Sunday, September 29, 2013

Concept Teas, White Peony

Concept Teas Description:
We chose 2012 spring White Peony for you, which has been establishing own characters, with enriched aroma and less grassy tastes, during the past one year.
Early spring (around Qingming Festival) is also the best picking season for top quality White Peony while summer usually offers leaner tea leaves. With advanced gardening, tea leaves harvested during autumn are possible to make relatively high quality White Peony. Both buds and leaves are supposed to be picked up when they are still “young”. White Peony is made mostly from “one bud with one leaf” and supplemented by “one bud with two leaves”. During the process of withering, the leaf veins become red while the rest turns into gray or dark green. Silver buds being embraced by the “colorful” and naturally curly leaves, White Peony looks like the charming flower, as the name indicates.

Origin: Fuding, Fujian Province, China 
Age: 2012 spring

Sample provided by Concept Teas 

My Review:
This is the second sample I received from Concept Teas. As I opened the bag the fresh leaf aroma filled the air. It is like a fresh mowed meadow drenched in morning dew. I scooped out two bamboo spoons of leaf and examined before I put it in my press. This is the best looking white peony leaf I have seen to date.  

Some of this is silver and down covered buds as beautiful as silver needle. The remaining leaves are a mixture - some green, some gray, and some olive colored. The combination of leaf and bud is quite striking. 

I steeped this with filtered water at 175 F for 3 minutes. Most people would probably steep this at around 195 F for 6 minutes. White Peony is usually pretty forgiving, so see what works best for you. The wet leaf is caramel and earth in scent. The resulting liquor is yellow like a fine white wine.

The first thing I noticed when sipping was a slight bite in the sip. Interesting. There is no bitterness and no harsh edges. The taste is fresh hay with malty undertones. This is slightly sweet and easily drinkable. Though white peony produces a mellow cup I find this particular one very well defined with excellent depth. The sweet aftertaste stays with you long after the tea disappears. The more the cup cooled the more fruity this became. At one point it almost tasted like grapefruit.

I am very impressed with this Fujian white peony. Top notch from beginning to end. Highly recommended.

I prepared this today at 190 F with a 2 minute steep. It loses the slight bite and the malty undertones BUT it is amazingly fresh and perfect this way. This is fresh hay like leafy tasting with melon notes. In many ways it reminds me of silver needle but it retains the white peony qualities as well. 190 F makes a much better cup.

Visit Concept Teas website. 

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