Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: green and brown with scattered fuzzy buds.
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
White2Tea generously sent a batch of samples with an ordered a travel gaiwan from their teaware company, Teaware.House last year. Censers is a compressed Bai Mu Dan grade white tea from Guizhou. The material used to make it was harvested in the spring of 2018. It is not quite old enough to be considered truly aged, but it is well on its way. There is an adage I often see repeated in regards to aging white tea. It goes: ‘One-year tea, three-years medicine, seven-years treasure.’.
My sample of 2018 Censers consisted of several whole chunks. There were lots of fuzzy buds visible, along with some larger and darker leaves. It was fairly tightly compressed with some texture visible from pressing, almost like what you’d see on Tai Ping Hou Kui. The leaves no longer have the verdant greenness of a freshly made white tea. Their aroma reminded me of opening a new bag of orchard hay for my guinea pigs, Fred and Ethel.
I opted to brew this tea in a porcelain gaiwan with fully boiling water. I rarely rinse teas anymore but I did do a super quick one here because this tea is a rare combination of fluffy and tightly compressed at the same time. Using such hot water with white tea can be a bit controversial depending on who you ask, but I beg to differ. A good quality tea will never become undrinkable, no matter how it is prepared.
Censers brewed up a deep golden amber color. Initial infusions were smooth with a candy-like sweetness that lingered long after each sip. White2Tea calls it elegant, and I couldn’t think of a better description. As the leaves opened up it was soft yet full-bodied with a fruity and floral lean. Crisp honeydew melon and baby’s-breath came to mind. There was also an interesting earthiness in the background that reminded me of Corn Flakes cereal.
All of those fuzzy trichomes from the buds contributed to a thick, soupy mouthfeel. There was some dryness on the sides of my tongue but it never became overly astringent. Later infusions were a bit heavier but still just as enjoyable. I found myself struggling to finish each session I had with this tea because the leaves just don’t quit.
At $0.33 per gram, Censers is an affordable and tasty entry into compressed and aged white tea. I would definitely recommend giving it a try, even if it’s just a 25g sample instead of a full cake. If you do spring for a bing, it will be interesting to see how it progresses over time.
Don’t just take my word for it! Here is what some others had to say about this tea:
Have you ever tried 2018 Censers? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!