Bai Mudan is one of the most prestigious white tea varieties. This highly renowned leaf is a connoisseur favorite, and also attracts foodies with its subtly fragrant notes. Here is everything you need to know about this truly unique tea.
Bai Mudan or White Peony Tea
Let’s start with a little reminder of the key characteristics of white tea. As this variety undergoes very few transformative treatments (unlike green and especially black teas), it is also the least oxidized and therefore the purest. Its young shoots and buds are carefully hand-picked just once a year. The processing phase mirrors the natural evolution of the leaves, which are handled as little as possible. This enables them to retain a maximum amount of nutriments and therefore benefits for consumers, such as a high level of antioxidants.
The name Bai Mudan literally means “white peony” in Chinese. However, it really is a natural tea, named as such for its floral fragrances and the delicate nature of the eponymous flower. The Chinese consider the peony to be the “queen of flowers,” and it often features at celebrations and other important occasions. Most of the Bai Mudan leaves are grown in the Chinese province of Fujian, located in the southeast of the country opposite the island of Taiwan.
A highly codified harvest
Some white teas are made exclusively using the buds of tea bushes, but Bai Mudan also includes the two first shoots. These are harvested in spring just before they open. The leaves present a light green color and can be recognized by the light, silvery down covering them.
Bai Mudan is particularly fresh, gentle, and velvety, featuring floral, delicately zesty notes. Its liquor is pale and the lightly woody flavor is reminiscent of chestnut and hazelnut. One big advantage is that white tea contains very little caffeine and can therefore be enjoyed throughout the day. It is generally advised to not add anything to keep its subtle flavor intact. And to preserve the fragile leaves, use simmering water (preferably mineral) at a temperature no higher than 158°F-176°F (70°C-80°C).
So, now you know everything, are you ready for a new taste experience?