Maturing white tea


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Maturing white tea

Postby MEversbergII » Jul 17th, '13, 09:03

Does anyone here intentionally mature white tea? I've picked up a few matured samples (drinking a 2011 right now) and it seems to take to the practice. I think Zhenghe styled ones would do a bit better than this Fuding, though.

M.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby Fabien » Jul 17th, '13, 09:26

Hi M.,

While it was not intentional I've noticed that some good quality whites do mature quite well. At least here in France and particularly in the place I live in. Dry to very dry weather (especially during winter), inside temperature always between 18 and 25°C, and conservation as airtight as possible.

Whites were bought for my wife but she ended drinking very little of it. As I already noticed that greens and greener oolongs didn't loose their freshness very quickly in our environment, I recently tried some of those teas from 2010 and while it's not anymore fresh white tea's flavor, they are extremely pleasant and turn more fruity (apricot for the Zhengde Bai hao yin zhen) and mellow.

Very good for the oolong addict I am.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby amaranto » Jul 17th, '13, 10:30

Does either of you have any recommendations on brewing mature whites? I recently purchased some aged bai mu dan from Fu Ding but am not sure if I should brew it like I normally do.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby MEversbergII » Jul 17th, '13, 12:23

This is an introduction:

http://www.teaguardian.com/tea-selectio ... ebFeqy0Sjc

The way I've prepared this 2011 was as follows:

Initial Infusion
250ml teapot
5-6g tea
95 degree water
1 minute infusion

This infusion is relatively weak, possibly because the leaves saturate slowly. Still good, though.

Second Infusion
Boiling water
30 second infusion

Third Infusion
Boiling Water
45 second Infusion

Fourth & Fifth Infusion
Boiling Water
60 second infusion

Finishing:
Boiling water
2 minute infusion

M.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby Fabien » Jul 17th, '13, 15:29

I tend to use a small gaiwan or sometimes one small and very thin zhuni pot. Filled with around 1/5 of leaves (for Yin zhen). Start with around 80°C water and something like 30 or 40 sec. Then, I usually slowly use hotter water and increasing steeping times. It gives 4 to 5 nice infusions, quite light but very round and fine.
And sometimes a larger gaiwan, a lower leaves/water ratio and one long steep with 90°C water. More complex, still mellow and sweet.

Needless to say any strong tasting meal is not really recommended before, it's a white tea after all even matured a couple of years :)
Hope you'll enjoy, tell us what you think of it after you tried.

PS : temperatures and times are just indicative, I never measure but I think it's quite close to reality.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby amaranto » Jul 17th, '13, 22:24

Thank you both very much for being so thorough. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby MEversbergII » Jul 18th, '13, 10:51

No problem! I used to be a strict "western" brewer, but I got that small 1c tea pot and was influenced by the brewing directions for Sencha and Bancha from Den's tea. Been more open to experimentation since.

M.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby amaranto » Jul 18th, '13, 14:54

I just tried steeping about 1/2 of a small gaiwan full at both 80°C and 90°C for around 35 seconds each steep. The hotter steep came out more robust, but this could be because it is the second, which is usually the strongest steep for me when brewing whites. Now, I'm going to see how long this holds up. The hay-like freshness I generally associate with Bai Mu Dan is not there, though the underlying flavors are, and there is a slightly-sweet, more robust flavor that I like very much. Here are some pics for reference:

Dry aged 2001 Bai Mu Dan:
Image
Aged Bai Mu Dan by AndrewJAT, on Flickr

First steep at 80°C for 35 seconds:
Image
Aged Bai Mu Dan by AndrewJAT, on Flickr

This was sourced by Jing Tea Shop, if anyone is interested.
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Re: Maturing white tea

Postby chrl42 » Aug 20th, '13, 23:06

It's been a trend in China to mature white tea, they started to add more price according to its maturity. Most common are Shou Mei..and they are really ok with aging..

White tea, although launched 'Yue Lao Yue Hao' -the older the better motto, still not unaffordable like Puerh tea :)
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