Review: Teavivre Organic White Peony

Bai Mu Dan Tea, Organic Tea, Teavivre, White Tea Add comments
Dave’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The overall effect was light and refreshing, but with a fairly complex flavor."
Dave’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: JennH gave it 8.5/10, Vanessa gave it 8/10, MaryAnn gave it 8/10
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White Peony, or Bai Mu Dan, is one of the two most popular Chinese white teas, along with Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen). While Silver Needle consists of only the young, unopened buds of the tea plant, White Peony includes both the buds and a few of the young leaves.

This was my first Bai Mu Dan – the only other white tea I’ve tried before is Bai Hao Yin Zhen – so I wasn’t sure what to expect, flavor-wise. Teavivre’s website recommends 2-3 teaspoons of tea per 8 oz of water, brewed at 90° C for 1 to 2 minutes. I went with 2 teaspoons, and brewed for 90 seconds.

Once the hot water was added, the leaves (and buds) released a strong aroma of fresh-cut grass. The tea itself had a nice, fruity aroma, with hints of raspberry and apricot. The flavor was both vegetal and acidic, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Compared to Bai Hao Yin Zhen, which has a very smooth and subtle flavor, it was both fruitier and bolder. The bitterness was a little unpleasant, so I was left unsatisfied. I tried a second brew, for 3 minutes. The result was still bitter, and lacked body.

I checked the website of Camellia Sinensis, a Montreal-based tea store, which also carries a Bai Mu Dan. Their brewing recommendation was 2 teaspoons of tea per 250 mL at 75° C for 5-7 minutes ¬– a lower temperature, but longer brewing time, than what Teavivre recommended for their Bai Mu Dan. Trying this brewing method, the result was not good. The tea had almost no flavor.

I decided to give this tea one last chance. I brewed a larger amount of tea, 4 teaspoons, at 90° C for only one minute. The result, I’m glad to say, was much improved from my previous attempts. This brewing brought out some nice floral notes, reminiscent of Darjeeling, to balance out the grassiness. There was a hint of honey in the aftertaste, and very little bitterness. The overall effect was light and refreshing, but with a fairly complex flavor.

Based on my experience, this tea can be quite good if brewed properly: a generous amount of tea, for a short brewing time. The light, refreshing taste would make it a great summer tea. Just make sure not to brew it for too long!

— To purchase Teavivre Organic White Peony, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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