I, like a lot of other people, recently received a sample set of tea from Crafted Leaf Tea. One of the teas included in that set was Bai Mu Dan. I already had a different Bai Mu Dan in my stash, so naturally my first inclination is to do a comparison tasting. I do love a good side by side tea tasting session! Bai Mu Dan is a white tea and I admittedly don’t drink very much white tea. I don’t have any preconceived notions about how this tea is supposed to taste.
The first tea is from Crafted Leaf Tea. The other one is from Mei Leaf. I used the brewing parameters on the Mei Leaf package, which was 3.5 grams of leaf per 100 ml of water at 195F. First infusion for 2o seconds and add 10 seconds for each additional infusion. Let’s get to it.
The first infusion for Mei Leaf had a very thick and syrupy texture, which was nice. I tasted a strong note of nuttiness (which I don’t often pick up so that’s a new development for me, hooray!), and some vanilla sweetness.
The first infusion of Crafted Leaf was pretty similar to the Mei Leaf. It definitely had nutty and sweet notes to it. However, it did have a slight drying mouthfeel to it that the Mei Leaf didn’t have.
On the second infusion, the taste was pretty similar to the first one for both teas. I did notice one main difference though, which was the finish. The Mei Leaf just had a richer and sweet finish, while the Crafted Leaf was slightly drying and not very sweet.
I was surprised by how much darker the liquor became on the second infusion.
The third infusion was also similar to the second and the first for both teas. Once again, both teas were very similar but the Crafted Leaf had a slight taste of cough syrup on the tail end, while the Mei Leaf was still a sweeter finish.
You can see that the spent leaves for Mei Leaf were a much brighter green color than the Crafted Leaf. I am not sure if this is a sign of quality or not, but it was noticeable.
What’s the verdict? I will say that both of these teas were enjoyable by themselves. They both appear to be good quality teas and if you gave me either one without a comparison, I would have enjoyed it. That being said, this post is all about picking a winner. That winner is…
Mei Leaf. It all came down to the finish and texture. The Mei Leaf was just richer and sweeter and thicker.
Now for the price comparison. I did receive the Crafted Leaf for free, and bought the Mei Leaf on sale. But let’s compare the current listed prices. Mei Leaf is $7.16 for 20 grams ($.36 per gram). Crafted Leaf is $10.00 for 25 grams ($.40 per gram.) That is surprising that the Mei Leaf is cheaper. Now it does cost more to ship to the States if you order from Mei Leaf so that is a consideration. But wow, definitely go for the Mei Leaf if you want to try a Bai Mu Dan.