White Peony OG - too roasted?


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White Peony OG - too roasted?

Postby rhondabee » Sep 11th, '10, 17:21

Okay, I have virtually no experience with white teas. In reading TeaChat, I've seen a lot of people like White Peony, so I decided to buy some. I purchased some locally from a tea vendor and just tried it today. I don't know anything about it, as I gave the original package to my mom and kept a small amount for myself. The vendor only lists it as "White Peony OG". Anyway, being a green oolong lover, I had no idea this tea would be so roasted. The scent of the wet leaves is totally roasted, I got a whiff of ashes, smoke, which I really dislike. Brewing the tea on first infusion it was a dark gold, and the taste wasn't bad (not bitter or anything), but could taste all that roastedness. Does have a sweet aftertaste. Second infusion was amber colored. Also maybe I didn't brew correctly, first steep used boiling water that I cooled off a little. Second steeping just poured more water, so it was cooler water. So this is very similar tasting/smelling to a medium roasted oolong. Is this typical for White Peony? I thought with name White Peony, it would be much more floral and greener.
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Re: White Peony OG - too roasted?

Postby Chip » Sep 11th, '10, 18:32

Well, in modern production I cannot imagine a Bai Mudan being smokey or any facsimile thereof. They can be buttery smooth, nutty, fruity, and yes even floral. I would be curious who is selling this.

It has been a tough year for many Chinese teas, still someone in QC/tasting somewhere along the line should have said, "wait, we can't release this."

It may be a very low grade. There is also a remote possibility that you brewed too hot, but this usually makes tea bitter.

Don't give up on whites, try another from a reputable online vendor.
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Re: White Peony OG - too roasted?

Postby Victoria » Sep 11th, '10, 19:10

White Peony is definitely the most full bodied of the whites. Yet, I can't say I've had one that seemed highly roasted. It is normal for the color to be golden. But I think maybe you have an unusual roast on your hands. Try Adagio's sample.
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Re: White Peony OG - too roasted?

Postby rhondabee » Sep 12th, '10, 13:49

In reading more about white teas, maybe I would like a traditional silver needles instead of a white peony. I think I bought a more oxidized/roasted modern white. It just may be my sense of smell - I just really dislike smelling tea that to me smells smokey & like ashes, and this was particularly noxious smelling. I just did a little experiment, and brewed a small amount of some Taiwanese Shui Xian and Muzhe Tie Guan Yin from FLT as a comparison. The Shui Xian was nicely scented and fruity and tasted mellow and slightly fruity - nice. The Muzhe Tie Guan Yin did smell roasted (and the dry leaves are black) but with a very fruity scent as well, almost like a sweet tobacco. The taste was deep & fruity. I purchased these probably over a year ago & think they have mellowed some. I did a small amount of the White Peony & unfortunately still got that ashy smell, but not quite as strong. I think my problem was I used too much leaf in my gaiwan. I filled it about half full. Using a much smaller amount, the tea was a light golden and tasted better. But comparing to the very roasted Tie Guan Yin, the Tie Guan Yin had a much more pleasant scent, even though I dislike really roasted teas. So I think you are correct Chip that this is a low grade White Peony. I will try from another vendor sometime. Now back to my Shan Lin Xi!
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Re: White Peony OG - too roasted?

Postby teaisme » Sep 14th, '10, 14:43

Just have a look at some vendor pics to get a good idea of what a white peony should look like. http://www.teaspring.com/Bai-Mu-Dan.asp?section=brew
If it smells ashy/smokey it definitely isn't the norm of typical white peony. Are there any furry buds left? I've never tried a roasted one before. Where did you get it from?

White peony should taste very sweet and fruity. The nicer ones have other things going on too.I wouldn't be comparing it to an oolong though. Quite different. Do you brew your whites like your oolongs?

Maybe just try throwing 3 grams into a cup/teapot 200 ml and brew with cooler water at 160-170 uncovered for 2.5-3 min.
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Re: White Peony OG - too roasted?

Postby rhondabee » Sep 14th, '10, 22:25

churng wrote:Just have a look at some vendor pics to get a good idea of what a white peony should look like. http://www.teaspring.com/Bai-Mu-Dan.asp?section=brew
If it smells ashy/smokey it definitely isn't the norm of typical white peony. Are there any furry buds left? I've never tried a roasted one before. Where did you get it from?

White peony should taste very sweet and fruity. The nicer ones have other things going on too.I wouldn't be comparing it to an oolong though. Quite different. Do you brew your whites like your oolongs?


I looked at the pic, thanks. The tea I bought had much fewer furry buds, and was mostly torn pieces if leaves and stems. I really don't have much experience with white teas or what they are supposed to taste and smell like, but this tea was definitely roasted. It really turned a dark amber on the second infusion & just smelled roasted/burnt. Brewing it really lightly it still had that bad smell. I just wanted to compare the tea to my only other roasted teas to compare the scent of a quality roasted tea to this tea. I purchased this tea from a local vendor in St. Louis called Traveling Tea, so this is not an online tea store, and I don't know where she sources her teas. I was hoping the tea would sweet and fruity (and unroasted), so I'll have to try White Peony again from another place.
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