10g 2015 Cloud Forest Gong Mei Bing 雲霧森林貢眉白茶

Li Yanmei

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10.00 Grams
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2015 Cloud Forest Gong Mei Bing (雲森貢眉白茶, Yún Sēn Gòng Méi Bái Chá, "Cloud Forest Tribute Eyebrow White Tea") TLDR: A very sweet, complex, extra fancy late-spring cake of aged white tea.

The saying for white tea goes "One year tea, three years medicine, seven years treasure". As of the time of this writing, this cake of Gong Mei grade Fuding white tea is 9 years old, making it fully mature by white tea standards. 

Fuding white tea is graded according to the proportion of buds to leaves, with buds representing the earlier and more premium part of the harvest, decreasing in fragrance and value as they open and mature over the course of the season. The grades of Fuding white tea are as follows, from highest to lowest grade:

銀針 Yín Zhēn (Silver Needle) - All buds

白牡丹 Bái Mǔdān (White Peony)- Buds and leaves

壽眉 Shòu Méi (Longevity Eyebrow) - Mostly leaves

貢眉 Gòng Méi means "Tribute Eyebrow" and it traditionally refers to a high grade of Shòu Méi, having lots of buds but not enough to be considered Bái Mǔdān. 

This beautifully-aged bing is abundant in the famous honey fragrance that characterizes aged white tea, along with fruity notes ranging from dates to grape skin and figs, and the earthy body of wet fallen leaves in Autumn. A small focus group determined that this tea is "Warm like cloves, watery like vetiver, and smooth like vanilla, while not actually tasting or smelling like any of those things".