Today I am reviewing ‘Censers’, a Bai Mu Dan white tea cake from White2Tea.
Table of Contents
Vintage: Spring, 2018
Origin: Guizhou, China
I used the entire 7 gram mini-cake of tea and spring water in a small glass pitcher strained through a steel mesh strainer.
The color of the tea cake is a bit darker then I was expecting for a white tea from 2018.
I soaked the tea for 30 seconds in hot water and discarded the wash.
Steeped for 40 seconds.
This tea has a good texture for a white tea.
Taste is, well, essentially Bai Mu Dan.
You can taste the a little sweetness from the tea buds but it’s nothing to complex yet.
I’ll wait until the second steep to write the flavor notes.
Brewed for 45 seconds.
Upon looking inside of my brewing vessel, I notice that the cake is decompressing and it appears that this tea cake isn’t made from whole leaf material. Perhaps they use the larger material for the larger cakes, and use the smaller, more broken material for these smaller mini-cakes. It may make sense if that were the case, but I think it’s worth mentioning.
Notes of earth, chestnut, honey, thyme, and flowers.
It has a lubricating mouthfeel, and is reasonably thick.
Steeped for 55 seconds.
Notes of hay have developed alongside the previous flavors, and strangely enough, it has a little bit of a tang. It’s a little weird, but it’s not necessarily a bad taste.
The mini-cake seems to be pretty compressed, as the mini-cake is still mostly intact.
Steeped for 1 minute.
Some notes of spice have developed, but there is still sweetness from the tea buds.
The tang isn’t as noticeable as it was on the third steep.
Minerality is now showing, with a light stone-fruit flavor, perhaps a bit reminiscent of peach.
The mini-cake is now about halfway decompressed, so I am sure this will go for a few more steeps.
Steeped for 1 minute.
A bit of the tang is back again.
It’s a bit fruity, and a bit floral.
I wish it had more honey-like sweetness, but perhaps that would develop with a couple more years of aging.
Steeped for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
The tea is still very flavorful, with good body, but it’s worth noting that even on the sixth steep, the mini tea cake is still not fully decompressed, which in my opinion, is pretty strange.
Brewed for 2 minutes.
The flavor is starting to weaken a bit but the brew is still a nice color.
This tasted pretty good, and it can brew quite a few cups of tea, but for such an expensive white tea, you would think the material would be comprised of whole leaves, or close to it. It’s also a bit to densely compressed for my liking, as it isn’t wasn’t fully decompressed even by the seventh steep.
It’s a decent quality white tea, but I actually preferred the flavor and leaf quality of a Verdant Tea 2019 Bai Mu Dan white tea cake I have recently had, which was nearly half the price as White2Tea’s ‘Censers’.
That being said, I think this ‘Censers’ cake lasts for more steeps then the Verdant tea cake.