This maturely aged 牡丹王 Mǔ Dān Wáng King grade White Peony is the fine, rested scotch of white tea. Delightfully fragrant and exhilarating bud-heaviness is balanced by a dignified layered mouthfeel provided by enzyme-rich leaves from an early spring plucking grade.
Masterful white tea is made elegantly simple, yet not so easily.
Plucked, withered, and dried; just three steps comprise the craft of 白茶 bái chá. While many conscious intents go into the execution of each one of these steps, premeditated timing is the common denominator. Furthermore, as a kind of bonus fourth step to achieve its end result, the aging of white tea for potentially years after its birth allows the element of time to continue to impart its grace.
一年茶、三年药、七年宝 “one year tea, three years medicine, seven years treasure” goes the saying. Gently cresting over its 7 year threshold in march of 2022, this kingly tea is now at treasure status. Read more about the inner workings of white tea, unaged and especially aged, here.
the 王 wáng in Mu Dan Wang refers to king or supreme, while 牡丹 mǔ dān is derived from Bai Mu Dan, White Peony, arguably the most favored style of Fujianese white tea. Whereas Bai Mu Dan white tea features a slightly later harvested plucking grade of one bud, two leaves, Mu Dan Wang represents a finer, earlier grade: one bud and just one leaf, making it the in-between grade from Bai Hao Yin Zhen Silver Needles towards Bai Mu Dan.
While the capitol of white teas in the world is sure to be the coastal city of Fuding of Fujian province, we are pleased to be able to offer teas from its rival 政和 Zhenghe. 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 slightly 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 northern fujianese white teas, you must try Zhenghe county white tea!