The many-dimensioned world of white tea proves to keep us inspired as we travel back in time and down the grade of the spring pluck. This time we have a tea from 2014 in the 贡眉 Gòng méi style plucking grade, meaning one bud with 2-3 leaves down are harvested as a set, giving this tea a balance of fragrance (buds) and mouthfeel (leaves further down the stem).
Because of the full-spectrum amount of enzymes retained in the leaves of white tea after withering and drying, white tea is a prime candidate for experiencing the effects of aging. The enzymes will slowly oxidize the leaves, transforming the tea's constituents as well as the experience in the cup. Read more about this on our blog.
Expect an elegant delivery of smooth, thick, and refreshing textures through a rich hued tea liquor. Exalted fragrances can be sipped and exhaled through the nose as pleasantly as its liquid coats the throat and jowls. Makes an excellent gong fu tea as well as boiled tea companion, as a good lao bai cha should.
Depending on who you ask, Gong Mei (translation: 'Tribute Eyebrow') can be associated with a specific cultivar. Our producers in Zhenghe see Gong Mei as a plucking grade and use the 政和大白 Zhenghe Dà bái cultivar grown at around 800 meters in the 镇前 Zhen Qian growing region of Zhenghe county. Because of this association it wouldn't be uncommon to find other tea producers marketing this tea as a Bai Mu Dan. This tea was plucked in April of 2014, and has reached treasure status if you abide by the aged white tea marketing slogan 一年茶, 三年药, 七年宝 “one year tea, three years medicine, seven years treasure”
On Zhenghe White Teas:
While the capitol of white teas in the world is sure to be the coastal city of Fuding, we are pleased to be able to offer teas from Zhenghe, sure to be its rival. Zhenghe shares the same government district of Nanping with the iconic and legendary post-volcanic mountainous region of Wuyishan. The average elevation of Zhenghe is 200 meters higher than Fuding, and as such the leaves grow slower; their average harvest date is later.
While Fuding white tea production takes advantage of earlier seasonal sunshine for withering, Zhenghe’s later production time-frame bookends the onset of monsoon season, necessitating producers to use partial indoor-outdoor withering methods with less direct, more passive light. Leaves can often oxidize at slower rates and lower temperatures, resulting in a more robust and sweeter profile. If you like Eastern Chinese style white teas, you must try Zhenghe teas.