2021 Golden Flower Shou Mei

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  • Regular price $108.00
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This tea is a rarity, unusual in that white tea, grown and harvested in Fujian, was taken north to Shaanxi, where it was inoculated and aged with the legendary Golden Flower fungus.  This "Golden Flower" has long been used for tea aged in this region, most notably Fu tea.  In combining the tea of Fujian with the Golden Flower aging techniques of Shaanxi, this tea is something of a hybrid.  

What makes the aged tea from Shaanxi particularly special is the "Golden Flower" mushroom found there, which grows on the tea as it ages.  Long-hailed for its medicinal benefits, this fungus is used to ferment a variety of medicinal substances, in addition to tea, in order to potentiate their medicinal benefits.  These claims are bolstered by a growing body of scientific research, which has thus far shown Golden Flower (AKA Eurotium cristatum) to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-obesity, probiotic, and immunomodulatory effects, to lower cholesterol and lipid levels, and support a healthy gut biome, thereby benefiting digestive health.  Thus, it is unsurprising that studies indicate that it may be useful in cases of ulcerative colitis, obesity, and both Type I and Type II Diabetes.  (See links at bottom of description for a fraction of these studies.)  In addition to its health benefits, Golden Flower's transformation of elements in the tea reduce its bitterness and impart a unique flavor, prized by connoisseurs.  When it comes to a Golden Flower white tea, such as this one, these transformations are said to impart a vibrant color to the tea and improve its fragrance, while lowering its polyphenol content, thereby reducing any potential bitterness and astringency.  

While, at first glance, this may appear to be like any other shou mei, a mixture of brown and black outer leaves, with the occasional silver sheen from the white fuzz of inner bud leaves, breaking into the cake will quickly reveal the Golden Flower at work within.  Dry, the lustrous leaves of this tea impart a rich, tart, dark, woody, fungal aroma, with elements of apricots, tart cherry, and mahogany, with a heavy yun cave element.  They produce an chestnut-amber brew with a medium body and smooth texture.  It leaves the palate with the slightest astringency, but with a clear and resounding yun sweetness that rings on the tongue and palate, giving one the mental feeling of rainwater washing over clean stone.  Its delectable flavor is bright and clear, with tart elements of plum and cherry, as well as almond earthiness, and iron, rainwater, and wet granite yun.  Aging with golden flower has actually been shown to increase caffeine levels, which may explain the buzz of mental stimulation that this tea can impart.  

Lasts about 8-15 brews.  

Price is per 300 gram brick (approximately 10.5 ounces).

Golden Flower studies:

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