Bai Mu Dan White Peony Mini Cakes (白牡丹小饼) is a balanced white tea that comes pressed into mini 5g individual serving cakes sourced directly from our producer in Fuding, Fujian Province. It is grown in a fully organic tea garden at an altitude of 800-900m. The small cakes unfurl slowly, releasing light yet flavoursome liquor over multiple infusions. This particular batch was picked and pressed in April 2020.
This Bai Mu Dan 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 mostly consists of one bud plus the top two leaves of the plant. 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 over the lighter and more refined white teas made exclusively from tips.
The Bai Mu Dan name of this tea refers to Bai Mu Dan (白牡丹), which roughly translates as ‘white peony’. It was pressed into mini cakes, which makes it convenient for single serve brewing. The cakes are roughly 4-6g in size so perfect for brewing in a gaiwan or a small pot. The cakes are individually wrapped in paper and will store well. This tea also should age quite well.
The small cakes have an attractive colour to the leaf, which is a classic appearance for Bai Mu Dan teas. When brewed, it is possible to tell that these cakes consist of larger leaves as well as tips, which results in a bolder flavour. The liquor has a vegetal profile with herbaceous and woody notes with lightly floral top notes. The aftertaste is clean but lasting with no astringency but with a slight dryness present.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for around 3-5 minutes according to your taste. Some of the cakes are more densely compressed so will take a while to open up. The best way to brew this tea is to use clear glass tea ware. This way you can see the cakes opening up and monitor the brewing. Generally we find the first infusion needs up to 5 minutes to open up the cake. Further infusions can be much shorter, 2-3 minutes. Brew until the leaves are completely separated and no flavour is left; up to 3 or more times depending on the brewing method and vessel.