So I don’t have much experience with white tea, hardly any to be accurate. I have two and only two kinds of white teas in my possession so I thought it would be interesting to taste them side by side to compare. Those teas are White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) from Mei Leaf and a cake of Fuding white tea from China given to me by my coworker. I used the same brewing parameters for both: 3.5g at 195F for 20 +10 seconds.
Both teas were rather sweet and both were good. The White Peony was very thick and syrupy with some vanilla and honey and nutty notes. The cake was a bit more thin and had some sweetness but it also had a woody note to it that I have also noticed in other sun-dried teas, which I don’t prefer. The cake also had a small amount of astringency in the second and third infusions that I didn’t notice in the White Peony.
Granted, these two teas are not meant to be exactly the same, with one in cake form and the other loose. The cake contains buds and large leaves where the White Peony is mostly large leaves so it’s not apples to apples. That being said if I had the cake by itself I would have enjoyed it because it’s not bad, but the Mei Leaf just takes it up to that next level with the body and the finish that just weren’t there on the cake. So Mei Leaf is the winner.
I’m not sure how helpful this could be, but if you want to try white tea, start with a Bai Mu Dan and go from there.
I went three infusions for each and the taste didn’t change much for either tea. The Mei Leaf was all around better for the entire session.
The cake was a gift so I have no idea what the price would be, but the White Peony is $8.09 for 20g and I got it during the Easter sale for less than $7. 3.5 g per session will get you at least 5 sessions per packet. That’s $1.62 per session, and you can get 5 infusions per session, so that’s $.33 per cup. That’s higher than most teas that I have tried and I would not have thought that before I did this calculation. It’s definitely worth trying to see how you like white tea and if you do, then you can’t go wrong with Mei Leaf. I have always received top quality tea from them.
I hope you try some white tea soon. Cheers!