Shou Mei 2012
Aged white teas are not easy to come by, as after they have turned 5 years old they become highly sought after for both their taste and their medicinal properties.
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 entirely outdoors.
It is interesting to compare this to the other Fujian source of white tea, Zhenghe, which is situated amongst the mountains where the climate changes rapidly between sun and rain. Here we see traditional craftsmanship of white tea fluctuating between drying and withering indoors and outdoors.
We acquired this Shoumei in 2013 and have been aging it ourselves since. There’s an old saying about white teas that goes, “3 years a medicine, 7 years a treasure.”
At 11 years age, this tea is experienced as both a medicine and a treasure. Its taste and texture has changed dramatically over the 10 years we’ve had it. At present it smells bright and fresh, but on the palate it’s taste is mellowed and settled. The liquor and its synthesized flavour produces saliva instantly, before bringing a very compelling aftertaste, something like aged orange peel. It is a slightly clearing tea without being very stimulating, and it transforms and deepens over many infusions.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||10|