This Chinese white tea was first created in the Fuding county in the Fujian province in China and today is it also grown in the Guangxi province.
Shou Mei is also known as Long Noble Life Eyebrow, due to its thin and crescent-shaped leaves that resemble eyebrows.
It can also be found under other names or different spellings such as Shu Mee, Sow Mei, Shou Mei Wang, Cha Wang Shou Mei, Longevity Eyebrow or Longevity Eyebrow King.
Once the tea leaves are harvested they are set to naturally wither under the sun. This tea undergoes almost no oxidation, just a slight natural process that gives it its dark color and bold flavor.
Finally tea leaves are dried and packaged careful so as not to damage the leaves unnecessarily.
Grading Shou Mei Tea
This tea is considered a low grade white tea as it uses only a few buds and 2-3 leaves that are plucked after those for White Peony (Bai Mu Dan), thus resulting in darker tea, though with greater strength.
What seems to define the similarity of this tea to that of oolong teas is the result of this late harvesting of the tea leaves.
Using large, more mature, with full fine hair on the surface, multicolored whole leaves make this a lower grade tea, certainly less expensive than the more refined and rare Silver Needle tea.