This was another of my October sipdowns. I think I finished my 50g pouch of this tea back around the start of the fourth week in the month. This may come as a shock to some of you, but I would honestly place this as perhaps the best Fuding Bai Mu Dan I have tried to this point. I, of course, have not tried a tremendous number of such teas in recent years, but I have had some nice ones over the course of the year, and of the ones I have tried, this one ended up being my favorite. That is saying something too considering that several of the others I tried were also excellent.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse (about 10 seconds), I steeped 6 grams of the loose leaf and bud mix in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf and bud mix produced aromas of pine, honey, sugarcane, straw, and almond. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of peanut, hay, and cucumber. The first infusion then introduced a scent of butter. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered up notes of pine, straw, hay, butter, almond, and sugarcane that were chased by hints of cream and peanut. The bulk of the subsequent infusions introduced soft peony and cream aromas as well as scents of lemon zest, malt, and basil. Stronger cream and peanut notes appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging cucumber notes, slightly spicy, peony-like floral impressions, and notes of minerals, lemon zest, zucchini, honeydew, nectar, malt, oats, and apricot. I also noted some subtle basil, chamomile, and thyme notes that lent a cooling quality to each swallow, lingering in the mouth afterwards. By the time I got to the end of the session, the tea liquor was mostly washed out and was also beginning to display mild astringency, though I was still able to pick up on notes of minerals, cucumber, cream, hay, straw, and pine that were chased by fleeting hints of butter, malt, chamomile, basil, and lemon zest.
This was such a fun, quirky, and satisfying white tea. It was very approachable, though it also displayed tremendous depth, complexity, and longevity. I should also note that I found the mouthfeel of the tea liquor to be consistently appealing. Aside from the little bit of astringency that emerged on the lengthier final infusions, I really do not have any complaints with this tea. I think fans of Bai Mu Dan and those who are curious about Fuding white teas would be tremendously pleased with this tea and recommend it without any hesitation.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeydew, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Nectar, Oats, Peanut, Pine, Straw, Sugarcane, Thyme, Zucchini