– Feb 2019 –
We have just received a newly-finished batch of this Floral-Style white for drinking during the second half of the season until the 2020 harvest comes in (approx. May/June) – very similar to the first batch of 2018 from last spring/summer, but perhaps a bit more tippy.
Bai Mudan or White Peony is a modern-style white tea that is comprised of buds and leaf.
At one time, the only traditional Chinese white tea was Yin Zhen and it was made from a buds-only pluck. Because of the limited availability of these buds and the subsequent high cost of the tea, the need arose for a new version of white tea.
In the 20th century, tea makers began to incorporate the leaf with the buds from the tea bushes used for white tea. Varying percentages of leaf-to-bud are used to make several different modern-style white teas including Bai Mudan. These various modern-style white teas consequently have different tastes and quality.
After the tea buds are plucked and Yin Zhen white tea is made, the tea picking changes to a much larger pluck and Bai Mudan Floral-Style tea is made. Good quality Bai Mudan is a high-grade white tea. Therefore, our Bai Mudan is a treat to offer. It has a high percentage of buds to leaf. (Some Bai Mudans that we see are not what we think of as Bai Mudan, but a later-made white tea combination from older leaf that has mostly leaf and few or no buds). The color of Tea Trekker’s Floral-Style Bai Mudan mix of leaf is a lovely and soft melange of light greens and white tips – we avoid Bai Mudan tea that has yellowish or brownish leaf.
This Bai Mudan is clean and fresh tasting. Many do not realize that the fresh leaf material used to make white tea is not de-enzymed as are all other styles of Chinese teas, and it undergoes slight withering (as does black tea) which oxidizes the leaf and buds just a little. This is one reason why Chinese white teas are so smooth and in the case of the Floral-Style Bai Mudan, can be reminiscent in flavor of drinking a very mild black tea or a lightly-oxidized oolong such as Bai Hao.
Tea Trekker’s 2018 Bai Mudans are easy steepers and in the cup will be smooth. This, our Floral-Style version, will have a pleasant, light floral aroma. It has been given sun-drying, a short oxidizing wither and is finally air-dried to keep the leaf large and intact and prevent the color from darkening. The leaf is green on one side and silvery grey on the other side, and there is a generous quantity of large and juicy buds. While this may sound like an easy process, making quality white tea requires skill and experience, especially when manufacturing the Floral-Style.
This is a beautiful tea. And a lofty, voluminous tea, requiring the use of a substantial amount of leaf in order to steep a satisfying cup. This tea is delicious hot or cold, but should be steeped in water around 160°F-170°F to prevent scorching the leaf and extracting unwanted astringency.
NOTE: We do not pack a 16oz size because the bag would be so huge. If you want 16oz of this tea simply order two 8oz packages or four 4oz – the price is the same, and it is much easier for us to pack and ship (and for you to store) the smaller volume packages.