TeaVivre's certified organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) tea is farmed and produced at Mt. Taimu using DaBai and DaHao tea trees. After brewing it has a pale orange-yellow color like our Silver Needle tea, however it has a slightly fuller flavor. Like Silver Needle, it is renowned for its health benefits, helping reduce the risk of heart attacks, some cancers and reducing the affects of aging.
Ingredients: Organic Bai Mu Dan
Leaf Type: White
Where to Purchase:
Organically grown at Mt. Taimu(太姥山), Fuding, Fujian, China
Harvest Time: April 5 - April 10, 2012
Organic Certifications: Independently verified to meet USDA, EU, JAS organic certifications.
Suggested Brewing Tips:
Serving Size: 2-3 teaspoons (10g) per 8oz serving
Water Temp: 194°
Steep Time: 3 steeps: 1m, 2m, 3m
TeaVivre also provides brewing instructions for using a 3 oz Gaiwan. In case you aren't familiar with what a Gaiwan is, it is a Chinese lidded bowl used for brewing and drinking tea. I can't go into Gaiwan style brewing much yet because it isn't a style I am overly familiar with, I typically brew western style in a tea pot.
Serving Size: 7g
Water Temp: 194°
Steep Time: 5 steeps: rinse, 25s, 45s, 1m10s, 1m40s, 2m30s
Thanks again go to Angel at TeaVivre for providing me with these samples. She was very generous in what she sent me and I am glad that she included three samples of this particular tea. When I first sat down to review it several weeks ago it was during the height of allergy season and since I suffer from several seasonal allergies it made it a bad time to try and review tea. My first three steeps unfortunately sat in the fridge for a while after I discovered that I couldn't really taste anything because my head was so stuffy. Several weeks later I'm back to reviewing tea and down to just the sniffles. It's a good thing that I had two samples left to try, thanks Angel!
The first thing to note about this tea is that the instructions state that it takes 2-3 teaspoons per 8 oz, rather than the 1 teaspoon that I find to be typical of many teas. I just wanted to note this because I almost overlooked it the first time around (note to self: always read instructions carefully!)
This is another tea that may be easier to weigh with a scale rather than use a teaspoon for measurement. The tea leaves are very fluffy and difficult to measure accurately with a teaspoon.
For this review I prepared this tea western style in a ceramic tea pot. I used 10 grams of tea and prepared 3 steeps at 1m, 2m, and 3m. I wouldn't suggest steeping much more than three times, the tea looses most of its flavor after the third steep.
My first steep was a very pale yellow color. There was a slightly sweet yet mild vegetal flavor, but I didn't seem to get much of the peony flavor that I was expecting. That all changed on my second steep, the aroma and scent from this steep was lightly floral and the color deepened to a golden yellow. It was this steep where I can really taste the floral flavors from the peony, although they are still very subtle. One thing that I enjoy most about white tea are the subtle flavors that emerge around the second steep, although with this particular tea I had trouble distinguishing the flavors that emerged. I was left with a vague sweet floral impression and this steep was noticeably sweeter than the others. With the third steep the tea headed back towards tasting vegetal, losing the floral flavors that I enjoy most about this tea.
I have an overwhelming need to play around with my tea in an effort to find my perfect cup. With my last sample packet I increased my initial steep time to 1m30s, the second steep stayed at 2m and third steep was 2m30s. I found that the flavor was much more enjoyable for me that way. My first steep ended up with a less subtle flavor, my second steep stayed just how I like it, and the third steep still had a stronger vegetal taste than I enjoy.
In the end, I enjoyed the Organic White Peony, however, it has never been counted among my favorite white teas. I tend to find that the flavors are more subtle than I care for, but it is a great tea to drink on occasion.
Would I order this again? Possibly. I enjoy this tea, but it has the tendency to set off my allergies, especially in the late spring/early summer.
In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that this sample was provided to me free of charge by TeaVivre for my review. As always, all opinions are my own. If you are a company and would like to send me an item for review feel free to drop me an email.