Bai Mu Dan White Peony Cake (白牡丹饼) is a traditional compressed white tea cake from the famous Fuding tea growing area of Fujian Province of China. This white tea is made from tender young buds and two newest leaves that sprout in spring. These leaves are withered in the sun and then pressed into small 100g cakes. It has a complex, aromatic liquor with a savoury profile. These cake were pressed from leaves harvested in April 2019.
This Bai Mu Dan White Peony Cake is made from leaves of Fuding Da Bai (福鼎大白 – Fuding Large White) white tea cultivar. It mostly consists of one bud plus the top two leaves of the plant, hand picked during the picking process. The inclusion of the top leaves in addition to the buds results in a stronger and more pronounced flavour when compared to other pure bud white teas such as Yin Zhen Silver Needle. Further to this, the pressing of this tea into cakes facilitates easy longterm storage. These white tea cakes will improve with age, mellowing and becoming sweeter.
This tea is from Xianpu Village, with the leaves being picked on the slopes of Taimu Mountain in Fujian Province. After plucking, the leaves are simply withered in the sun, rather than in machines. The natural withering and slight oxidation results in a fuller, more balanced profile. After withering the leaves are pressed by hand into small cakes using traditional stone moulds. This tea is made by small scale tea farmers using traditional processing techniques and as such is quite different to large scale commercial production.
The 100g cakes are a convenient and effective way of being able to enjoy a compressed white tea. The cakes have a very striking appearance, with a good balance of younger darker leaves and silver tips. The clear liquor produced is a pale golden colour. The overall profile is savoury, with vegetal, fruity and woody notes. The flavours are light but complex, a little similar to a green tea but without the astringency and dryness that can be often found in green teas. The lighter notes of savoury vegetables and sweet florals are also complimented by some aromatic spices at the back of the palate. The aftertaste is clean, mellow, with a light mineral quality. This is a fantastic tea that can be enjoyed straight away or put aside for ageing to further develop the sweet flavours.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for around 3-4 minutes according to your taste. Prise off a required amount of leaves with a sharp knife or pu-erh knife and brew multiple times. For best results, we recommend gong fu style of brewing: approx 3g per 100ml at 90-95°C in a gaiwan with initial infusion of 20 seconds, increasing the time with each subsequent steep.