Monday, March 15, 2021

Tea Review: White Peony Cake (Serene Tea)

2015 White Peony White Tea Cake
Serene Tea
Type: White
Origin: China, Fujian Province, Fuding
Product Description:
Aged for 5 years now, White Peony is the second grade of white tea and it is a high quality delicacy itself. Unlike aged Shou Mei with big twigs and big leaves, White Peony has more buds and small young leaves, hence its aroma is more herbal and floral-like compare to Shou Mei. This aged white tea can also be steeped through decoction with aged Shou Mei (see brewing instruction below) and bring an astonishing taste note unlike any other aged tea. It also holds a high collecting value since its aroma and taste will evolve with time. 

A popular local saying in Fu Jian is ‘one-year-old white tea is only tea, three-year-old is medicinal herb and seven-year-old is treasure’. Similar to Pu Er, the aromatic compounds of white tea change with time and polyphenols (known for antioxidant properties) increase with time giving this tea a high collecting value because even more changes occur as time goes by enhancing the aroma and nutritional value.
Temperature: 195° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 3-5 minutes

The dry leaves have a sweet aroma with notes of seasoned wood and nut shells.

The golden liquor has a sweet aroma with notes of sweet pea flowers, green vine, and something that reminded me of buttermints.

This tea performs beautifully when prepared gongfu-style (small teapot, larger portion of leaves) and was also flavorful and aromatic when prepared more casually with 3 grams (approximately 1 heaping teaspoon) of leaves at the lower temperature of 195° F.  It's very forgiving for those of us who tend to get distracted and leave our tea steeping.  While the first, third, and subsequent infusions handled longer steeps nicely, I found that the bolder second infusion performed better with a slightly shorter steeping time (3-4 minutes when prepared with 195° F water).

This tea was purchased by me.

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