No rating, for these Snow Buds were a present from a chum and there were complications to the gifting process. The wonderful teas were in thin polyethylene bags. One of them was a heavily-smoked lapsang souchong. The poly bags had absorbed the smoke, resulting in smelly bags and smelly contents for all the teas. I got the Snow Buds out of its poly bag and into a tin immediately. Then aired it out in a nylon bag for weeks at a time, but alas, the smoke will not subside.

Please pass this info along to other tea lovers. THE LESSON: Thin poly bags don’t keep aromas and flavors apart. Even very thick ones eventually seep. All it took for the damage to be done was a couple of days of co-habitation of the teas in a gift bag. Such poly bags are okay for storing tea for short periods, as long as it isn’t near any strong odors. Fruit, herb, smoke or floral — it doesn’t matter, all will permeate. Snack bags, sandwich bags and the tiny poly ziploc bags sold at craft stores are ideal for sharing tea samples but they make lousy long-term storage containers. They don’t even keep moisture out very well over time; the tea swells in size. Word.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.


Southern California, USA


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