My tea-drinking adventures are mostly focused on Puerh tea and Liu Bao, but occasionally, a white tea crosses my path. That also happened with today’s tea: a 2018 Laoshu Gongmei tea from Cha Moods. They were kind enough to send me some tea to taste one of the latest additions to their shop.
2018 Laoshu Gongmei
The 2018 Laoshu Gongmei is a special edition white tea cake from Master Mei Xianjing. The cake was produced in 2021, but the material is from 2018. It comes from Fuding in China’s Fujian province and was made using buds and leaves of a Xiaoyezhong cultivar.
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This cultivar is also known as Xiaocai tea. It’s the oldest cultivar in northern Fujian and has a history dating back thousands of years. At one point, it was even the royal tribute tea. It’s not the same grade as Baimudan, but it’s a higher grade than shoumei.
- 5g for a 120ml gaiwan
- Water 90°C
The cake consists of small leaves, medium-sized leaves, stems, and some hairy buds as well. The color is a mixture of olive greens, light browns, and beige from the buds. The compression is really loose as it’s easy to pick apart.
The aroma is sweet with a touch of hay. There are also red fruits like strawberries somewhere in there and it reminds me a bit of strawberry jam. I’m also getting slight hints of dry wood and wood varnish. The sweetness has become deeper after the rinse.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): the color is a beautiful yellow and the liquor seems rather syrupy. I’m instantly reminded of what white tea tastes like when taking a sip. A roasted sweetness lurks beneath the surface, but it’s not ready to show itself. This sweetness is also peeking through in the aftertaste as it lingers for a while.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the color is darker yellow and the flavors are more intense, which is what you can expect from a second infusion. The aftertaste in this one is long-lasting as well. The infusion itself has notes of hay with a touch of strawberry jam.
Infusion 3 (25 sec): I feel there is a roasted sweetness that is showing itself more in this infusion. Towards the finish, hay is also popping up. Gentle and warming infusion overall. This one is less about flavors and more about texture and body feels.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): thick infusion with a slight minerality to it. This is another gentle infusion and I feel very relaxed all of a sudden. If I really look for it, I can taste the roasted sweetness from before.
Infusion 5 (35 sec): this one feels similar to the previous infusion. Good energy and subtle, but pleasant flavors.
Infusion 6 (boiling the tea leaves): for this one, I boiled the tea leaves for around 5 minutes to see what they had left While boiling, the aroma coming off the pot was super sweet! It’s almost as if I’m smelling a bag of candy.
The color is definitely a lot darker after boiling. It feels really thick and is almost like drinking syrup. It’s challenging to describe the flavors as a lot is going on at the same time. There is a kind of sweetness, but it’s so much more than that. If you ever try this tea, I definitely recommend boiling it at the end of the tea session to experience this for yourself. This boiled tea does feel like real medicine (in a good way).
The 2018 Laoshu Gongmei offered a pleasant experience with sweet flavors and good body feels. The texture felt syrupy throughout the session and the flavors ranged from strawberry jam to hey.
Boiling this one is definitely a good idea as it really feels as if you’re drinking medicine/syrup.