2013 Shou Mei White Tea Cake from Fuding

Tea type
White Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Eucalyptus, Herbs, Honey, Musty, Wet Earth, Alcohol, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Berries, Bitter, Blackberry, Burnt Food, Creamy, Forest Floor, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grapes, Herbaceous, Molasses, Peat, Pine, Roasted nuts, Sour, Spices, Sweet, Tannic, Tart, Thick, Wood, Yeast
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 oz / 135 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Disclaimers: This is my first shou mei tasting so I have no basis for comparison. I am only starting to expand my tastings into white teas. Steep amounts: 5.4 grams tea / 150ml water @ ~185 deg...” Read full tasting note
    74
  • “Given the price, this shou mei is a steal. Don’t miss out on it! It’s such a comforting and characterful brew, I am in awe. The liquor colours are much darker than in the pictures, at least in the...” Read full tasting note
    89

From Yunnan Sourcing

Shou Mei (寿眉) is a style of White Tea that is grown in the Fuding area of Fujian province of China. The tea is the same varietal that is used to make Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needles) and Bai Mu Dan (White Peony), but Shou Mei is (less tippy) a 2 or 3 leaf to 1 bud ratio. The processing style also allows for more oxidation through natural air drying.

Our Shou Mei was aged as a loose leaf tea for 2 years in Fuding and then for 3 years in Kunming before being pressed into a cake. The result is a lightly aged, but very clean Shou Mei that brews up an incredibly rich orange hued tea soup. The taste is very sweet with notes of honey, and dried fruit. Incredibly viscous and smooth, with no real astringency at all (even at higher temperatures). This is a tea that can be enjoyed fully right now. Further aging would be beneficial but is not at all needed.

100 Grams per cake (7 cakes per bamboo leaf tong)

May 2013 Harvest, June 10th 2018 pressing

We also have some Aged Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Dragon Balls from the same material!

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2 Tasting Notes

74
35 tasting notes

Disclaimers:
This is my first shou mei tasting so I have no basis for comparison.
I am only starting to expand my tastings into white teas.

Steep amounts: 5.4 grams tea / 150ml water @ ~185 deg F
Steep times: 15s, 30, 45, 60, 90, etc.

The cake seems lightly compressed, so it was easy to pry out the amount I need.
Color: The color starts a light yellow gold and goes to a deep amber red at the longer steeps.

Wet leaf: The wet leaves definitely have a strong vegetal undertone, which are coupled with mint (on the first steep), medicinal herbs (on #2), honey (#3), and earth (#4) with subsequent steeps.

Tea aroma: It was hard for me to really distinguish any separate smells from the liquid. There was a damp/musty scent coupled with medicinal herbs. It could have been me — allergy season is rife this time of year.

Tea broth: This tea reminds me of a honey lozenge (similar to a Manuka honey lozenge). The tea starts off very clean with a slight honey sweetness but there’s an underlying tone of herbal medicine (specifically reminds me of all the Chinese herb shops I went into as a kid with my family) and eucalyptus.

This tea starts off very clean and has a good mouth feel with a mild viscosity. The broth is very silky in feel. It never seems to get astringent or bitter, which is why I pushed out the brew times by 15 seconds on each steep. There’s a slight dryness in the throat after drinking it, and a very slight tingling on the tongue by steep #3. Overall, this is a very easy tea to drink. There’s a complexity and balance that I like in my teas.

Do I like it? I’m not wholly sure. The flavor profile is not one I might go for on a regular basis, but I would drink this tea. It warrants additional tastings for me to make a decision.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Herbs, Honey, Musty, Wet Earth

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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89
357 tasting notes

Given the price, this shou mei is a steal. Don’t miss out on it! It’s such a comforting and characterful brew, I am in awe. The liquor colours are much darker than in the pictures, at least in the way I brew it. They range from dark orange to red/burgundy for the heavier steeps.

The aromas are a mix of fermented fruits (especially federweisser) and earthy ones (peat and autumn leaf pile especially). The liquor is full-bodied and has quite a complex taste and yet it’s so easy to drink. You can really push this tea and it never gets unpleasantly bitter or astringent, just stronger. If you want a tea that’s impossible to mess up, look no further.

There are flavours of wild blackberry, black grapes, forest floor, sourdough bread and alcohol, as well as many other ones I am sure. Overall, the taste well balanced between fruity and earthy and between sweet and sour. The aftertaste is also strong and very tart. Over time, it shows some underlying spiciness that stays in the throat for a long time together with a pine note that emerges. The infusions that I left to brew for a long time also display some herbal character. The mouthfeel is great too. It is thick, creamy and silky with a light powdery feeling.

Highly recommended, especially at its current price.

One last thing I note is that it seems to have quite a lot of caffeine and the feeling is rushy, which is not great, but only a minor flaw for me.

edit: The last infusion, simmered for half an hour, is very different. Notes of roasted nuts, burnt bread crust and grapefruit, strong tannins that I can feel all the way down my throat, powdery, strong and bitter aftertaste that evolves into a sweet woody one, it’s all there.

Flavors: Alcohol, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Berries, Bitter, Blackberry, Burnt Food, Creamy, Forest Floor, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grapes, Herbaceous, Molasses, Musty, Peat, Pine, Roasted nuts, Sour, Spices, Sweet, Tannic, Tart, Thick, Wet Earth, Wood, Yeast

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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