The Ultimate Guide To White Peony Tea: Brewing, Flavor Profile, & More

White peony tea is a Chinese white tea that is cultivated in Zhenghe and Fuding. It is known as bai mu dan or pai mu tan. While similar to the famous Silver Needle white tea also known as Baihao Yinzhen— which is made solely from young tea buds — white peony tea is made using two young leaves and one young tea bud. The tea gets its name from the way the tea leaves blossom as they are infused in water. The leaves unfurl delicately, mimicking the appearance of white peony flowers. It is widely considered the second highest-quality white tea. Discover more about white peony tea including different types and cultivation n practices right here.

Flavor Profile Of White Peony Tea

Like most white teas, Bai Mu Dan tea has a mild flavor profile with mellow tasting notes. This Chinese tea boasts a fruity flavor, smooth body, and a stronger edge that offers a flavor more similar to mild green teas. White peony white tea has a sweet taste that can be mixed with lemon, MCT oil, and honey to play up the natural tasting notes.

Cultivation

White peony tea is a true tea, meaning it is cultivated from the true tea plant known as Camellia sinensis. This tea plant is also used to make green tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and black tea. The white tea leaves feature delicate white hairs that lend a fruity aroma and fresh body to the tea. 

White peony tea is typically harvested in early spring and is a non-oxidized tea. The highest quality white peony teas are harvested by hand by expert tea pickers. The tea workers select only the youngest buds and the two youngest leaves on the same shoot of the tea plant. The harvesting process requires a great deal of skill and finesse to preserve the integrity of the tea leaves. The leaves must be gently removed in order to prevent them from breaking, which can trigger the oxidation process.

The tea leaves undergo a withering process the same day as harvesting to prevent oxidation. The leaves are spread out on large bamboo mats and laid in direct sunlight. The leaves may dry for anywhere between one and three days. Some producers then bake the white tea leaves to complete the drying process and then package the leaves for sale.

Types of White Peony Tea

There are two types of white peony tea which are classified based on where the leaves are cultivated. 

Fuding White Peony Tea

Fuding white tea is made using the Da Bai white tea plant and is typically dried longer than the alternative Zhenghe white peony tea. The tea brews into a mild green hue and is typically made with darker leaves.

Fuding is located in the highlands of Fujian Province in China. Tea cultivation here dates back to the Tang Dynasty and the region is considered the home of white tea production. 

Zhenghe Mudan Wang

Zhenghe white peony tea has a fuller body and sweeter flavor than Fuding white tea. The flavor profile features tasting notes of nutty and smoky hints that are stronger than most classic white teas. It is a darker white tea and can be matured like a pu-erh tea to draw out more nuanced flavor characteristics. It has a full mouthfeel and floral aroma.

How to Brew White Peony Tea

To brew the best white peony tea, we recommend using loose leaf tea rather than tea bags. Loose teas tend to be higher quality and offer better flavor and health benefits compared to the crushed pieces found in tea bags. Look for organic white tea that doesn't contain additives or pesticides for the most authentic flavor. 

  1. Start by warming your teacup and teapot by filling them with hot water and swirling vigorously. Discard the water.
  2. Use 1 teaspoon of organic white peony tea leaves for every 8 ounces of water. 
  3. Add the tea leaves to a tea infuser and place it in your teacup.
  4. Heat water between 165 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher water temperatures will destroy the delicate flavor of white peony tea so don't brew with boiling water.
  5. Add the hot water to your teacup and steep the tea leaves for 2 to 3 minutes. The longer the steep time, the stronger the flavors will become.
  6. Remove the tea leaves and set aside. Sweeten as desired and enjoy.

You can get 3 to 5 infusions from each brew of white peony leaves. Increase the steeping time by about 30 seconds for each infusion. 

Looking For Fresh Fruity and Nutty Flavors? Try White Peony Tea!

White peony tea is an exquisite white tea that is cultivated in the heart of China. Known as one of the oldest tea-growing regions on the planet, this tea is steeped in ancient history and offers a fresh flavor that can't be beaten. Choose from two different types of white peony tea whether you want nutty notes for fruity and floral flavor. Whichever is your favorite, you're sure to love relaxing with a cup of white peony tea.

October 02, 2020 — Sencha Tea Bar
Tags: White Tea