For me, it is always exciting to try some teas from a local vendor. I did Serendipiteacha Studio’s Dancongs last time, but today I’ll be drinking some of their white teas.
2018 Han Lu (Cold Dew) White Tea
Interestingly, 2018 Han Lu is a winter Fu Ding Da Bai cha. This tea is picked after the shou mei, exposing the leaves to colder conditions. I almost thought this is a Baimudan as there are some fuzz buds going on mixed with dark leaf. The leaf smells like sugary coconut drink.
I used 1 gram of leaf per 22ml of vessel size as I physically could not fit more leaf in. I went in at a ballsy boil the first time, which was too ballsy and utterly failed. 200F/ 93c resulted in much less astringency. After a steep, the wet leaves have a strong floral and coconut butter scent.
First and Second Infusion: The first infusion of Han Lu is delicately wild floral, buttery, coconut, and the finish is a powdery floral. After each sip, the aftertaste is soft and lingers, which is awesome for a white tea. Some sips have a mealy textured pear note.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Infusion: Han Lu now has a strong flavor of honey along with a pear note, with a texture of drinking a chunky rice pudding. The aftertaste is a stronger wildflower aroma in the mouth.
Sixth Infusion: The flavor has flipped, as Han Lu now sips in a bit vegetal bean sprouts. However, the aftertaste is a mix of floral and coconuts, with a refreshing cooling feeling. There is a touch of astringency showing, but enough to encourage salivation.
Seventh Infusion: This final infusion was zesty vegetal and leaning bitter with a soft astringency.
I am overall impressed with the 2018 Han Lu white tea due to the texture, aftertaste and resteep ability. The wintery Han Lu tastes like a souped-up Shou Mei that is closer to a Baimudan in delicateness. I greatly enjoyed this tea and could be convinced to purchase more.
2016 Shou Mei White Tea
This is a 2016 Spring harvest Shou Mei that is also Fu Ding Da Bai cha. The leaf has a dried date scent. These leaves are huge and refused to go into the gaiwan. I am also using a small gaiwan so it is comical how crazy this looks.
The rinsed leaf smells like honey, almost honey nut cheerio like. I ended up doing a rinse as the first infusion was too light and funny tasting.
First and Second Infusion: The 2016 Shou Mei sips in like dried herb mix of parsley and oregano mixed into honey.
Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: The third infusion is where the depth of the tea hit. Our 2016 aged Shou Mei tastes of honey, birchwood, herby, with a silky feel to it. Some sips have a slight maltiness, others have a bruised pear essence to it.
Ninth and Tenth Infusion: The later infusions continue with the honey notes, but along with more malt and flax tastes. 2016 Shou Mei lightens greatly in flavor and I can’t keep up with bringing the flavor out. Likely if I used my dedicated teapot or larger vessel that doesn’t cool as fast I could get more tea out.
Serendipiteacha Studio’s 2016 Shou Mei is a pretty consistent tasting tea that has some age on it to lose the staleness. It has a great honey aspect to it along with some other interesting notes. If I had more I’d likely leave it for a couple more years, but it is ready to drink now if you love woodsy white tea.