Review of Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake 2013

AromaFlavorValueTotal
9 of 105 of 55 of 590 of 100
SuperbExcellentOutstanding

I loved this. I love Shou Mei, and this was the first example of it I tried in compressed form. It was definitely one of the best samples of Shou mei that I've tried.

The dry leaf of this cake has a moderate smell of dried fruit, with a hint of fermenting fruit in there. It's not the most aromatic of TeaVivre's teas, but it smells good.

Brewed as recommended, 6 minutes on the first steep, produces a very dark cup. I don't recommend going any longer as this one might get too strong. Shou Mei is a bolder-flavored white tea, but this is probably the boldest example of it I've tried yet. This example is more like a black tea in many respects: it produces a dark-colored cup with a really rich, full-bodied character and an astringent, tannic finish. The flavor is strong and is both slightly sweet, slightly sour, and moderately bitter.

The cup smells like dried fruit, autumn leaves and caramel, with a faint hint of the floral tones I encounter in some black teas.

Brewed this way, I was able to make a second flavorful cup, with a long steeping. It was milder in flavor, but more aromatically complex, with more of an herbaceous character.

I also tried brewing for a shorter period of time--same amount of leaf, 3 minutes. This produced a cup that was flavorful, but somewhat boring...it had a mild herbaceous smell and tasted more like green tea than when steeped longer. With shorter steeps, you can get more infusions, but I prefer using two longer steeps.

I also thought this tea seemed pretty low in caffeine, which may be a plus for some.

The price on this cake is good. This is one of the best shou mei's I've sampled. It's also exceptionally cheap for a white tea. The cake is big -- 380 grams, but you can order a sample first. I also have aged shou mei in the past, and I can see this sample aging well (for around 5 years, probably not much more than that) if you want to bring out the deep fruity tones.

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Comments:

E. Alex Gerster wrote:
on September 7th, 2014

Such a great description and review. Makes my mouth water, and putting this on my wish list!

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