$7.50 – $60.00
The 寿眉 Shòu méi style features the most leaf heavy plucking grade there is for the white tea class. More leaf mass not only equals more body and juice in the mouthfeel, but also more enzymes that will layers/complexity to the brew as it slowly oxidizes and ages.
Our 2010 Shou Mei has been a hit, so we wanted to feature the same type of tea but without the age (or high price tag) for those curious to see what the Shou Mei style is all about before it gets to it's prized destination of more full oxidation. The grade features one bud and up to 3-4 leaves to a pluck, so the tea plants often wait until late April / early May to be harvested. The family that produces our Shou Mei does not harvest the buds off the plants for other teas ahead of time, as is common in Shou Mei production.
One of the virtues of aged shou mei is its adaptability to all kinds of brewing parameter modifications: leaf quantity, water temperature, brewing vessel size, steep time length; not to mention the seemingly endless amount of infusions it can yield. Indeed this tea excels in nearly any brewing environment: from the gong fu table, the grandpa-style glass, the raised tea bowl, to the stove top as a refreshing boiled lao bai cha.
This tea was grown in the Zhen Qian growing area of Zhenghe County at around 800 meters above sea level, using the 政和大白 Zhenghe Dà bái cultivar, harvested in late April of 2017.
More on Zhenghe:
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 Fujian style white teas, you must try Zhenghe teas.
Other white teas from the same family: