Sunday, June 10, 2018

Teasenz: 2012 Fuding Gong Mei White Tea Cake - Aged White Tea, A Tea Review

Very recently (as in yesterday) I got a new nose ring in the mail. It is very pretty, made of 10kt gold and synthetic purple opals, it is very flashy and was surprisingly cheap. However it has caused a hilarious problem, I am not used to seeing something purple out of the corner of my eye on my nose, so I keep thinking it is fluff or something and end up trying to swat away my nose ring. I am slowly getting used to it, but for now my brain is convinced there is a purple fluff on my nose.

Today I am looking at an aged white tea from Teasenz, their 2012 Fuding Gong Mei White Tea Cake, a cake that, when I opened the box it arrived in, Ben insisted that I share when I get into it. Ben loves aged white teas as much as I do, so when I lifted the cake out of my 'to try' box he was descended on my tea desk like a vulture onto carrion.

And I can't say I blame him, there is something truly magical about unwrapping a cake for the first time, the pristine wrapper all delicately tucked around the cake, and then the reveal! Beautiful big leaves with mottled brown and reds, with hints of greens, fuzzy whites, and a few stems here and there. I love white tea cakes, they have a wild look to them, like something I imagine a woodsy wizard drinking in a forest cabin somewhere. I also really appreciate that they are easy to break apart, I can just peel off chunks with minimal effort, which is good since my tea knife is in storage and I am not entirely sure as to where!

The aroma of the leaves is very sweet, notes of apricot, quince, grapes, and fresh hay. There is a slight earthy and malty undertone as well that adds a richness to the light (in notes not intensity) aroma. Once steeped the aroma of the tea is nectar, it smells so much like a pile of fresh apricots and nectarines, it is so good and really reminding me how I am craving good stonefruits! There are undertones of fresh hay and a touch of sweetgrass as well.

Oh aged white tea, you really are a treasure! I swear no matter how fowl a mood I am in or how bad I feel, it always puts me in a good mood, something about drinking it is like consuming pure sunlight or the very essence of a perfect late summer day. The early steeps are light in taste but with a thick and very coating mouthfeel that cools my insides. Notes of sweet quince, apples, nectarines, and apricots blend with a finish of subtle hay that lingers.

Later steeps, they become nectar thick and nectar sweet, massive strong notes of apricot and quince (man I love that quince note) specifically it starts taking on a quince jam and stewed nectarine quality. Again the finish is a lingering hay that sticks around for quite a while. One thing that I really love about this style of tea is that you can do anything to it, Ben has his western style steeping each cup like 15 minutes, I liked mine in my clay teapot with heavy leaves eventually bringing the steep times to match his.

You can boil it, cold steep it, bowl steep it...it really is the most versatile tea I have ever met. Well done Teasenz, you have presented me with a wonderful tea, and I am going to have a very hard time not drinking it all and letting some age!! With luck (and moderate self control) I can come back to this tea in a few years and tell you all how it tastes with even more age on it!
Tea cat is always watching me


Tea sent for review

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