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White Peony Tea

Wikipedia: Bai_Mudan_tea | Teaviews: bai-mu-dan-tea 
Last Updated: Sep. 19, 2017 

About White Peony Tea

Loose-leaf tea in a brass-colored scoop, with mix of silvery tips and pale green to olive-brown leavesThis loose-leaf white peony is typical in appearance, showing a mix of silvery downy buds and larger leaves with a color ranging from light green to olive and brown, Photo © Selena N. B. H., CC BY 2.0.
White peony tea, Chinese bái mǔdān(白牡丹), sometimes written in the older romanization pai mu tan, is a Chinese style of white tea which originated in Fujian province in the early 20th century. It is one of the most popular and widespread types of white tea. It is a common base for flavored white tea, and when companies sell only a single variety of pure white tea, it is frequently the variety offered.

This tea is grown from a particular cultivar of tea plant, called Dà bái(大白), meaning "big white". The main areas of production are Fuding and Zhenghe, both in Fujian province, and each has their own distinct version of this cultivar. Teas in this style have also been produced in China in Hunan, Yunnan, and Jiangxi provinces, as well as in India, Nepal, Kenya, and Malawi.

Among white teas, bai mudan tends to be darker in color, have larger leaves, and be bolder in flavor than silver needle / bai hao yinzhen, but lighter and smaller-leaved than longevity eyebrows / shou mei, reflecting an intermediate level of oxidation between these other teas. It also tends to be intermediate between these teas in caffeine levels and price.

Flavor and aroma

White dish containing loose-leaf white tea, twisted, with downy white hairs, two blurry cups of pale tea in the background, on light wooden surfaceWhite peony tea, leaf and brewed cup, from Boulder Tea Company. Photo © BoulderTeaCo, CC BY-SA 4.0.
The flavor and aroma of white peony is variable, but it tends to have a floral and fruity aroma, often hinting at melon or stone fruit, sometimes with earthy notes or a suggestion of autumn leaves, but the aroma is not grassy like green teas. The flavor is mellow, but stronger than silver needle: naturally sweet, with some bitterness and a light savory (umami) flavor.

Astringency tends to be low. This tea tends to be light-bodied overall, but fuller-bodied than silver needle.

White peony teas from Zhenghe tend to be darker in color and have a stronger flavor and fuller body than those from Fuding. Because production outside these two main areas is more modern and experimental, there are few generalizations that can be made about the flavor of this type of tea when grown in other regions, especially those outside China.

A pure tea, not containing any flowers

The name "peony" can be somewhat misleading; bai mu dan is a pure tea, made only from the Camellia sinensis plant, and does not contain any peony or other flowers. The tea is named for the silvery appearance of the unopened leaf buds, which unfurl slightly in a blossom-like manner when brewed. The name references the tree peony, Paeonia suffruticosa. This tea does tend to have a floral aroma, but this may be a coincidence.

White peony tea comes in different grades of fairly widely ranging price; the lower-grade tea contains more leaves and fewer buds, and are more similar to shou mei, whereas the higher-grades are more similar to silver needle or bai hao yinzhen.

References:

1. The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea, Penguin Press, 2008, p. 27-28.


2. White Peony - Real White Tea, Tea Guardian, Updated Jul. 10, 2015, Retrieved Sep. 19, 2017.

Recent White Peony Tea Reviews — RSS rss icon

90 / 100
Picture of Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea

I've had this for a few weeks now, but I've put off this review because this is my first pure white tea. The leaves were picked in April of 2016, making the tea a little over two years old as of this review. It has a gentle yet complex aroma of autumn leaves, vanilla, cinnamon, old books, and hints of flowers and spice...

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74 / 100
Picture of White Symphony

White Symphony from Adagio Teas

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: ?????
Jan. 11th, 2018

This tea is very similar to the white peony, so if you like that I'd give this a try.
The flavor is what you'd expect, somewhat fruity and sweet with this white tea aftertaste that seems consistent in every white I try. I can steep this twice and it doesn't seem like too great of a value.

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84 / 100
Picture of Mutan White

Mutan White from Harney and Sons

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fu'an, Fujian, China
Jun. 20th, 2017

I thought this was an above-average white peony or bai mu dan.

Dry leaf smells different from any other White Peony tea I've tried, notes of candied citrus peel, a sort of bittersweet smell, a slight pungency, almost hinting at camphor. I'm intrigued, and eager to try this to see what kind of cup this leaf produces...

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56 / 100
Picture of Bai Mu Dan

Bai Mu Dan from AhaTee

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: China
Jun. 14th, 2017

The first few attempts at making this tea didn't turn out good at all, kind of sour and unpleasant. It is the first white tea I try, so it might be because of that. I decided just now to actually have a look at the instructions on the box instead of making it like a green tea. I was surprised to see it recommend a 5-mi...

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80 / 100
Picture of White Peony (Pai Mu Tan)

This tea exhibits a pure, delicate flavor -- essentially what every white tea is described as by the company that sells it. It has no bitterness and a smooth flavor. When in the mood for a straightforward, pure tea that isn't grassy, this is a nice choice.

To prepare this tea, I used the Chinese method I was shown a...

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White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
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6 Ratings
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Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fuding, Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
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White Peony (Pai Mu Tan)

Brand:Adagio Teas
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
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Premium Peony White Tea (100% Organic)

Brand:Prince of Peace
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
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Organic Pai Mu Tan White Peony

Brand:Wegmans
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
2 Ratings

Top-Rated White Peony Tea

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Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fuding, Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
53
5 Ratings
No image of this tea

Premium Peony White Tea (100% Organic)

Brand:Prince of Peace
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
51
3 Ratings
No image of this tea

White Peony (Pai Mu Tan)

Brand:Adagio Teas
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
33
5 Ratings
No image of this tea

White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
14
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