Hello! I am back again with yet another tea review.
I have been quite busy the last few weeks with lots of incoming tea packages so I have a lot of different teas (some that I’m very excited about) to review.
Today I’m reviewing TeaVivre’s 2012 Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake. I got two samples of it with my last order, and since I’ve never had an aged white tea before I’m super excited to try it.
White tea, if you don’t know already, is a traditionally Chinese tea (however recently it has begun to expand in production into South and Southeast Asia) and it is very minimally processed – it is usually just withered and dried.
This tea is a shoumei white tea, which is a type of white tea that is usually bolder in flavor than a baimudan or baihao yinzhen because it is picked later. Shoumei is actually the byproduct of some baihao yinzhen production.
This tea has been compressed into a bing and aged since 2012. Most aged white teas are relatively newer than other aged tea, such as heicha, and this is because old aged white teas are a lot rarer.
So, without further ado, I shall taste this tea.
The dry leaves smell dark and like a forest floor but with a little bit of a floral scent that reminds me of a white tea like a baimudan. The floral scent is accompanied by a slight sour and woodsy note that is reminiscent of wet leaves.
The wet leaves smell a lot like a Chinese black tea and there are slight notes of vanilla. There are hints of soil and wet leaves again, and it is altogether very reminiscent of wet logs in a forest right after it rains.
The tea smells a little creamier and like vanilla than the wet leaves, and has less of the wet soil/leaves scent.
The tea itself is very delicate and smooth in its texture. The first taste is a woodsy aroma that I associate with Chinese black teas (like a dianhong), however that transitions into a light honeysuckle and a deep earthy flavor with slight hints of vanilla. A second steep brings out more of its black tea-like flavors and it becomes smoother in texture and a little sweeter in flavor.
Overall, this was a great tea and I will probably be purchasing a full bing of this soon. I would love to see how it reacts as it ages, and I imagine it would be cool to age it for several years to develop the flavors a little more.
Chaitou Shan Tea Garden, Fuding, Ningde Prefecture, Fujian Province