Bai Mu Dan (白牡丹, Bái Mǔ Dān) also called White Peony is a kind of Chinese white tea. It is native to Nanping City, Fujian Province. Bai Mu Dan was first created in 1922 and it is a historical famous tea in Fujian Province.
Bai means “white” and Mu Dan means “peony”. The brewed tea leaves floating in the water look like peony blooming, so it is called Bai Mu Dan.
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Characteristics of Bai Mu Dan
Bai Mu Dan is mainly picked in March. The picking time is only about 15-20 days, so its yield is relatively low and its price is relatively high.
Bai Mu Dan is made from one bud with one leaf or with two leaves. Among all the Chinese white teas, the quality of Bai Mu Dan is second only to that of Bai Hao Yin Zhen. Bai Hao Yin Zhen is made from 100% of buds.
Although the quality of Bai Mu Dan is not the best among all the white teas, its fragrance is the strongest. The fragrance smells like that of the flower.
The dried Bai Mu Dan tea leaves are covered with a layer of white hairs, so the color is green covered with white.
After brewing, the tea leaves slowly unfold in the water, like the white peony gently swinging in the water. The color of the tea liquid is apricot or orange-yellow. It tastes fresh and light and has an aftertaste.
According to the raw materials, processing technology, and production area of Bai Mu Dan, there are about 20 kinds of fragrances of it:
Here are common kinds of fragrances of Bai Mu Dan:
- Fruit fragrance
- Grass fragrance
- Herbal fragrance
- Orchid fragrance
- Jujube fragrance
- Baking fragrance
- Gardenia fragrance
- Osmanthus fragrance
Besides, according to its quality, Bai Mu Dan tea can be classified into four grades. The higher the grade, the better the shape, fragrance, and taste.
Benefits of Bai Mu Dan
Bai Mu Dan tea has a high content of flavonoids, which has a strong antioxidant effect. One cup of Bai Mu Dan tea has the same effect as 12 cups of orange juice.
Bai Mu Dan tea is more effective than green tea in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Benefits of Bai Mu Dan:
- Clear heat
- Protect the liver
- Lower blood sugar
Legend of Bai Mu Dan
According to a legend, during the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-8 AD), there was an official called Mao Yi, who was honest and upright. Because he didn’t like the corrupt officials, he abandoned his office and went back to the countryside with his mother.
When they passed a mountain, they suddenly smelled a strong fragrance, so they asked an old man with white hair and beard hanging over his chest.
The old man pointed to eighteen white peonies in a lotus pond and said the fragrance came from there. When the mother and son saw that like a fairyland, they decided to build a temple and roads to protect the lotus pond and peonies.
One day, his mother fell ill due to her old age and tiredness. He was looking for medicine everywhere and felt very anxious and tired. When he fell on the road and fell asleep, he met the old man in his dream. The old man told him tea can treat his mother.
When he got home, surprisingly, his mother had the same dream. Suddenly, the eighteen peonies turned into eighteen tea trees, and the trees were full of green buds and leaves. He picked the buds and leaves and made them into tea. After drinking, his mother recovered from her illness. Later, they named this kind of tea “Bai Mu Dan” (White Peony).