- Snow Bud Tea Preparation
Snow Bud Tea (Xue Ya) is a relatively new tea made from the Da Bai Haoi cultivar. Plucked in early March this tea shares characteristics of both white and green teas and, as such, is classified in both categories. Da Bai Haoi is the white tea cultivar but the tea has been processed using the green tea production method.
Like silver needle white tea, Snow Bud Tea consists mostly of buds, which have a downy appearance. The tea does contain some larger leaf though, which has a bolder green color. Compared to silver needle, the leaf is very silvery and tippy with the down still very evident however it tends to be more curled and wiry. The pale yellow liquor is very bright. The harvest window is only a few days in duration in early Spring in order to maintain correct coloration and size of the leaves. The result is naturally sweet with delicate notes.
As this varietal grows at a high elevation, its taste is fresh and light. The leaf aroma is quite vegetal while the taste is naturally sweet and clean. A refreshing tea, it is great as an afternoon beverage and it goes very well with food.
Our Snow Bud Tea can be infused three times between 175-185 degrees which is a slightly higher temperature than most green teas, but more in keeping with its white tea lineage. For a more delicate taste you’ll want to infuse for only one minute, two minutes for a more pronounced taste.
Water Temperature: 175-185 degrees
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 2 Tbl. (rounded)(2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 1-3 minutes
Number of Infusions: 3-4
Our Snow Bud Tea can be prepared in a standard teapot, or in your favorite mug or lidded gaiwan. For best results, we recommend that you pre-warm your vessel, and place 2.5-3 grams of leaf per 6 oz of liquid, before infusing with 175-185 degree water for 1-3 minutes. Snow Bud Tea can be infused at least three times. Increase the time and temperature slightly with each subsequent infusion. Experimenting with your own temperatures and steeping times is encouraged, especially with such a forgiving tea. Cooler temperatures and shorter times yield more mellow, fruity elements, while hotter water and longer times produce more floral and full-bodied complexities. Always use the best-tasting water you can find, and adjust steeping times, quantity of leaves, and water temperature to your personal preferences.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.