金牡丹 (Jin Mu Dan)
Ciaqing Co-op, Zhenghe, Fujian, China
This is a unique tea grown on the Caiqing farming estates. Whilst the area is famous for its spring picked white teas including the silver needles and white peony, the Golden Peony remains one of its most heralded. Unlike most other white teas, the Golden Peony is picked in autumn’s first picking. It’s a tale of survival of the fittest. Autumn’s colder conditions generally mean less growth, but of the bushes that not only survive but thrive through this season, the Caiqing farmers know these must have something special to offer.
These standout plants yield a more concentrated sweetness. And thus, the Golden Peony was born! Coupled with their relative scarcity, this tea is highly prized and supply is frequently well short of demand each year.
Caiqing farm is situated at a low altitude of 350m+ sea level. At this altitude, weather can be warmer and more humid, creating faster growing and more full bodied tea. This creates an interesting dichotomy in white tea- while they are more subtle in flavor as a category of tea, the low lying conditions adds a rich edge. This complexity is further heightened in the Golden Peony in that it is an autumn flush.
Dry leaves: bright green leaves with silver downy shoots
Taste: fresh morning dew, nectarines, pears, lightly vegetal
Process: organically grown, withered and baked
0:40 x 4
Alternate brew methods