I chose to review Nannuoshan’s white tea collection. This first one, Xue Ya, seems controversial. I’ve seen versions of Snow Buds listed by other companies as white, yellow, and green teas. This one from Yixing is long straight green leaf with silver haired buds. The dry leaf scent is slightly sweet, and equal parts grassy and oats.
The first steep was 30 seconds. The liquor has very little color, just a hint of yellow. The green wet leaf has an aroma suggesting stewed meat to me, Mmmmm. Along with it is a vine like aroma.
The taste is mildly sweet. It is sort of grassy, but the taste is bigger than that simple word. It has a bite that is bitter, but stay with me, the bitter is the crisp refreshing type that is pleasing to the palate.
The second cup at 45 seconds is very different. The good bitter of the first cup is moved to the aftertaste along with some grassiness. The sip itself has a strong umami presence with an almost metallic bite. My cup was empty before I realized, so obviously I enjoyed it.
The third cup at 60 seconds morphs once more. The aroma is quite vegetal, seeming more like a Chinese green tea. The taste is a combination of flavors. I get earthy/mushroom, mineral, umami, and grass. The aftertaste is cooling while tasting lightly sweet, and a good bitter grass.
I do like this one. To my tastes it seems more like a green tea than a white. I can see why the debate rages on.