Anyone who has had a white tea with some significant age to it will tell you, it’s certainly nothing like the poster-child White Peony (Bai Mu Dan). Although, none of us are ever the same with time, and why would we expect the same of our teas?
Change is good, and if the global fascination and obsession with these teas tells us anything, it’s that aged whites are truly a gem worth savouring.
As the liquors thick, soft, and fluffy body hits the tongue, notes of raspberry and various tart fruits spread through the mouth in accompaniment to a tangy blueberry leaf herbal character. As the flavour transforms in the mouth, florals and a sweet, earthy, soft medicinal aroma fills the senses. At moments, a briskness and subtle mellow tannic nature often bringing one to wonder;
“What am I actually drinking?”
This tea straddles the line, being now 20 years old, the absence of a kill green process has allowed for this teas slow oxidation over the decades, bringing about qualities of red tea to intermingle with its younger character that still holds tight.
Two decades of careful storage has allowed for subtle hints of post fermentation that introduces a smoothness amidst a darker nature nestled into deeper flavours of earth, and antique medicines; typical of fermented teas. These notes are accompanied by various herbals, fruits, and florals that dance about the tea’s incredibly full, soft, and velvety mouthfeel.
As the session progresses, the fruitiness and tartness dissipates, giving way to a smooth, dark, herbal, brew that reminds so powerfully of forest floor and undergrowth. The perfect example of how this tea lives neither here nor there, defined by its long, patient life.
Is it a white tea? A Red Tea? Or is it a Dark Tea? Why don’t you decide?