Organic White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) White Tea from TeaVivre

For those of you who did not see the photographic evidence that I posted to my social networks late last evening, I have officially completed the organization of all of my tea samples! This was a huge victory for me, as the various boxes were really stacking up in my storage room, and thus causing me anxiety every time I opened the door to this room. But, that is no longer a problem, and all samples are sorted by country of origin. I would have preferred to organize by region, but I ran out of boxes. Oh well. Here is the photo of my “organized” tea samples.

Organized Tea Samples
Organized Tea Samples

Again, I found many good samples that had been lost in the chaos. As someone who has recently made huge changes to dieting and lifestyle, I have been focusing more specifically on organic products in general, including tea. I was excited to find several organic tea samples, including this Organic White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) from TeaVivre. If you are passionate about organic products, and want to try a light and satisfying white tea, visit the TeaVivre homepage! You can get 1.75 ounces (50 grams) of Organic White Peony Tea for $10.90. TeaVivre has a large variety of fresh, natural, and high quality Chinese teas, many of which are organic! There are many tea retailers out there offering Chinese teas, but few have the assortment that TeaVivre offers.

This Organic White Peony Tea comes from Mount Taimu, Fuding County, Fujian Province, in eastern China. Fuding is very highly respected for the white tea produced here, especially the White Peony and Silver Needle teas. The difference between White Peony and Silver Needle white teas is quite simple. White Peony uses a two leaf and bud pluck. Silver Needle is usually a very fine unopened leaf enveloping a fresh tea bud. This Organic White Peony from TeaVivre is produced using leaves harvested from the Da Bai (Large White) and Da Hao (Large Hair) cultivar tea bushes.

The sample packet has been opened, and a sweet, floral, and robust scent is escaping the packet. Let the journey begin…

Organic White Peony Bai Mu Dan Tea Dry Leaves
Organic White Peony Bai Mu Dan Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves range in color from bright green to forest green, and light brown to dark brown, with some of the leaves being covered in fine silver downy-like hairs. The buds appear white from the abundance of silver hairs, and are needle shaped. The thin stems are dark brown. The pluck is two fine leaves and a long bud. The leaves have a smooth, light, and crisp texture. Many of the leaves are whole, but the majority are medium to large fragments. Considering the small sample packets that the leaves were packed into, I would expect the leaves to arrive in better condition if purchased in the retail quantity and packaging. Many of the leaves and buds are detached from the stems, but there are no bare stems in the mix. The smell carries scents of hay, tea roses, dried cherry, dark honey, and light burgundy wine.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 185°F (85°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 185°F (85°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 minutes. Expect three quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves. Add 30 seconds to each subsequent infusion.

Organic White Peony Bai Mu Dan Tea Infusion
Organic White Peony Bai Mu Dan Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright, pale golden-yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma carries scents of hay, dandelion, light honey, lemon, and cedar wood. The body is light-medium, with a surprisingly round and robust texture. The taste has notes of hay, dandelion, lemon, cedar wood, light honey, and burgundy wine. The aftertaste carries the hay, lemon, and burgundy notes. There is a moderate level of astringency. Overall, this is a very nicely rounded white tea!

Organic White Peony Bai Mu Dan Tea Infused Leaves
Organic White Peony Bai Mu Dan Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a fairly uniform fresh forest green color, with the buds being slightly lighter green, and the stems light brown. The leaves are mostly medium to large fragments, with some whole leaves in the mix. The buds are all whole, with an average length of about 1 inch (25 mm). The stems show a pluck of two leaves and a bud. The leaves all have a soft, smooth, fairly delicate texture. The smell carries scents of hay, dandelion, wood, and light burgundy wine.

The Organic White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) Tea from TeaVivre is a good quality, organic, and reasonably priced white tea. More robust and flavorful than the Silver Needle styles of white tea, this Organic White Peony has much to offer in terms of aroma and taste over at least three infusions. With caffeine levels high enough to keep your eyes open, but low enough to not hinder sleep, this is a great tea to enjoy at any time during the day or evening, unless you are very sensitive to caffeine. This is a good every day use type of white tea, inexpensive compared to Silver Needle, and consistent through multiple infusions. Click Here to go to the TeaVivre website, and find the Organic White Peony under the White – Organic category.

Thanks to Angel at TeaVivre for supplying this sample of Organic White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) Tea. Cheers!

Advertisements

Bai Hao Yin Zhen White Tea from Hunan Xiangfeng Tea Industry Co. Ltd.

On the evening of September 4th of 2013, my journey through the world of tea tasting took me to the Fuding region, in the Fujian Province of China. This particular sample of Bai Hao Yin Zhen White Tea was provided by the Hunan Xiangfeng Tea Industry Co. Ltd.

Bai Hao Yin Zhen,  more commonly referred to as Silver Needle white tea, is the highest grade of Chinese white tea. This tea is comprised entirely of fresh buds from the tea bush. The buds are picked in late morning, once the sun has burned off the morning dew. Traditionally, the plucked buds are laid in a basket and allowed to wilt in the sun, then are bake dried at a low temperature to kill any enzymatic and chemical activity. This low level of processing allows the buds to retain downy-like hairs, which are easily seen and felt on the pre-infused buds. It has also been suggested that this low level of processing allows white tea to retain high levels of antioxidant content.

Now that we have established a ground level knowledge of white teas, let the journey begin…

Date: 09/04/2013

Product Name: Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle)

Purchased From: Hunan Xiangfeng Tea Industry Co. Ltd.

Origin: Fuding region, Fujian Province, China.

Type of Tea: Chinese White Tea

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

image

Aroma: Fresh, floral (jasmine and orchid).

Dryness: Mildly dry. Buds crack, but do not crumble.

Color: Light to fresh green, many silver buds. White hairs cover buds.

Texture: Smooth and soft buds. Downy-like hairs cover buds. No rigidity whatsoever.

Size, Shape, Length: Fairly uniform length averaging 1 inch (25.4mm). Fairly uniform needle shape to buds. Low level of breakage (under 50%).

Unique Characteristics: Soft white hairs. Almost entirely comprised of buds. Has a fresh picked, very lightly processed look and feel, and a fresh aroma.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water: 30 ounces (887 ml)

Amount of Tea: 15 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 175ºF (79.4ºC)

Infusion Time: 2 Minutes and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Floral (orchids and jasmine), fresh.

Color: Pale light yellow. Clear. Transparent. Like the color of champagne.

Taste: Fresh, floral notes of orchid and light jasmine. Light fruity note like a fresh apple. Smooth, refreshing mouthfeel. Fresh and light aftertaste.

Comments: A fresh and flowery first infusion that has a refreshing effect. A light taste that is sure to please all levels of tea drinkers.

Second Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 175ºF (79.4ºC)

Infusion Time: 2 Minutes and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Flowery, fresh. Orchid scent more apparent than jasmine.

Color: Pale yellow to light gold. Darker than the first infusion. Clear. Transparent. Like the color of champagne.

Taste: Fresh, flowery. Floral notes of orchid and jasmine. Light fruity note of a fresh apple. Body is slightly fuller than the 1st infusion. Smooth and refreshing mouthfeel. Light and pleasant aftertaste.

Comments: Definitely no reduction is taste, and perhaps may have had a slightly stronger taste than the 1st infusion. Great 2nd infusion.

Third Infusion:

image

Water Temperature: 175ºF (79.4ºC)

Infusion Time: 2 Minutes and 0 seconds.

Aroma: Fresh, flowery. Floral scent of jasmine more apparent than orchid.

Color: Pale yellow to light gold. About the same as the 2nd infusion. Champagne like.

Taste: Fresh, flowery. Floral notes of orchid and jasmine. Light fruity note like a fresh apple. Smooth and refreshing mouthfeel and aftertaste.

Comments: No noticeable difference between the 2nd and 3rd infusions. Still a very high quality aroma and taste.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

image

Aroma: Flowery (jasmine and orchid).

Color: Fairly uniform fresh green buds and brown stems.

Size, Shape: Fairly uniform length averaging 1 inch (25.4 mm). Fairly uniform shape of bud only. Low level of breakage. Mostly fully intact buds with short stem attached. Obviously hand picked.

Unique Characteristics: Fresh flowery smell. Very high percentage of full buds, low level of breakage.

Final Comments: This is a perfect type of tea to serve to a tea drinking beginner, as the taste is quite delicate and fresh with no bitterness or astringency. There are no negative qualities to the taste or aroma of this tea. In addition to the agreeable taste, the supposed health benefits are also attractive. This was a good quality silver needle white tea that produced a good taste through all three infusions, and I recommend it to tea drinkers of all levels.

Thank you for taking your time to read this review. Please leave a comment and start a discussion.