Saturday, November 17, 2012
Sow Mee (aka Shou Mei) is a white tea that is produced in Fujian, China. This very inexpensive tea is made of withered tea leaves. From the attached pix, you would have observed the tea leaves looked brownish and very dry. I found that the tea leaves are extremely brittle and breaks easily when I handled the tea.
I did some reading on this tea and found out that this tea belong to the lower grade end of the white tea range. The silver needle (aka yin hao) and the bai mu tan are considered better white teas than the shou mei. I think the term 'sow mee' is another 'lost in translation' description when a chinese word is being translated to English many years back.
I filled my porcelain teapot with about 1/3 of the sow mee and used 90 degree celsius of hot water (about 194 F), rinsing once. The tea is surprisingly good. It had nice hints of sweetness, slightly minty with nice fresh floral notes. I could make 4-5 good drinking infusions. This tea is somewhat similar to the bai mu tan, with the silver needles taken out. A refreshing drink and I believe would taste just as nice if chilled.
I enjoy my white tea, drinking them about twice a week. I do drink the yin hao and bai mu tan, whose fragrance and taste are more pronounced than the shou mei but nevertheless, I regard shou mee as a good white tea as well.
This new sow mee was inexpensive but older ones can be extraordinary pricey. It came in a 100g aluminum white foil pack and then packed in a bright yellow box under 'Sunflower' brand. If you drink white tea, do try out the sow mee.