Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Life in Teacup
Production Year – 2009
Production Season – Spring
Production Region – Fujian
I have not tried many Shou Mei teas, because when it comes to white teas, Shou Mei just isn’t as popular as Bai Mu Dan or Silver Needle varieties. And while it tends to be considered a “lower grade” of white tea, I appreciate that it has a stronger flavor than those of a higher grade, while still maintaining many of the flavor characteristics that I enjoy about white tea.
Of those few that I’ve had the opportunity to try, this Shou Mei from Life in Teacup is one of the best. The leaves are large and fuzzy, and range in color from silvery (the color of the fuzz), to green to light brown.
The flavor of the liquor is very pleasing. It starts out sweet, maintaining that sweet profile throughout the sip, and it lingers long into the aftertaste. Notes of fruit and flower weave their way in and out throughout the sip. Fruit wise, I notice hints of apple and peach.
The mouthfeel is soft and smooth and thicker than one might expect from a white tea. It has a mild brothy kind of quality to it, but it’s a sweet rather than savory brothy. There is very little astringency to this cup. The finish is sweet and dry. More than any other white tea, I would liken a good Shou Mei to a fine dry white wine.
I like to sip on white teas later in the day, because even though the evidence is inconclusive on whether or not white tea is lower in caffeine than other types of Camellia Sinensis, they seem lighter to me and seem to soothe me and help me relax more than a green or black tea can. And this tea is certainly calming my spirits this evening!