Zhen Tea’s Aged Shou Mei 2014 | Tea Review

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ZhenTea_Aged_Shou_Mei_2014_spoon

Ever since learning about aged white teas when I was in Hong Kong, I have gravitated toward them when I have a chance!

Description: “The dry leaves emit hints of dried fruit and grape leaves and brew to a clear, glowing golden-bronze liquor that reminded me of sweet raisins.”

Instructions: Boiling water | 100ml | starting 45 seconds with 15-second increments

Review: Over the years, I have come to know Zhen and Phil of Zhen Tea. Zhen has always been very kind to me and I love talking to her because she is very knowledgeable! I’ve been meaning to share Zhen Tea on my blog for some time, so broke my tea ban to purchase some teas from her when there was a sale!

Since I’ve only had aged white teas a few times in the past,  I was researched how to brew it when I found the video Zhen Tea posted! It recommended boiling water, which surprised me at first, but made sense since the leaves did not completely unfurl the few times I tried using water under boiling.

The dry leaves were tightly compressed and had fuzz buds inwoven with the darker leaves. It had a strong fruity sweet smell. The first infusion was for 45 seconds and I gradually increased the time by 15 seconds.

Infusion 1 (45 seconds): The liquor was almost colourless but had a light sweet hay taste

Infusion 2 (60 seconds): There was a spike in flavour with stronger fruity sweetness and some faint dryness at the back of the mouth

Infusion 3 (1.15 minutes): The fruitness was stronger and the liquor was a golden yellow

Infusion 4 (1.30 minutes): The colour gradually become darker with the sweetness still coming through

ZhenTea_Aged_Shou_Mei_2014_wet_leaf

Infusion 5 (1.45 minutes): The liquor was becoming a golden amber with a fruity taste. The description on the bag calls it ‘raisins’ which I agree with!

Infusion 6 (2 minutes): The aroma is lovey – sweet raisins with a lingering hay flavour coating the mouth

Infusion 7 (2.15 minutes): I wasn’t sure what I tasted since the flavour had changed, so I checked the tea description, which mentions ‘mineral’ taste. I had always seen that word used but I never understood until this steep!

Infusion 8 (2.30 minutes): The flavour is slight hay and no longer as sweet

Infusion 9 (2.45 minutes): The liquor has mellowed out and is more mineral in comparison to the sweeter infusions earlier

Infusion 10 (3 minutes): This heavily reminded me more of the earlier steeps which were sweeter with a hint grassy at the end of the sip

Infusion 11 (3.15): This infusion surprised me as I tasted a bit of floral mixed with hay

Infusion 12 (3.30 minutes): The flavour became sweeter with a stronger grassy note and reminded me of the first few infusions

Infusion 13 (3:45 minutes): The liquor has started to wane and the flavours were becoming more lighter

Infusion 14 (4 minutes): The liquor was subtle and I stopped infusing

I have to say, I am pretty impressed! While I stopped at 14 infusions, I could have kept going since the leaves still hadn’t completely unfurled. This aged white tea had a mellowness that I enjoyed. That being said, I feel I still need to play around with the steeping times a bit more so I can get the steeping down, but thankfully I still have more tea (4/5 rating)!

  • Type: White tea
  • Origin: China (Fujian Province)
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Aged white tea
  • Company: Zhen Tea

The question of the post: Have you ever had white tea before?

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