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White Peony Tea Cake (白牡丹 )

Region: Taimu Mountain, Fujian, China

Other Names:Bai Mu Dan, Pai Mu Dan, Bai Mudan, bái mǔ dān

White Peony is named for its special shape because some say the dry teas leaves resemble a blooming White Peony Flower.  The two tender, plump, lichen colored leaves, rich with white hairs and naturally curled from withering embrace a white, downy tender bud.  The steeped tea leaves are shallow grey-green in color with reddish veins.

Our White Peony is processed in a similar way to all of our other delicious white teas-- without the using steam or high-temperature pan frying or baking during its production.  PeLi Teas White Peony dries to its natural shape without undergoing any shaping or rolling.  Our White Peony’s natural processing helps to preserve the tea’s natural polypheonols and anti-oxidants.

The cultivars used to produce PeLi Teas White Peony tea is either Fuding DaBai or Fuding DaHao. These two Chinese recognized cultivars were carefully chosen, improved and approved for planting by Chinese tea authorities.  White Peony is plucked only during the spring season.  White Peony is made with two plump, tender leaves of similar length covered with white fuzzy hair embracing one delicate downy bud.

After the white tea is plucked, our skilled tea masters place the tea thinly and evenly on bamboo trays where the tea goes through withering and weather permitting is naturally sun dried until it is approximately 70% dried.  If the outside air is too moist or cool, withering and drying takes place indoors on bamboo trays at low temperatures in a properly ventilated area. 

After withering and initial drying, every two bamboo trays of the tea are combined onto one bamboo tray until the tea is 85% dried, and then again every two bamboo trays of tea are combined onto one bamboo tray until the tea is 95% dried.  The tea is then baked at low temperatures between 195˚ and 210˚ Fahrenheit. 

At this point the tea is called Mao Cha, meaning rough tea.  The tea is then refined by removing stems, broken tea and impurities and then it is re-baked at a low-temperature and packed while it is still warm.   

Even though the tea processing steps seem simple and natural, the skill and experience of an expert tea master are necessary to obtain a tea of high quality.  Processing the tea at too high of temperatures will cause the tea to lose its fresh taste and aroma, while processing the tea at too low of temperatures will result in the tea having a flat and thin taste and aroma.

White Peony belongs to the white tea family which originated in the Fuding Taimu Mountain region of the Fujian province.  Fuding is located in the northeast area of the Fujian province. The Fuding Taimu mountain area has a gentle subtropical oceanic monsoon climate, with lush healthy perennial green vegetation covering the area all year round. The average temperature is 67˚ Fahrenheit and the average annual rainfall is 43 inches. The slightly acidic soil is rich and fertile with very good drainage.