What is Gongmei White Tea?
Gongmei is a white tea with mostly large, ripe leaves and a small proportion of tea buds. According to a new national Chinese standard dated May 1st, 2018, Gongmei must be made from a native tea variety from Fujian called Xiao Cai Cha or Qun Ti Zhong, while other white teas from Fuding such as Silver Needle, Pai Mu Tan and Shou Mei can be made from the native variety or a modern variety called Da Bai Hao.
Gongmei white tea before May 1st, 2018 was only a term for the quality class of white tea, which means that the tea has a slightly lower quality class than Pai Mu Tan and a higher quality class than Shoumei (the quality levels from high to low are Silver Needle , Pai Mu Tan, Gongmei, Shoumei) and it could be of the Da Bai Hao variety or Xiao Cai Cha, the native variety.
This Gongmei 2017 is made from the Da Bai Hao variety.
The Fuding Gongmei White Tea was harvested in 2017. It comes from an altitude of about 600 m from Mount Tai Mu (Tai Mu Shan) in Fuding, China.
How does this white tea taste?
Usually a freshly harvested white tea smells and tastes flowery like orchid, sweet like fresh melon, a ripened / aged white tea smells less flowery, but more herbaceous and usually tastes like cooked berries. I bought this Gongmei white tea in 2017 to mature for a couple of years. Recently, however, I found that this tea turns out very beautiful in its own way, neither like a fresh white one nor like an old one. It smells like a mixture of dried berries and herbs; In terms of taste, it is sweet, but not like fresh melon, but rather a plant-based or herbal sweetness. It's still a little green in taste. The tea can be brewed about 7 times in a gaiwan and still exudes a light and clear sweetness that reminds me of a basil ice cream my friend made for me.
Brewing an aged white tea
Traditional Chinese Method (Kungfucha / Gongfucha)
You can of course also use this white tea after the Gongfu method to prepare:
- Use water that is 90 °C.
- Use enough tea and brew it in a gaiwan or a small teapot (we recommend 5 g for 100 ml of water).
- Let the tea steep for about 15 seconds.
- You can make this tea at least 8 times.
If you brew the tea in a large teapot, also take 5 g of tea and let it steep in boiled water for 3 minutes. The tea can be prepared about 3 times in a large pot.