White Peony-Bai Mu Dan is the second finest White tea after Yin Zhen-Silver Needle.
White Peony, incorporates one bud and two tiny leaves, plucked in early spring, covered with tiny silver/white fuzz on one side and touting a deep sage green color on the other side.
In rare cases, the leaves may be mixed with the Shui Xian tea tree.
White Peony is grown primarily in the Fujian Province of China and it is made from very small buds and leaves that are plucked in early spring.
Pai Mu Tan, White Peony
Fuding, Fujian Province of China
The processing rules require this tea only be picked between March 15 and April 10.
It is not picked on days that may be raining or if the dew has not dried or if there is frost on the ground.
No purple buds are allowed and the stems must not be too long or too short.
Leaves damaged by wind, handling, insects or partially open are rejected and put into a lower grade.
The best Bai Mu Dan is produced using the two leaves and a bud proportion and is naturally or mechanically withered to produce leaves that are not black or red but green in color.
Grade & Inspection
White Peony has a bold taste with hints of oak, nut and vanilla with an apricot color brew.
This delicate, light white tea has a very clean, fresh taste with delicate floral notes.
The finest quality should have a shimmering clear infusion with a delicate lingering fragrance and a fresh, mellow, sweet taste devoid of astringency and grassy flavors.
The leaves are multi-colored like autumn foliage.
Produced using 2 to 3 leaves and a bud proportion. Long and straight tea leaves.
The brewed leaves are in very pale green or golden color. Fruity and darker then Silver Needle, yet not as strong as Shou Mei.
Like Silver Needle, Bai Mu Dan is known to have anti-toxin and cooling properties to help to decrease body heat.
While Chinese tea drinkers have been hip to white tea's benefits since the Ming Dynasty, until recently it was virtually unknown outside of Asia. Not anymore.
Today, everyone from chefs to medical researchers is praising white tea's delicate flavor and purported health benefits. Market researchers predict consumers will soon share their enthusiasm, turning white tea into one of the hottest new food trends.
White teas are unfermented teas made from very young tea leaves or buds that are steamed immediately after harvest to inactivate polyphenol oxidase and then dried.
Consequently, white teas usually contain higher concentrations of catechins than other teas.
How to Brew
Transparent glass teacup, glass teapot or glass Gai Wan. These transparent tea steeping vessels could display the expansion of the tea leaves, and allow you to enjoy the pleasures of reinfusion.
The water temperature does not have to be exact. The main thing to remember is Never steep white tea in boiling water.
Heat the water to the boiling point, then let it cool. 175-185 degrees Fahrenheit, or 80-85 degrees Celsius, is considered the optimal temperature for brewing white tea. Many antioxidants are destroyed at temperatures that close to the boiling point, and the tea becomes astringent and loses some of its best qualities as the leaves are cooked.
A good way to guess at the water temperature without a thermometer is to bring the water to a boil, and wait about 60 seconds before pouring over the leaves.
Depending on the quality of the tea, it should be steeped for three-five minutes.
Calculate steeping time depending on how you like your tea to taste. The longer you steep, the stronger the taste and the more pronounced the tea soup color.
Fine white tea could be steeped for 2-3 times. Make sure to steep about one minute longer each time. Each steeping will reveal another interesting layer of flavor.
Rinse the steeping vessel first with hot water to clean and heat it.
Put 5-8g white tea into the glass teacup.
Pouring hot water(around 85 degrees Celsius) over the tea leaves.
Keep the water at about 2/3 full of the teacup.
Steep for about 1 minute for the first infusion.(Or longer depends on your own taste)
Steep 1-2 minutes longer for the next infusions.