘gaiwanless’) to A&D’s recommended temperature: Seven minutes at shy of a boil. I am always scared of white teas loosing their heat at such long brew times, so I insured that I adequately pre-warmed the teapot.
Bai Mu Dan was incredibly refreshing! The cup was a transparent, pale yellow, and owned an aroma that followed the leaves. Fresh, sweet, warm, and smooth in take and finish. A lingering aftertaste that is enjoyable. Leaving you wanting to drink more. Light in body like most whites, but still fuller in flavour than most White Peonies. A complex flavour that evolves in your mouth. I tried for a second steep, at boiling for another seven minutes, but came to a watered down cup. The sweet refreshing cup was so inviting I repeated the ritual again.
I thoroughly enjoyed A&D’s tea. As this Bai Mu Dan makes a DAMN fine cup of tea. Fuller in body than most White Peonies, and a stronger aroma than even the more sweeter Silver Needles. Take note my score is reflected upon the tea itself, and not the tin. An overall enjoyable tea, worth it for a white leaf drinker.