Monday, March 3, 2014
Verdant Tea, Bai Mu Dan White Tea
This Bai Mudan is a pre-Qing Ming Spring 2013 harvest from Fuding, the most famous white tea growing region in China. Hand picked and quickly processed to lock in the “fresh from the field” taste that fine white tea preserves, this beautiful tea is one of the most complex and nuanced white teas we have ever tried. Made from a mixture of silver needle white buds and young green leaves, this tea achieves a balance and fully engages the palate in a way that traditional silver needle often struggles to provide.
One look at this one and it was obvious there was silver needle buds mixed in with the leaf. It is a beautiful looking tea with hairy silver buds and various shades of wilted looking green leaf just waiting to be revived in the water. I forgot to sniff the dry leaf but I do recall it looking very fresh.
For the first cup I went with 175 F water and a one minute steep, following the low end of Verdant's recommendation for western brewing. The cup was light golden in color. The wet leaf scent was melon and a fruity aroma I couldn't identify.
I tend to love white teas. Sure, they tend to be subtle but there is usually a great deal of depth to the cup if you slow down and notice. So far my experience with Verdant has been very good. They have consistently delivered a quality cup of tea. Even the teas that have been a little outside my comfort zone have been interesting experiences. This cup of Bai Mudan is just not grabbing me. Why am I not amazed? Hmmm. The first cup is too light and lacks definition.
Back to the drawing board. I researched my favorite experience with Bai Mu Dan (from Concept Teas) to see what I might have done differently. Apparently, I used 200 F water and a Two minute steep. To the tea kettle! Key theme music and spinning cup.
Ah yes, this greatly improved the cup. It is now feels creamy and vanilla like and tastes strongly of almond. Very nice. While still not my favorite Bai Mudan, it was much improved simply by using different parameters.
Visit the Verdant Tea website.