Bai Mu Dan White Peony King (白牡丹) is a classic white tea sourced directly from our producer in Fuding, Fujian Province. It is grown in a fully organic tea garden at an altitude of 800-900m. This tea has a variably-sized and coloured leaf that is plucked using the ‘two leaves and one bud’ standard of leaf picking. The leaves produce a soft flavour with full, complex notes. This particular batch was picked in April 2021.
Bai Mu Dan White Peony King is made from a Fuding Da Bai (福鼎大白 – Fuding Large White) white tea cultivar. This is the same cultivar that is used to make the famous and highly regarded Yin Zhen Silver Needle white tea from Fuding. Unlike the Yin Zhen, which utilises only the buds or the tips of the tea plant, this Bai Mu Dan White Peony King 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 slightly stronger and more pronounced flavour when compared to other pure bud white teas. For many tea drinkers this characteristically stronger taste that is fuller and fruitier is very much an attraction of a Bai Mu Dan style of white tea.
The Bai Mu Dan White Peony King name of this tea refers to Bai Mu Dan (白牡丹), which roughly translates as ‘white peony’. The precise reasoning behind this name is not clear, although it is sometimes said that this kind of tea should possess an aroma that is reminiscent of the aroma of a white peony flower. The addition of ‘King’ in English is used to signify the grade of this tea, which is higher than many standard White Peony teas due to the quality of the leaf used and more careful, laborious processing.
The large mixed leaf of this Bai Mu Dan White Peony King has a mixed colour appearance that results from expert withering and light oxidation of the tea leaves. The leaves are quite tippy, with some silver buds and larger darker leaves. This is the typical appearance of a tea that follows the ‘two leaves and one bud’ standard of leaf plucking and where a large amount of leaf is preserved intact during processing. The clear liquor produced has a light golden colour and a sweet, almost honey-like aroma with a hint of woodiness. The taste is very soft yet full in flavour. There is definitely a fruity aspect to this tea, which is combined with woody and herbaceous notes to make it a pleasantly complex cup. The aftertaste is long-lasting with honey and sweet fruity notes.
We suggest brewing at 80°C for around 3 minutes according to your taste. Bai Mu Dan White Peony King white tea shoud be brewed multiple times depending on your taste preferences. As with all white teas, you can experiment with brewing times. Try either brewing this at a lower temperature (70°C) for 4-5 minutes or alternatively at 90°C for 60-90 seconds. Different brewing parameters produce quite different results so experimenting with the water temperature and steeping time is the best way of finding the brewing method that works best for you.
Bai Mu Dan White Peony King white tea was first featured in our November 2018 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.