Leopard Snow Buds Tea

Tea type
White Tea
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Apricot, Smoked, Sweet, Thick
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Edit tea info Last updated by Gillyflower
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 12 oz / 354 ml

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From Culinary Teas

The method of manufacture of this tea is quite interesting. The bud and the first leaf of new shoots of the tea bush are hand picked during the last two weeks of March and the first week of April. Only certain tea bushes grow the leaf that is required for this tea. [On a tea estate there are thousands of tea bushes so it is necessary to maintain accurate records for the location of these special bushes.] The leaves are plucked between 3:30: am and 7:00 am when the dew is heavy on the leaves. These leaves are rushed to the tea factory where they are re-sorted and hand rolled ever so slightly. The leaves are then immediately steamed to capture the cool and crisp pre-dawn taste of green tea. Note that some of the leaves are covered with a ‘white down’. This signifies new, fresh and pure – characteristics that are held in high regards by those striving for the ultimate in tea quality.

There are only a handful of villages in the Wuyi Mountains that make this tea. Legend has it that in the 1500’s when special teas were highly sought after by the wealthy merchants of Shanghai and Fuzchou, a certain tea grower Mr. Wu Guan Ping was personally picking the leaves for a special client (also he did not want to divulge the location of these special bushes to his workers for fear that they would steal his tea bushes). Under the cover of pre-dawn darkness while plucking the tea, a white leopard that was known to inhabit the mountains came upon the poor Mr. Wu. The outcome was predictable. When they discovered what was left of Mr. Wu, they found tightly gripped in his hand tea leaves that appeared totally different from any others on the estate. In honor of Mr. Wu this tea was pronounced ‘Leopard Snow Buds’

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2 Tasting Notes

224 tasting notes

After oolongs and blacks I decided on something light. So this one came out of the untried bin for the day.
The dried leaves are fuzzy and a pain in the butt to try to measure out. I think that’s just a characteristic of white teas since I had just as much trouble measuring out the whites from Butiki. Lol.

Steeped this for the 2 min minimum for starters and I’m wondering if I should’ve either let the tea steep longer, or increased the amount of tea I used (which was approx 1.5 tsp near as I can figure). This tasted very light overall. Lightly vegetal, lightly tea flavored. Though it had a nice crisp taste. Just not much other taste overall.

As this one was steeping, most of the leaves were a nice light green, but I noticed a few that were yellow-y and brown spotted. Is this a common thing in white teas? And should I try to spot them before steeping and pick them out?

The package says that this should be steeped 3 – 4 times, but I’m very doubtful since after a second steeping, this one had even less flavor than the first. It just tasted like hot water with a bit of extra something.

Maybe it’s because I’m not used to flavor of white teas that this tastes so light overall. I’ll have to try this again when I’ve been either off darker teas, or off tea altogether.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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1433 tasting notes

Before reading the history and details of this tea, I would’ve fought to the death and said it was an “aged white”. Or, “smoked white”. These are quickly becoming my favorite kind of white teas, and the only ones I drink.

Alas, this isn’t agred, or smoked, but it does have that quality to it. Thicker, richer, fuller bodied, sweet, yet light and airy at the same time. Plus, the leaves were stunning – long, loosely rolled, and slightly fuzzy.

Thank you shezza for another amazing find in my tea journey.

Flavors: Apricot, Smoked, Sweet, Thick

2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML


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