Pai Mutan is more or less the most popular (most produced) style of White tea. It’s woody/twigginess often combines with a furry Tipped White to create a vibrant if subtle tea. I could and have drank Pai Mutans all day long; they’re really a delight to drink. ;) Supposedly the idea behind Pai Mutan and other so called “New Style” Whites, is to mask its vegetal, astringent notes through slight oxidation (rather than in a Green where the point would be to emphasize them) in favor of allowing its smooth woody aspect to dominate. If you’re really lucky, a Pai Mutan may brew to a smooth chocolatey flavor.
Eli’s White Peony (Pai Mutan) is one of the latter variety. Although its aroma isn’t especially present (I’m getting nothing off the liquor and just a faint twigginess off the spent tea), White Peony has both flavor and texture, in addition to a great lemony liquor color. Taste-wise, White Peony is more or less a very smooth furry White, with a caramel chocolate finish. Eli actually wrote “notes of Lily” on the bag, but i really couldn’t pick up on anything like that. White Peony’s texture though is a bit held back, possibly owing to its smaller, single cut leaves. In tea terms, White Peony is equivalent to a BOP (broken orange pekoe), which is quite a departure from the norm. Oftentimes Eli’s unique departures are kind of genius, and although i totally get the desire for the chocolatey finish, its actually the opposite direction from where i might have gone with it.
- Aroma – 85
- Taste – 90
- Texture – 89
- Spunk – 90
- Price – 92 ($11 for 2 oz is “a really good deal”, but too cheap for the serious tea snob in me)
- Availability – 93
- Appearance – 93
Mean score – Rounds down to 90%.
It has it’s moments, but hardly the best Pai Mutan I’ve had. :/