The World Is a Tea Party Presents: White Teas We Have Tried Over the Years – Pai Mu Tan / Bai Mu Dan / White Peony Teas

Note: These teas were for the most part samples received from various tea vendors, some of whom are no longer in business. These reviews are presented as general information to help you in selecting ones to buy. Spring is usually the best time. And go for the best ones you can afford.

Pai Mu Tan White Tea

Dry leaves: Full leaf with fresh aroma (planty but mild, nutty, herbal quality similar to sage or thyme), no downy appearance.

A full leaf tea with a typical Pai Mu Tan appearance that is different from many white teas (no silvery downy “hairs”).

Water temp: 70-80°C
1st Infusion: 2 minutes

Peachy color, herbal/minty/grassy aroma, light flavor with a nutty/herbal quality, soothing

2nd Infusion: 2.5 minutes

Lighter color, a bit grassy/edgy flavor

Recommend: Steep either only once for 2.5 minutes or steep twice for shorter times (1.5 minute and 2 minutes)

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

White Peony (Imperial Spring) White Tea

Dry leaves: Unlike other white teas, this one is not the tight leaf buds with that silvery downy appearance. This is classified as a white tea in part because of the light liquid but also because of it being an early harvest tea.

We began by opening the pack and taking a big whiff of the aroma (fresh, slightly grassy), then carefully measuring out the tea leaves and putting them in that special dish that looks like a bedpan but is very useful. The leaves were typical of this type of tea but yet had a much fresher appearance.

Water temp: 180°F

The vendor did not have infusing instructions on his site, so we just used parameters as for other white teas.

1st Infusion: 4-7 minutes

The pale yellow liquid had a light aroma and a flavor that was fruity (melon rind) with haylike undertones and a faintly nutty aftertaste.

2nd Infusion: 4-7 minutes

Lost the hay quality and were pure fruity.

3rd Infusion: 4-7 minutes

Same as #2.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective..

Pai Mu Tan White Tea

Dry leaves: Leaf pieces are smaller than in other versions we’ve tried, more chopped up. Leaf colors are fairly typical for this style of white tea (dark green to coppery). Sweet smell like fresh-cut alfalfa.
Water temp: 175°F
1st Infusion: 4 mins.

This 1st infusion is quite remarkable. Honey-like sweetness in the aroma. Smooth, honey impression in aftertaste. Amber color.

The first infusion has a delightful honey impression in the aftertaste that actually gets a bit stronger as the liquid cools slightly. If you like the taste of honey but are allergic, this tea could be a very good one for you to try.

2nd Infusion: 4.5 mins.

The 2nd infusion not quite what we had hoped. Aroma same as #1. Still gentle flavor, honey impression gone. Amber color.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective..

Pai Mu Tan White Tea

Dry leaves: Fresh, planty aroma.
Water temp: 180°F
1st Infusion: 3 mins.

Planty, faintly flowery/smoky aroma. Planty, smoky flavor. Pale golden color.

2nd Infusion: 3 mins.

Planty, faintly flowery/smoky aroma. Planty flavor with sesame-like aftertaste. Pale golden color.

3rd Infusion: 3 mins.

Planty, faintly flowery/smoky aroma. Smooth flavor. Pale golden color.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Bai Mu Dan White Tea

Dry leaves: Fresh mown alfalfa with nutty quality aroma.

Contains stems, broken pieces, and even some small whole leaves. Rather crushed up compared with other versions we have tried.

Water temp: 167°F
1st Infusion: 2 mins.

Faint sweetness in the aroma. Mild, hay-like, faint sweet cumin-like character in the flavor. Pale orangey gold color.

2nd Infusion: 2.5 mins.

Mild candy-like sweetness in the aroma. Mild, not as hay-like or cumin-like flavor. Darker orangey gold color.

3rd Infusion: 3 mins.

Faint aroma. Faded flavor. Pale orangey gold color. Even so, we find this a satisfying tea.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

As with a number of other teas, our taste experience differed from the vendor’s description:

  • Them: Smooth and mellow, it is cucumber fresh with soft fruit notes and a lingering, sweet aftertaste.
  • Us: Mild, hay-like, with 1st infusion having a mysteriously cumin-like sweetness. (We even brought out our jar of cumin-seed to compare.)

This tea won an award in 2009, but hopefully the judging of teas has improved over the years.

White Peony White Tea

Dry leaves: Raisiny, apricotty, nutty aroma. Mostly whole pieces. A large tea leaf tea, so even if you prefer bagged teas, be bold and try some of this infused loose. You will find the bit of effort well worth it.
Water temp: 175˚ F
1st Infusion: 2 minutes

Planty, mild, not bitter, aromas not present

2nd Infusion: 2 minutes

Slight tang, still mild, not bitter

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective..

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