Silken Dream 2016 - 50g aged white tea cake - Fujian
The Da Bai 大白 (Big White) group of tea cultivars are used to produce white tea in Fujian. Tea in Fujian is divided into grades of leaves, Bai Hao Yin Zhen 白毫银针 (White Hair Silver Needle), Bai Mu Dan 白牡丹 (White Peony), and Shou Mei 寿眉 (Longevity Eyebrow). Shou Mei is sometimes referred to as a low grade tea. In actual fact, tea produced into Shou Mei are lower cost as the teas include pickings of up to the 4 and 5th leaf and throughout the growing season, which produces larger yields. Bai Hao Yin Zhen and Bai Mu Dan are only spring bud pickings.
Pressing white tea into cakes for aging has gained popularity since the early 2000s. As a white tea, the most significant characteristic of Shou Mei is it has less processing, including no high heating, which allows the leaves to retain the ability to oxidize and age over time. Over time the leaves loose astringency and gain a mellow, round flavour, similar to caramelized honey and stone fruit. If allowed to brew for a long time, the infusion darkens over time.
This cake infuses golden amber in colour with a smooth sweet liquor with notes of raisin and dried stone fruit. Almost no astringency, and a long lingering finish.
Fuding, Fujian, China
Cultivar: Da Bai 大白, 30-100m
Tea Maker: Fuding Fang Ming Tea Company
Steeping: 5 g per 250 mL at 95ºC for 5 min. Re-steep at 90ºC for 3 min, and continue until out of flavour.
ingredients: aged white tea