Imperial White & Orange Peel
April 2018 (Shoumei)
June 2015 (Orange Peel)
This Shoumei is from Fuding, Fujian, one of the two core areas for the production of white tea, the other one being Zhenghe, Fujian. This Shoumei is currently the only white tea in our collection from Fuding, all of the others are from Zhenghe.
White tea trees in Fuding are of the varietal Fuding Dabai (Big White), unique to this region of Fujian and well suited to its particular geography. Fuding is flanked by mountains and faces the ocean, therefore the topography is “open” and sees sustained exposure to sun, wind, and rain. Since ancient times, white tea crafted in Fuding has been withered in the high sun and slowly dried outdoors.
This Shoumei is from a tea farm that sits at 3000 ft in elevation. This high up, the trees are covered in mist and fog all year round. After harvest, the tea leaves were withered and dried first outdoors, and then indoors for at least a week.
The tea leaves are combined with the aged peel (Chen Pi) of red mandarin oranges grown in Xinhui, Guangdong – the most well-known village for producing aged orange peel. Orange peels are revered as both a medicine and a deeply satisfying flavour in China. They must be aged for at least six years before being used in tea; any younger and their moisture and sugar content will cause the tea cake to grow moldy. Once combined with the tea leaves, they are pressed together into small, cookie shaped cakes.
Naturally aged Shoumei tends to have a subtle aftertaste of aged orange peel on its own. Combining these leaves with the orange peels themselves produces tea with a beguiling depth of flavour. The spiced, medicinal qualities of both the white tea and the aged peels play off of one another, offering us something very satisfying, as well as balancing and supportive, especially suited to the winter months.
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|Steep time||10 - 90 sec|
|No. of infusions||10