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Following my recent adventures in the world of unusual white teas, today’s tea is a further exploration of this topic. ANMO in Düsseldorf has some remarkable white teas on offer and the 2016 Jianyang Lao Bai White Tea is the one I drank today. They kindly gave me this sample, otherwise I would never have known that that there are some treasures hidden in Jianyang.
If you want to read about the other teas from ANMO, click one of the following links:
- 2014 Jianyang Lao Bai White Tea
- 2015 Jianyang Lao Bai White Tea
- 2013 Sunsing Aged Tree Shou Pu-Erh Tea Tasting
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2016 Jianyang Lao Bai White Tea
This tea is from 2016 and comes from the Jianyang area, which is in Sichuan Province in China. Just like the 2014 and 2015 versions, it is also made from the Lao Bai cultivar. The tea leaves are pressed into cakes and change dramatically over a relatively short time period. Before it’s ready for consumption, the producer first stores the tea cakes for 500 days. This is necessary for the flavours to develop and that the producer can control this initial ageing process.
I spot long stalks and big brownish leaves. There are also quite a few green tints and white buds in there. The aroma is mainly light hay and notes of red fruits that offer a fresh sweetness. I’m also getting something creamy.
The aroma of the wet leaves is still sweet and creamy, although it’s a deeper sweetness. It’s almost like raspberry ice cream. I see massive stalks and pieces of leaves that have a dark brown colour.
- Water 90°C
- 5g for a 100ml shibo
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
Infusion 1 (25 sec): the flavours during this infusion are definitely not overwhelming. It’s not really sweet because it’s a bit fresher and nothing stands out. This one is fairly subtle to start with.
Infusion 2 (30 sec): the colour is a deeper yellow and the flavours are more intense. It’s not as sweet as the 2014 and 2015 versions, but there is already some sweetness noticeable. This sweetness is more in the background, finish and aftertaste. The main impression during this infusion is a fresher and raw flavour profile.
Infusion 3 (40 sec): the flavours are coming through now and the aroma is sweeter than the previous infusions. I’m experiencing a sweetness and it’s even a tiny bit fruity. Compared to the 2014 and 2015 versions, there is not as much body to the liquor.
Infusion 4 (50 sec): the colour of this one is quite intense, but the flavours are not as dominant as during the previous infusions. It’s good, but nothing really stands out. Towards the finish, I’m starting to get some notes of hay. The finish and aftertaste also have a fruity sweetness to them, which is noticeable for a while after swallowing.
Infusion 5 (60 sec): the aroma reminds me of the 2014 version, but the flavours are not on the same level (yet). I’m getting light hay in combination with some hints of an old church. I’m not feeling the sweetness anymore.
Infusion 6 (long): this one offers more of the same flavours. Light hay without sweetness, but with more raw and fresher flavours.
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This tea is developing nicely, but it doesn’t have the same level of sweetness as the 2015 and especially the 2014 Jianyang Lao Bai (yet). The flavours are already in there somewhere, but they are more in the background and aftertaste. I think that this one will turn out similar as the other ones I have already tried because the material is there, only time needs to do its job. The flavours I got were really good and are what you can expect from an aged white. Compared to the 2014 and 2015 versions however, it’s fresher and less sweet. Is this a bad thing? Not really because it’s still very decent. It would be a good idea to buy some of these cakes, store them away and drink them in 3-4 years. The difference between this one and the 2015 Jianyang Lao Bai is far greater than between the 2015 and 2014. Overall, fun and delicious session! Can’t wait to compare this one to the 2017 version.
If you want to try this tea, contact ANMO on Instagram or visit their teahouse in Düsseldorf.