White tea: Bai Mudan with Ginger

Bai Mudan with Ginger

Should really be two drinks: Bai Mudan and a ginger tisane.
White tea » Fujian New White Teas, ★★
Also known as: 白牡丹姜茶, Ginger White Peony.

Bai Mudan with Ginger is a blend of Bai Mudan and tiny, dried ginger pieces that are almost invisible to the naked eye.

The tea leaves give a fresh, white chocolate aroma and have a smooth, white-chocolatey mouthfeel when brewed. Bai Mudan has the characteristic “sunshine taste” of all white teas, but the aged leaves of this tea have a unique dryness (comparable to that found in dry white wine), rather than the lightness of more exquisite white teas such as White Flowery Pekoe or Silver Needles.

The added ginger pieces are so small that their fragrance is almost completely exhausted after the first brew. Tastewise, notes of dry, warming ginger are almost completely absent from the third brew. It’s these later, gingerless brews that I prefer—ideally, the ginger would never have been added.

Personally, I think Bai Mudan and a ginger tisane should be two separate drinks. Even though the ingredients have similar effects on the body (both make you feel warm and dry), I think this strange Western habit of adding fruit and fragrances to tea is neither necessary nor respectful (to the leaves, nor to ancient tea culture). It always feels good to drink a Bai Mudan, but like many of the teas I’ve reviewed, I wouldn’t pay any money for this tea. ★★

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