I previously wrote about Ceylon golden tips, and I did think it qualifies either as Bai Hao Yin Zhen or Bai Mu Dan. I felt that this one was more like Shou Mei, and I am sure that you will agree when you look at the loose leaves below.
Unlike the Ceylon golden tip (which has a spicy tasting profile), this Shou Mei offers the expected mineral notes which are well-balanced with the overall sweetness. Despite the Ceylon golden tip, which has a multi-layered flavour structure, this tea’s fragrance and the taste were more uncomplicated yet elegant. Overall, I’d say this Shou Mei tastes more like a classic Fuding Bai Hao Yin Zhen than Ceylon golden tips, which contains more buds.
This tea (like this Ceylon Oolong) comes from a low-grown area in the Southern part of Sri Lanka called Ruhuna. This region does not usually produce the praised Ceylon teas. However, the farmers innovate to keep their produce exciting for us consumers. For instance, this tea was hand-picked and naturally withered. It was also hand-rolled (although very tenderly). I think it is an excellent value for money for those who like a subtle white tea with stable flavours.
Origin: Ruhuna, Sri Lanka
Harvest time: Spring 2020
Leave colour: Pale and dark green leaves and buds (some fuzz visible on light-coloured buds)
Liquor colour: Light yellow
Tea aroma: Spicy
Tea taste: Sweet with mineral tones
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 90°C water temperature (yes don’t be afraid) and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 10 years or more if aged appropriately.