drank Snow Buds (Xue Ya) by Rishi Tea
409 tasting notes

Mmm. Maybe I’m getting used to the subtlety of white teas, or maybe it’s just that I used enough leaf this time (1.3g in the tiny pot, thank you scale!), but I’m liking this one a lot more now. I’m not familiar enough with chestnuts to know if it tastes like those, but it does have a certain sweet and savory addictiveness that makes me sigh happily after sipping, even as my mouth waters. Very interested to see how this holds up to multiple steeps, and how it tastes chilled – I feel like chilling might make the flavors more identifiable, but we’ll see.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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