Aged white tea

Withered tea
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Tearrans
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:11 pm

Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:24 pm

Any recommendations of age white tea?
Will appreciate any info about:
- Vendors
- Better age
- Regions/Cultivar/Blends etc
- Material to brew it, type of pot etc
- anything you think that is important to consider

Thanks!
Nis
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:13 am
Location: France

Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:02 am

Only just getting into them myself, so limited experience.

- White2Tea has some really nice ones. The 2013 Gongmei is great.
- No idea about ideal age.
- Don't know about regions either.
- White teas are very flexible in terms of brewing. You can do it pretty much however you like: Gaiwan, western, grandpa, boiling...
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debunix
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Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:47 am

My only experience is the occasional 'accidentally' aged-a-few-years-in-the-back-of-the-tea-cupboard find. It often stays tasty, but different. I've never sought one out, and I doubt that any of my usual vendors have had one, because I'd probably have tried one.
TeaZero
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Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:43 am

With regards to white tea age, there's a saying: 1 year, is good. 3 years, is a treasure. 7 years, it's medicine."
So assuming this, I guess in 3 years is good to drink, and in 7 years it can reach full potential. It will probably also depend on how you store it though. Can absolutely recommend the aged white tea cakes selection of Teasenz. Particularly like the bai mu dan cake.
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S_B
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Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:41 pm

With regards to white tea age, there's a saying: 1 year, is good. 3 years, is a treasure. 7 years, it's medicine."
Sorry to be that guy but just to add a bit of accuracy to the saying it is 一年是茶,三年是藥,七年為寶 or some similar rendition. Basically, just a bit swapped with yours - the saying is at 1 year it is tea at 3 years medicine, and at 7 a treasure :)

As for how accurate that is...I can't really say...I have very limited experience with white teas.
Sweetestdew
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Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:59 pm

S_B wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:41 pm
With regards to white tea age, there's a saying: 1 year, is good. 3 years, is a treasure. 7 years, it's medicine."
Sorry to be that guy but just to add a bit of accuracy to the saying it is 一年是茶,三年是藥,七年為寶 or some similar rendition. Basically, just a bit swapped with yours - the saying is at 1 year it is tea at 3 years medicine, and at 7 a treasure :)

As for how accurate that is...I can't really say...I have very limited experience with white teas.
Its a marketting gimick. It came out of nowhere in 2014.
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Shine Magical
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Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:57 pm

I've heard somewhere that heini clay pairs well with aged white tea, if you can find it.
mbanu
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Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:28 pm

I found this article helpful: https://www.teaguardian.com/dialogues/t ... white-tea/

If I understand correctly, "aged" white was a niche Hong Kong thing that became popular after it got sucked up into the pu'er boom of the 2000s. Back then it was common for white tea makers to dye their teas to disguise the discoloration caused by age, although it was expected that the lower grades of white tea would have a dark liquor. In Kit Boey Chow's 1990 "All the Tea in China", they describe Shoumei as being "a light brownish orange drink with a sweet taste". Gongmei was described in 1971 as "a dark, bitter tea, both expensive and rare".
Sweetestdew
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Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:48 am

mbanu wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:28 pm
I found this article helpful: https://www.teaguardian.com/dialogues/t ... white-tea/

If I understand correctly, "aged" white was a niche Hong Kong thing that became popular after it got sucked up into the pu'er boom of the 2000s. Back then it was common for white tea makers to dye their teas to disguise the discoloration caused by age, although it was expected that the lower grades of white tea would have a dark liquor. In Kit Boey Chow's 1990 "All the Tea in China", they describe Shoumei as being "a light brownish orange drink with a sweet taste". Gongmei was described in 1971 as "a dark, bitter tea, both expensive and rare".
I find the idea that gongmei is exspensive and rare hard to believe since gong mei is a late, leaf heavy pick, and therefore yields a lot per season.
mbanu
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Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:16 am

It may have been a misunderstanding related to the teapot that the tea was brewed in, as that was the subject of the 1971 article.

A longer excerpt:
Pity the poet who once languished in prison, lamenting not the loss of freedom but the impossibility of enjoying tea from his favorite teapot. The poet was Chen Hung Chi, imprisoned in 1946 and later executed for collaboration with Wang Ching Wei during the Japanese assault on China; the teapot was the only piece now known to survive by Kung Ch'un of the Ming Dynasty, the greatest teapot-maker of them all.

This same pot is now the pride and joy of 66 year-old Mr C. M Wong, Secretary of Singapore's Chinese Chamber of Commerce and acting President of the China Society, who collects Yi-Hsing ware teapots and a wide variety of inkstones besides porcelain and jade. Yi-Hsing clay, from the Chinese province of Kiangsu, was discovered over 2,000 years ago by Fan Li, Prime Minister of Yueh, after he had defeated the King of Wu. He is regarded as the first great Chinese potter. Kung Ch'un was the first man to use Yi-Hsing clay for teapots. He learnt the potter's art from a Buddhist monk, Chi Ching, after which Chinese scholars blithely bought Kung Ch'un teapots for their weight in gold, so prized were they by tea connoisseurs. Yi-Hsing ware is best for preserving the colour and flavour of tea, say the experts, and also keeps the leaves fresh for a long time, even in summer.

Mr. Wong, himself a tea-lover, agrees. His Kung Ch'un pot, dated 1506 and shaped like a rough tree-trunk knot, bears Kung Ch'un's seal. The lower part of the pot handle is impressed with finger marks for decoration, and Mr Wong says there are signs of an extra finger. Kung Ch'un was said to have had an extra little finger on the right hand.

The importance of a mere teapot may not be apparent to laymen ignorant of the Chinese tea mystique. Mr Wong not only explained this to me but also gave a practical demonstration. I tasted a dark, bitter tea called Kung Mei, both expensive and rare. Unattractive to my Western palate at first, it later revealed a delicious sweetness that remained with me for about an hour. Suddenly, I was a believer in tea magic.
However, I wasn't sure, as tea production in China was very strange in the early 1970s, hardly any tea was being exported: http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/f ... &issue=029

The main focus of the quote was the description of the color of the tea, which was dark.
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Bok
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Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:42 am

mbanu wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:16 am
This same pot is now the pride and joy of 66 year-old Mr C. M Wong, Secretary of Singapore's Chinese Chamber of Commerce and acting President of the China Society, who collects Yi-Hsing ware teapots and a wide variety of inkstones besides porcelain and jade. Yi-Hsing clay, from the Chinese province of Kiangsu, was discovered over 2,000 years ago by Fan Li, Prime Minister of Yueh, after he had defeated the King of Wu. He is regarded as the first great Chinese potter. Kung Ch'un was the first man to use Yi-Hsing clay for teapots. He learnt the potter's art from a Buddhist monk, Chi Ching, after which Chinese scholars blithely bought Kung Ch'un teapots for their weight in gold, so prized were they by tea connoisseurs. Yi-Hsing ware is best for preserving the colour and flavour of tea, say the experts, and also keeps the leaves fresh for a long time, even in summer.
This is an interesting anecdote, wonder if anyone has images of the mentioned teapot?
Sweetestdew
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Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:50 am

Tearrans wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:24 pm
Any recommendations of age white tea?
Will appreciate any info about:
- Vendors
- Better age
- Regions/Cultivar/Blends etc
- Material to brew it, type of pot etc
- anything you think that is important to consider

Thanks!
First I say porcelain all day with white tea. White teas flavors are soft and complex and I would hestitate to put it into anything that would mess with that.
Fu Ding is the most famous location, then Zheng He, with Yunnan recently producing white tea. (just today I was talking to a friend who lived in Yunnan in 2008 and he said back then they talked down on white tea so its funny that they like it now)

If we are talking Fu Ding white tea the most common varietal is Fu Ding Da Hao (I think) but the original xiao cai cha (little veggie tea) is much better I think, but much harder to find. (Mei Leaf may have one now)

Contrary to popular belief, cakes white teas are not the best. Infact they are usually made from lesser materials. Any fuding white tea maker who isnt trying to sell you one will tell you. Tea makers love cakes because they make tea easier to store, white tea is quite bulky, but when I asked the most recent farmer a few weeks ago if he would ever put his best teas into cakes he said no. The act of making cakes involves steaming which puts the the tea at risk and affects the flavor.

Can I self promote here?
I recently found some 2013 white tea that is for a great price.
Those dark, amber earth notes with a touch of berry and without the dryness of bitterness of that you sometimes get with aged whites.
Hmm
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Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:51 am

Bok wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:42 am
mbanu wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:16 am
This same pot is now the pride and joy of 66 year-old Mr C. M Wong, Secretary of Singapore's Chinese Chamber of Commerce and acting President of the China Society, who collects Yi-Hsing ware teapots and a wide variety of inkstones besides porcelain and jade. Yi-Hsing clay, from the Chinese province of Kiangsu, was discovered over 2,000 years ago by Fan Li, Prime Minister of Yueh, after he had defeated the King of Wu. He is regarded as the first great Chinese potter. Kung Ch'un was the first man to use Yi-Hsing clay for teapots. He learnt the potter's art from a Buddhist monk, Chi Ching, after which Chinese scholars blithely bought Kung Ch'un teapots for their weight in gold, so prized were they by tea connoisseurs. Yi-Hsing ware is best for preserving the colour and flavour of tea, say the experts, and also keeps the leaves fresh for a long time, even in summer.
This is an interesting anecdote, wonder if anyone has images of the mentioned teapot?
Probably just mere legend rather than anything else. After all teapots at least in the form we know them weren't invented into the Yuan dynasty, about 800 years ago, not 2500 years ago when the Yue kingdom existed. If he did make something, and it was used more formally, it would have probably been more in the form of ritualistic wine vessels, such as Image

The history of Yue vs Wu is pretty legendary in Chinese history, and I wouldn't be amazed if people were trying to harken back to that age to add to the mysticalness of yixing. This is also where Xishi (where the yixing style pot gets its name) supposedly came from, and also helped to bring down the Wu kingdom.

BTW if you are interested in swords, this was found https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Goujian. Finding it, and being supposedly owned by the king of the Yue kingdom is like finding the lost sword of Excalibur. I'm pretty amazed at how well preserved it was, and supposedly it was still razor sharp, and frankly beautifully crafted. Here's the spear of his rival in Wu supposedly used. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spear_of_Fuchai
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