White Peony Tea: What It is & Steps to Make It Properly

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A delicate white tea, White Peony tastes fresh and mellow. It’s especially delicious when cold brewed. See how to make it properly, hot and iced, with my step-by-step instructions.

White Peony tea in a glass mug with teapot in background.

What is White Peony Tea?

  • White Peony tea is a white tea made up of a bud and two young leaves. It’s not tea made from white peony flowers.
  • White tea comes from the Fujian province of China and originated in Zhenghe and Fuding, the same two regions of Fujian as Silver Needle, another white tea. White Peony from Fuding is the more popular of the two varieties.
  • The way the leaves unfurl as it steeps are said to resemble a white peony which is one story about how the tea got its name.
  • White Peony goes by a few names including Bai Mu Dan, Mutan White, and Pai Mu Tan.

Want to get more into tea? Check out my Green Tea Starter Guide, Oolong Tea Starter Guide, and my Top 10 Tea Sommelier Tips.

Ingredient Notes

  • White Peony tea
    For the best tasting White Peony tea, use loose tea or tea sachets.
  • Water
    Always use filtered water when making tea.
My White Peony Pick

Photo Credit: Harney.com

Look for White Peony tea that’s includes silvery unopened leaf buds like this Mutan White.
SEE PRICE ON HARNEY.COM

Steps to Make Hot White Peony Tea

Four photo collage showing steps to make White Peony tea.

For complete brewing guide, full ingredients, and instructions, scroll to the bottom.

  1. Boil water.
    You don’t want boiling hot water for this tea. The easiest way to heat water for tea is in an electric kettle with temperature setting. Boil extra water so it can be used to warm up the teapot.
  2. Warm up teapot. 
    Pour some of the hot water into the teapot. Swirl the water around and then throw it out. 
  3. Put White Peony tea into the teapot and add hot water. Cover teapot and steep.
  4. Strain White Peony tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: Warming the teapot helps prevent a big temperature drop while the tea brews, so I always include it when I want to make tea properly. 

Steps to Make Iced White Peony Tea

All iced tea should be cold brewed, especially White Peony tea. It’s AMAZINGLY delicious cold brewed!

Two photos showing steps to make cold brewed White Peony tea.
  1. Put White Peony tea and water in a pitcher or glass container. Cover and place in refrigerator to cold brew.
    Use cool or room temperature filtered water for a better tasting iced tea.
  2. Strain tea leaves and pour tea into a cup.
    Ice is optional since the tea is already chilled.

Expert Tips

  • White Peony is a delicate tea so it’s best without any milk or sugar but if you like it sweet, add a little sugar or honey.
  • To sweeten White Peony cold brew, go for simple syrup. It’s so easy to make at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves. Flavored simple syrup or fruit juice can be used to flavor and sweeten iced White Peony tea.
  • You can add berries or other fruits and herbs such as lemon verbena if you want to flavor your drink. Be careful not to choose anything too strong that will overpower the tea. 
  • Don’t use boiling hot water to make this tea. Water that’s too hot can make the tea taste bitter.
  • Tea can be brewed and stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. Airtight, glass containers are best for storing brewed tea.
  • To store loose White Peony tea, keep it in an airtight container away from heat, light, smells, and humidity.

Questions You May Have

What does White Peony tea taste like?

This tea is a beautiful pale yellow that has a fruity, lightly sweet, and honey flavor.

Is there caffeine in white tea?

Yes, White Peony tea contains caffeine.

Loose tea, tea sachets, or tea bags?

Loose tea is always the best quality tea since the leaves are intact and the most flavorful. Tea sachets are your next best bet. Tea bags contain the lowest quality tea so I wouldn’t recommend using them for this tea. 

Is White Peony tea a real tea?

Yes, White Peony tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant so it is a real tea.

Iced White Peony tea in a glass.

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White Peony Tea

Author: Jee Choe
A delicate white tea, White Peony tastes fresh and mellow.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 mins
Steep Time 3 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 1 cup water + more to warm teapot
  • 1 ½ teaspoons White Peony tea (or 1 tea sachet)

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 175°F. Heat a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. If boiling water on the stovetop, let it come to a simmer, then turn off heat.
    Use filtered water for brewing. Water is the only other ingredient in tea, so better water equals better tea.
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour hot water into a teapot halfway and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.Warming up the teapot is an extra step that all tea professionals take the time to do, so that when the tea steeps, the water temperature won't drop drastically.
  • Put White Peony tea into the teapot and add hot water. Cover teapot and steep for 3 minutes.
  • Strain White Peony tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

NOTES

How to Make Cold Brew White Peony Iced Tea

  1. Put White Peony tea and cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 6 hours. 
    Stir to make sure tea leaves get dampened by the water and isn’t sitting dry on top of the water surface. Use filtered water for a better tasting iced tea. The best steep time is 6-12 hours.
  2. Strain tea leaves and pour tea into a cup.
    Ice is optional since the tea is already cold.

Brewing Guide

Hot White Peony Tea

  • TEA: 1 ½ teaspoons White Peony tea or 1 tea sachet
  • WATER: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
  • WATER TEMPERATURE: 175°F
  • STEEP TIME: 3 minutes
Cold Brew White Peony Iced Tea
  • TEA: 1 ½ teaspoons White Peony tea or 1 tea sachet
  • WATER: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
  • WATER TEMPERATURE: Cold water
  • STEEP TIME: 6 hours

Tips

  • White Peony is a delicate tea so it’s best without any milk or sugar but if you like it sweet, add a little sugar or honey.
  • To sweeten White Peony cold brew, go for simple syrup. It’s so easy to make at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.
  • To sweeten White Peony cold brew, go for simple syrup. It’s so easy to make at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves. Flavored simple syrup or fruit juice can be used to flavor and sweeten iced White Peony tea.
  • Don’t use boiling hot water to make this tea. Water that’s too hot can make the tea taste bitter.
  • Tea can be brewed and stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. Airtight, glass containers are best for storing brewed tea.
  • To store loose White Peony tea, keep it in an airtight container away from heat, light, smells, and humidity.

NUTRITION

Calories: 1 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 12mg
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