Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Rishi Tea
White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) is the most common style of traditional white tea and consists of two tealeaves and a silvery bud. Bai Mu Dan is prized for its smooth, sweet flavor and slightly woody, toasted aroma. Gentle processing and a unique withering process result in an amber-orange infusion with low astringency, weighty mouth-feel and a mild flavor that pairs well with most foods.
Several years ago, I wasn’t really “hip” to white tea. I had tried a few, and the few that I had tried were very delicate in taste, almost to the point of tasting a bit like a cup of hot water that’s been slightly tinted. I could find very little flavor in the big, silvery tea leaves covered in snowy fuzz.
Then I started playing around with brewing times and temperatures. And I found that when I would brew a white tea at a lower temperature (around 165°F) and for a longer period of time (about 4 minutes) – I would extract a good deal of flavor out of the white tea – and I fell in love with it!
White Peony – also known as Bai Mu Dan – is one of the more popular varieties of white teas. Despite the name (Bai Mu Dan means White Peony in Chinese) this is not a floral scented or flavored tea. It has a very smooth and sweet flavor that has a gentle vegetative quality to it. Not harsh or grassy, the vegetative note is very pleasant, tasting a bit like roasted asparagus – but softer. There are hints of wood and nut to it as well as a very delicate floral note in the finish. It leaves a very luxurious feel in the mouth, very silky!
This tea is absolutely delightful. Because I brew it at such a low temperature, it’s a very nice tea to enjoy even on a warm summer afternoon.