I have recently found that the white tea makes classify the Fuding white tea based on the grade but also cultivar. This tea was ranked as second-grade white peony, and it is made out of Fuan Dabai (big leaf) cultivar from Zhenghe, Fujian. White tea from Zhenghe and Fuding is different both in terms of their gastronomic character and appearance according to the tea guardian who argues that the latter matures better which is attributed to their lengthy withering process and low heat air dry. For this reason, Zhenghe White Peony is possibly the most fermented of all traditional white teas. Actually, this explains why I was surprised how complex and this tea tasted which had characteristics of a young white tea (fresh, mineral and floral notes) but also an aged white tea (not very sweet, hay, and spicy notes). Tea Guardian suggests that maturing Zhenghe white tea makes it rounder, takes away its sharpness, but it can still be sharper than its Fuding equivalent.
I am not sure why this tea was classified as second grade. It was picked in April, so it was harvested in the best season (apart from pre-Ming Qing harvest). Perhaps, the number of broken leaves prevented it from qualifying as the first grade. Or is there another factor, I am merely missing?
Origin: Zhenghe, Fujian
Harvest time: April 2020
Leaf colour: Tones of green with visible white fuzz
Liquor colour: Light yellow
Tea aroma: Fresh with slightly floral fragrance
Tea taste: Full-bodied, spicy with no sweetness
Steeping/brewing: Place 6 g of this tea in a teapot or gaiwan and add about 100 ml water at around 90°C. Rinse after 5 sec. Steep for 10 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 10 seconds each time. You can steep this tea six or seven times.
Shelf life: Can be aged