Zheng Ming Brand, Zhenghe, Fujian, China
This well aged White Peony is a prime example of what Pai Mu Dan cakes are meant to be about. By this stage, the flavour has completed its metamorphosis from young stone fruit and floral notes into the sheng pu-erh-esque eucalypt and dried apricot mellow. This is a showcasing of the famed ageing ability of this Zhenghe pai mu dan sub-varietal.
The value of this cake will continue to rise as connoisseurs clamber to get their hands on it. In China already, this tea is not easily available in the trading circuits as taste zealots keep it behind locked cabinets savoured only for special occasions. Speculators on the other hand, are shrewdly hanging on until the price reaches its full peak before releasing back to the market.
Note that it is possible to “cook” the tea leaves for latter infusions. See below.
Dry leaf: a compressed disc of green and auburn leaves and plentiful white downy buds.
Taste: dried apricots, prunes, light menthol
Process: sun-withered, sun-dried, compressed
Storage: Keep in dry, cool, dim place. Once opened, can transfer to clay caddies.
- Warm a 125ml gai wan or Yixing pot with water just off the boil
- Add 8-10g of tea and rinse the leaves
- Brew using 90C water for 15 seconds
- Infuse 4 times
- After fourth gai wan infusion, you can do subsequent infusions using the “cooking” method. Bring 300ml water in a saucepan to a simmer and add used leaves. Bring that to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Strain and serve.