Ming Qian Bai Mu Dan White Peony (明前白牡丹) is a classic early spring white tea sourced directly from one of the gardens of the Chen & Zhou family, located in Jinping Village, Zhenghe County of Fujian Province. It is picked from the plants of the local Zhenghe Da Bai cultivar plants that are about 40 years old and grown at an altitude of around 1,000 metres. This is a top grade version, featuring a larger amount of silver tips and smaller, younger leaves. The fine picking standard and careful processing results in a smooth, refreshing taste with a sweet and creamy mouthfeel. This particular batch was harvested on 20 March 2022.
We have recently partnered with a wife and husband team who represent Chen and Zhou tea master families respectively to bring their traditional teas to our shop. The family has gardens in Wuyi Shan and in Zhenghe County of Fujian Province, as well as having gardens in Guangdong Province. They specialise in producing hand crafted artisanal teas. Compared to larger gardens and factory productions, these are made in small batches and are still made according to traditional methods passed down the generations in their families. We have a small selection from the Chen & Zhou family gardens available already with more teas (including Wuyi Oolongs) coming soon! This Ming Qian Bai Mu Dan is a particularly fine tea, but you might also be interested in trying their Ming Qian Gong Mei white tea that is a slightly later, less tippy harvest that delivers a somewhat more robust flavour.
Ming Qian Bai Mu Dan White Peony consists of one bud plus the top two leaves of the plant. Being a higher grade and earlier harvest when compared to our classic Bai Mu Dan version from Fuding, it delivers a very fine experience. The leaves utilised are much younger and are processed in a more careful fashion, preserving much more of the silver tips. These differences lead to this Ming Qian version having a much more complex flavour and mouthfeel.
This white tea has a large amount of silver buds that plenty of silver fluff, indicating careful processing and great quality of the original material. The dry leaves have a lightly vegetal aroma of freshly cut grass and produce a lightly golden liquor with a buttery aroma. The flavour is full, yet delicate. It has a sweet and creamy mouthfeel that really adds to the fullness of the taste with herbaceous, woody, lightly floral and vegetal notes. The aftertaste is clean and refreshing. This Ming Qian Bai Mu Dan has no dryness or astringency that can be present in some white tea, instead delivering a very bright and smooth experience.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste. It should 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 95°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. Of course this tea works really well for gongfu or grandpa brewing methods.