Some time ago I’ve became a dedicated Bai MuDan tea drinker. It’s a very versatile tea, you can brew it as long as you wish, it changes according to what you want to drink today. From subtle flowery young wine liquor up to darker strong infusion. It is also very close to authentic a tea plant leaves nature, unfermented and steamed immediately after plucking.
eSGreen is a relatively new tea shop, at least I’ve found it after they implemented a new design to their web store. They also have good customer support and many options to earn “points” to receive some gifts.
So I was eager to try their Bai Mu Dan Nonpareil, (now same link goes to slightly different version of this tea).
Dry tea is not uniform, contains small leaves in rolled and unrolled form in different shapes and some white hairy tips, dark olive color, give nutty sweet and flowery scent.
As it is my last portion of this tea, I already know that this tea is much better to steep in gaiwan (absolutely a must). Tried to steep in my white tea pot and in glass teapot, but this tea releases much more flavor and delicacy when prepared fast in a porcelain gaiwan.
When rinsing the leaves very solid nutty woody aroma appears. The smell is very appealing.
First steep for 50 sec. with 85°C makes a liquid of amber color and sweet flowery taste somehow similar to light cognac heavily diluted with water or maybe Retsina Greek wine. I feel sweetness at the back of my mouth. Undertone is grassy. After few minutes little sour note releasing, good for summer. That’s why I love BaiMudan.
Second steep at 82°C for 1 minute makes darker liquor with more chestnut appearance and taste, I steeped it too long, but taste is good, just more gone towards the astringency a bit, but this is still well bodied with more sour undertone. Surely it’s over steeped, but still tasty and bitterness note just gives it another funky taste.
Steep Three at 80°C for 1min.: leaves are still floating and it means tea is still very potent. It’s more of woody taste, less aroma, bitter on base of taste structure with grass on top. Reminds me some Austrian green wine with its earthy subtle winter flowery sourness.
Steep Four at 86°C for 1min.: All leaves are fully open by now. Color is colder (greener) tone amber. There is no more funny flowery aromas, yet a solid base remains, earthy nuttiness with bitter under-base.
It goes well 2-3 more steeps with higher temperatures.
BaiMuDan is one of my favorite teas, that I can hardly live a day without it. This tea from eSGreen was an interesting companion, it’s a bit more dainty than Bai Mu Dan that I’m used to for a long time, and requires more attention to steep. Yet it’s interesting to deal with and to see how its taste changes with different steep times. It’s a more solid and deep taste but I also like a simple “village” BaiMuDan for its liveliness. I wasn’t really impressed yet with really high grade Bai Mudan teas, where each leaf is a piece of art on itself. It seamed bleak to me. Will try more of a higher grades soon. But this one is still a nice and interesting “village” breed. And I like it a lot.