drank Snow Buds by Todd & Holland
2014 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 74 of 2018 (no. 430 total). A sample.

I found a few other Todd & Holland white tea sample packets in my stash. One is labeled white peony, one is labeled silver needle. So that makes me wonder what the heck this is? So I looked it up.

The best description I could find was on raretea.com:

… a relatively new type of tea, sharing characteristics of both white tea and green tea, and alternatively classified in both categories by different retailers. We classify it as a white tea as a rather arbitrary choice, because our category of white tea has fewer varieties listed in it.

According to Rishi Tea, this variety was developed in the 1980’s by blending some techniques from green tea and white tea production. [footnote omitted] It is usually described as having a delicate aroma; the flavor shares attributes in common with Chinese green teas, and lighter white teas.

So maybe that’s what this is.

Like silver needle, snow buds 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 tends to be more curled and wiry.

Not that it matters a ton because of my white tea problem, but at the herbal steeping temp it is less planty and sweeter (more honey like) than other whites I’ve had recently.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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