Another tea from my parents' Tea Tour of China, this Shou Mei is special because they picked it! The two leaves & bud were picked at the Fu Ming Fang Tea Factory in Fuding, China on April 28, 2014.
The dry leaves are HUGE compared to previous Shou Meis and white teas that I've tried. The leaves varied in color and some were hairy (that's a good thing). White teas are great because they undergo minimal processing. Basically they are picked, dried in the sun, then placed on racks in a temperature controlled room. Visit the Tea Series on White Tea to learn more about the process.
What's the result? Leagues above the previous Shou Meis that I have had. While white tea is though to be "dainty", this one had a serious body to it and was not floral. Even though Shou Mei is on the lower end of the white tea spectrum in terms of quality, I found it very enjoyable. The fact that my parents picked it makes it makes me biased too :)