White Peony Tea (Bai Mu Dan): Everything You Need to Know (And How to Make it Properly)

bai mudan tea leaves

Quick Look:

  • ORIGIN: China
  • TASTING NOTES: smooth, mild, delicate, fruity, floral, nutty
  • STEEP TIME: 2 to 3 minutes
  • CAFFEINE METER: Low to Moderate

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What is White Peony Tea?

Also known as Bai Mu Dan, White Peony tea is a type of white tea hailing from the Fujian Province of China.

Made from a young bud and two young leaves on one shoot, White Peony tea features a fresh and smooth taste.

The delicate white hairs on the tea leaves give Bai Mu Dan its fruity and floral aroma, making it a beautifully delicious drink both hot and cold!

Is White Peony tea made from White Peony flowers?

Contrary to its name, White Peony tea is not made from Peony flowers. It is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, like other real teas.

“Bai Mu Dan” translates literally to “white peony”. Some say it was given its name for the delicate appearance of its leaves as they steep, others feel it has a floral, peony aroma.

How do you pronounce Bai Mu Dan?

The proper way to pronounce Bai Mu Dan is “buy moo dawn”.

What do you need to make White Peony tea?

Tea Scoop

This is the perfect tool to help you get the perfectly measured scoop of tea leaves every single time. You won’t regret adding this to your tea arsenal!

Electric Tea Kettle

An electric tea kettle with a temperature setting is a must-have brew gadget for tea drinkers! You can set the temperature to the degree for the perfect brew every time. This kettle is a favorite of ours. Or you can check out our full post on the best electric tea kettles.

Spring Water or Filtered Water

To get the best flavors from your tea, use high-quality water. Don’t use tap water or distilled water!

Tea Pot with Strainer

A teapot with a built-in strainer makes brewing tea so much easier when you’re using loose tea leaves. If you’re an avid tea drinker, you won’t regret buying this tea tool!

Loose White Peony Tea Leaves

Using loose tea leaves really will give you the best tea-drinking experience. By letting loose leaves steep in the boiled water, they have room to unfurl and release all of their natural aromas. If you can’t use loose leaves, a tea sachet is the next best thing, since they have more room than a traditional tea bag.

Tea Cup

This one is up to you! Use whatever cup makes you happy! If you need some inspiration, check out some of our favorite drinkware.

How do you make White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) tea properly?

To make the perfect cup of White Peony tea, you will want to use 1.5 teaspoons of tea leaves for each 8-ounce cup. If you don’t have loose-leaf tea, use 1 tea sachet or 1 tea bag.

Tea tip: if you want a stronger flavor, add more tea leaves rather than steeping them for a longer period of time. Most people don’t realize this, but steeping tea too long doesn’t increase the good flavors, it actually can make it more bitter.

Step 1: Pour your water into the tea kettle.

Use cold bottled spring water or cold filtered water. (Tea Tip: Do not use distilled water – this will negatively impact the taste). Make sure to pour some extra water to warm up your teapot or steeping vessel.

Step 2: Boil your water.

For an optimal flavor experience, bring the water to about 175°F. It is important to avoid brewing with boiling water, as the high water temperature can ruin the delicate flavors of Bai Mu Dan, making it bitter.

If you do not have an electric tea kettle with a temperature setting, just bring your kettle to a simmer, then remove it from the heat and let the water sit for a couple of minutes before steeping the tea.

Step 3: Warm up your teapot.

First, pour a bit of your boiled water into your teapot or steeping vessel and swirl it around for a few seconds to allow it to warm the vessel. Then you can discard this water in the sink. 

Step 4: Put your White Peony tea leaves into the teapot and add the rest of your hot water and then cover the pot.

Step 5: Steep your tea leaves for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 6: Strain your tea leaves.

This is easiest if you have a teapot with a strainer. 

You can set aside your tea leaves for another steep. You can re-steep your leaves 1 to 3 times, each time adding 30 seconds to the steep time. 

Step 7: Decant your infused tea into your teacup, add sweeteners to taste, and enjoy!

Tea Tip:

Since White Peony is a delicate tea, many feel it tastes best without any milk or sugar. However, the naturally sweet taste of Bai Mu Dan works perfectly with a touch of lemon and/or honey to bring out all of its best tasting notes.

Can you cold brew White Peony tea?

Yes you can definitely cold brew White Peony tea for a delicious and delicate drink!

Keep reading for the steps to Cold Brewing Bai Mu Dan at home.

Did you know cold brewing is the best way to make iced tea? To learn all about it, check out our post on everything you need to know about cold brewing tea.

How do you make cold brew White Peony tea properly?

To cold brew White Peony tea, use 1.5 teaspoons of White Peony Tea leaves for every 8-ounce cup of water.

STEP 1: Add your tea leaves to a pitcher with an infuser.

STEP 2: Pour room-temperature filtered water or spring water over the tea and stir gently.

STEP 3: Put your pitcher in the refrigerator to steep for 6 to 12 hours

STEP 4: Strain the leaves and enjoy!

Tea Tip:

Two of the best ways to sweeten your Cold Brew White Peony tea is with honey or simple syrup. You can follow our guide to make your own simple syrup at home

What does White Peony tea (Bai Mu Dan) taste like?

Recognized by its light yellow brew, White Peony tea is smooth, mild, and delicate with fruity and floral tasting notes. 

The flavors of Bai Mu Dan are stronger than Silver Needle tea, but not quite as strong as Shou Mei tea.

How much caffeine is in White Peony tea?

The exact amount of caffeine in a cup of White Peony varies depending on different factors such as leaf type, processing methods, and steep times. 

Overall, white tea does have much less caffeine than most black teas as well as coffee. In fact, white tea, on average, has about 40% less caffeine than a cup of Joe. However, the notion that white tea is generally “the lowest” in caffeine is a myth. 

In fact, white teas can range from 6 to 75 mg depending on the exact type of white tea, as well as the brewing method used.

The three most popular types of white tea are Silver Needle (Bai Hao), White Peony (Bai Mu Dan), and Longevity Eyebrow (Shou Mei)…the highest grade being silver needle, the second grade being White Peony, and the lowest grade being Longevity Eyebrow. 

Correspondingly, Silver Needle has the highest caffeine content, followed by White Peony, while Longevity Eyebrow has the lowest caffeine content of the three. 

The younger the buds used are, the higher the caffeine content is. Since Silver Needle uses pure buds (the youngest option), it has more caffeine than White Peony, which uses one young bud and two leaves, and even more than Longevity Eyebrow, which uses mostly leaves with some mature buds from a later harvest. 

What are some health benefits of drinking White Peony tea?

White Peony tea has many health benefits including antioxidants, immune support, blood pressure control, oral health, and heart health!

For the full summary, check out our post on the health benefits and possible side effects of White tea.

Where can you find good quality White Peony tea?

There are several good quality White Peony options you can try. Here are just a few options to get you started:

What is the best way to store White Peony tea?

When it comes to storing White Peony tea, there are a few important things you will want to avoid. These are air exposure, light exposure, moisture, heat, and strong odors. 

In order to keep your Bai Mu Dan tea in its best and freshest condition, you will want to store it in a container that helps avoid the above-mentioned threats. 

The best containers are made of opaque materials with a tight seal. Some good options include non-reactive metals, glazed ceramics, and non-leaching plastics. Beware that while you may see wood tea storage options, they are not best for storing loose-leaf tea, as they can have their own odors that can alter the taste of your tea. 

Once you have your tea in its storage container, keep it in a cool, dark place. 

Here are some good options for storing your Bai Mu Dan tea:

Looking for ways to organize your tea bags? Try these:

You want to ensure your tea stays fresh as long as possible. To make sure you’re not making any common mistakes, be sure to check out our post on the best practices in tea storage!

We hope this guide helped you learn everything you need to know about White Peony tea and how to make it at home!

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