Snow Chrysanthemum Buds Flower Tea from the Kunlun Mountains

Tea type
Herbal Tea
Dill, Floral, Peppercorn, Spices, Spicy, Flowers, Citrus, Dandelion, Grass, Herbaceous, Hot Hay, Pepper, Vegetal, Sweet, Herbs, Bitter, Medicinal, Orange, Orange Zest, Osmanthus, Black Pepper, Plants, Sour, Caramel, Green Bell Peppers, Mineral
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine Free
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 4 g 28 oz / 823 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Snow Chrysanthemum tea is a rare and highly sought after high altitude (3000 meters) flower tea from the Kunlun Mountains in Xinjiang province. The tea is picked and sun-dried once a year then hand-sorted into various grades. We offer only the highest grade available!

Our Snow Chrysanthemum Buds have a unique taste that is a bit different from the opened flowers we sell here. These are picked while still buds and then dried in the high altitude sun to cure them. The aroma of the buds is thick and pungent. Sweet and floral. The brewed tea is sweet, honey-like with a light flower and cooling mint-like taste. The tea soup is gold-red and the buds can be infused 8 to 10 times if brewed gong fu style.

A lovely tea with strong sweet and spiced flavor, it can be brewed alone or with other teas (like ripe pu-erh or black tea). It’s a great tea to drink after dinner and has no caffeine. It is thought that properties within the chrysanthemum flower have a calming effect and aid in sleep. In the Traditional Chinese Materia Medica Snow Chrysanthemum is described as aiding respiratory fitness, regulating blood pressure and preventing cancer.

Regardless of any health claims this is foremost an enjoyable drink. Try mixing with ripe pu-erh or black tea for a lovely gong fu experience!

You need to store this airtight and keep in a cool and dry place to keep it fresh!

April 2017 Harvest

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15 Tasting Notes

24 tasting notes

Very unique and tasty tea! Almost like a mix of Urfa Biber, Black Pepper, Flowers, and Dill. But, it’s not unpleasant! I recommend!

Flavors: Dill, Floral, Peppercorn, Spices, Spicy

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 160 OZ / 4731 ML

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135 tasting notes

Definitely nicer than full flowers; the taste is stronger, spicier, and more complex. It’s visually striking as well. A great drink for summer.

Flavors: Flowers, Spices, Spicy

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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4208 tasting notes

I drank this during The Freeze. I’ve tried it many times. I’ve tried, really tried. The pouch is almost gone. But all I can taste is PICKLES. DILL PICKLES. Is this because of age? I’m not sure, but I think that is always what I was tasting. What the heck, Snow Chrysanthemum Buds? Not an extensive note, because you know, PICKLES. (I do notice someone added ‘dill’ to the flavor list so it’s not just me.) At least they look pretty.


Ugh. Chrysanthemum teas I have tried taste like lawn mulch. Your description just underscores the fact I can live without them!

White Antlers

I was first introduced to chrysanthemum tea by an acupuncturist who was treating me for chronic pain. My initial reaction to it was ‘OMG-wet toilet paper!’ I told him it was unpalatable. He recommended adding bee pollen to it so I wound up with honey-ish flavored wet toilet paper. Pardon the horrid pun but so NOT my cup of tea. : P


haha.. well, chrysanthemum teas weren’t THIS bad before, if I recall. I don’t like bee pollen so I doubt that would help. :D

White Antlers

It’s traditionally (in traditional Chinese medicine) not a beverage for pleasure. It’s used in TCM to reduce high blood pressure, calm the nerves and cool inflammation, ward off the early stages of a cold and as a cooling agent for excessively hot chi. To me, things like this, valerian, chamomile, licorice, oat straw, uva ursi and other herbs are good for what ails you but not things I’d want to drink if I didn’t strictly need or have to.


Ah okay thanks, good to know all those health benefits, White Antlers.


Oh how tastebuds differ! I get a whiff of dill but that doesn’t stifle my love for these buds. Lawn mulch and wet toilet paper are apt descriptors for my relationship with the common yellow chrysanthemum flowers. Hard pass on those.

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1233 tasting notes

Another tea I yoinked from the Discovery Teabox (thanks to Skysamurai for coordinating and all who contributed!) I have been curious about this one since I saw derk’s initial review, and those of some folks she traded with, so when I saw it in the teabox I knew I had to try it. Brewed up a small teapot to have with my potstickers for dinner.

The tea looks like a rooibos in its reddish-orange color, but has a strong herbal aroma, with a hint of floral sweetness to it. The scent reminds me of fresh yellow dandelions, with a backdrop of vegetal hay. It also has a spicy aroma, a bit peppery. The flavor is slightly floral, but leaning more to the herbaceous side. I get a vegetal, warm grassy/hay flavor, with a sweet floral taste that somehow reminds me of chamomile without the unpleasant soapiness that makes me dislike chamomile so much. There is a sharpness at the back of my tongue, toward the end of the sip, that I can only describe as citrusy. A strange amalgamation of herbaceous, floral, and citrus notes, but altogether very pleasant.

Thanks for sharing!

Flavors: Citrus, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Herbaceous, Hot Hay, Pepper, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

I almost had this today, digging through my neglected Yunnan Sourcing teas. sigh.

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1889 tasting notes

I wonder why I waited so long for trying this. Derk, who sent me it, said that this package are summer brews and now there is an autumn outside and I am drinking this? Okay I guess.

Anyway, prepared grandpa with one tea spoon (about 2-3 grams). I was surprised how quickly it has changed the colour! And the aroma is so nice and strong. Now it does not change – so it is dark red-brown colour. Aroma, have no idea how to describe it. Strong, but not very floral (as I have expected), rather malty maybe? Roswell Strange mentioned
basil notes. Yep maybe some of it. Or herbal generally.

In taste, it is thick but as well somehow light. Herbal, but not annoying. Sweet, but not pollen sweet, nor sugary sweet. Good caffeine-free tea. Even in autumn.
Song pairing:

Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Sweet

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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16045 tasting notes

Geek Steep S2E11: The Saga of The Swamp Thing

This was my second pairing attempt for the latter half of the volume we were reading though. This time I made a large Western style teapot that I could slowly sip through over the course of reading.

I have to say, this was a drastic improvement when it came to picking an appropriate tea. In addition to the deeply saturated red/orange liquor mirroring the saturated red hues of artwork in the comic, I realized that I had inadvertently steeped both a “green tea” and a “red tea” which really beautifully mirrored the reoccurring red/green worlds of the comic – that symbolism through my tea pairings gave me a lot of satisfaction.

But the tea itself fit in terms of taste and, really, that’s the most important.

I really waxed on in the episode about why the taste of this tisane was such a gorgeous compliment to the comic but I to simply it’s sort of because this is a tisane that tastes sort of medicinal but in a good way – it’s thick, complex, and when you drink it you feel as if the tea is doing good in addition to tasting good. The comic feels big. It’s tackling LARGE themes like ‘what does it mean to be human’ and ‘can you regain your humanity if you never had it in the first plan’ and the way Moore write is so grand and satisfying. His words kind of feel like medicine in the same way this tea does.

So yeah, pairing redeemed.


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971 tasting notes

It is too late now for anyhting caffeinated, so this seems like a good option. I just received a box of samples from derk, so I am excited to try them out, this will be the first one of them.

The first thing I notice is how pretty these look. Obviously, they are not leaves, so the look is always going to be unusual, but very few flower buds are this cute I reckon.

The smell is mostly what I would expect from Chrysantemum, although a little more citrusy and vegetal than the properly grown flower scent I am used to. It also doesn’t really have any of the thick pollen smell. I get reminded of my grandma’s house :)

I really like the mouthfeel of this tea. It is farily thick and at the same time somehow feels as if the tea just disappeared in my mouth – so light. In terms of taste, there is surprisingly a lot of balance. It is sweet, sour, a little medicinal and herbal (reminds me of Almdudler/Rivella and cough sirup). The particular notes I get are not so pronounced, apart from the obvious flowery taste, I also found this leafy taste that derk identified as curry leaf. I am a bit ashamed to admit it, being passionate about cooking and into curries, but I actually never came accross curry leaves. To me, that note is reminiscent of fenugreek leaves.

Another satisfying aspect of the tea is the long cooling and sticky aftertaste. It is sweet and peppery overall and doesn’t seem to change a whole lot initially. Quite a bit later on however, once the pungent sweetness disappears, I get a strong floral sensation coupled with the spicy feeling in the throat that still persists some 10 minutes after drinking. I wonder how many infusions I can get out of this. It has been mentioned that it lasts long, but I need to go to bed soon. Maybe I will cold brew it overnight, or just leave it for a morning continuation of the session.

As far as tisanes go, these Chrysanthemum buds are absolutely awesome, I will be looking to get more. I also have to thank derk for sending me this (among all the other lovely teas), because it is surely a hit!

Flavors: Black Pepper, Citrus, Flowers, Herbs, Medicinal, Pepper, Plants, Sour, Sweet

Boiling 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

Every time I drink this, I think about South Indian food.


What a tempting review. I want, I want, I want. I have been looking on tisanes offered by YS for a while, including this tea. They are not particularly numerous but all of their herbs/flowers in their tea blends tasted very fresh and robust. So, I guess I know what my next order from Yunnan Sourcing will largely consist of.


I recommend brewing them in a glass vessel or chahai to appreciate the beauty of these golden flowers as they’re suspended in their own soup. Quite stunning to watch as one drinks. This one definitely passes TeaDB’s “mom test”.

I can see where one might get curry leaves from the nutty notes in the tea. It’s definitely nothing like conventional Chinese chrysanthemum tea.

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1049 tasting notes

Here is another review from the incrementally shrinking backlog. I polished off a 50g pouch of these snow chrysanthemum buds back in June, but of course, I am just now reviewing them on Steepster. I had little experience with pure chrysanthemum flower tisanes prior to trying this one, but I do have to say that I found it to be tremendously enjoyable. Even if tisanes, in general, are not things I consume regularly, I would be very willing to try this one again at some point in the near future.

I prepared this tisane gongfu style. Honestly, I had no clue how to brew it, so I just went with my gut. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of snow chrysanthemum buds in 4 ounces of 212 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 19 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes. I cut this session off when I did because I was long past the point where I would have needed to use a warmer to get anything else out of this tisane.

Prior to the rinse, the dry flower buds emitted lovely, spicy chrysanthemum aromas with some herbal and vegetal hints. Oddly enough, smelling the dry buds reminded me of my time working as a vocational rehabilitation instructor at a local community health agency. I led classes at a garden center, and in late summer and early fall, my clients and I grew chrysanthemums. The area around my greenhouse used to smell like them all the time, and the smell of chrysanthemum blossoms quickly became one of my favorite smells. After the rinse, I detected more even floral aromas with some hints of black pepper. The first infusion was then slightly more peppery on the nose, but still very floral overall. In the mouth, the liquor offered delicate, peppery chrysanthemum notes with hints of vegetal and herbal characteristics that I could not quite place. Subsequent infusions retained strongly floral aromatics and remained mostly floral in the mouth. Some defined notes of dill, grass, green bell pepper, minerals, and pickle brine also appeared. Caramel sweetness and hints of black pepper then came out on the finish. There was not a ton of difference in terms of aroma or flavor in the later infusions. The chrysanthemum notes were more muted, and the notes of pickle brine, minerals, and green bell pepper were a little stronger. Impressions of caramel and black pepper were still evident on the swallow.

This was a fun and very satisfying tisane. I would imagine that fans of floral concoctions would absolutely love it. I especially appreciated its longevity. No matter how hard I tried I could not exhaust these little buds. Overall, this was definitely a quality tisane at a more than reasonable price.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Caramel, Dill, Floral, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Mineral, Spicy

Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

I’m glad you wrote a review detailing your gong fu experience. I now want to try plopping a only a gram in my 60mL gaiwan to see what results.


I think somebody in my family had the same, or similar job as you, except in western Ohio…


It wouldn’t surprise me. Community health agencies in several states used to run closed workshop programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Most were greenhouse and/or garden center-based.


used to, were Does that imply they’re no longer around where you live? Sounds like it would be a beneficial community program.


derk, a lot of agencies have been transitioning away from the closed workshop model because it does not allow for community integration. Also, due to Medicaid restrictions, individuals who worked or continue to work in such settings were/are not covered by minimum wage laws. Supported employment is the model that Kentucky is moving towards because it both guarantees fair wages and allows for community integration. In this model, individuals with disabilities are placed directly in local businesses and receive supports directly from staff as well as employment specialists. The agency I used to work for is still around and so is my old worksite, though, the program has been restructured from what I understand. I have no clue how it is run now.

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1575 tasting notes

Brewed western. Dry buds smell like a pungent tangerine. Liquor has the added scent of clarified butter. Cat does not like the smell. Tastes like, hm, definite tangerine or tangelo, mango chutney-ish, noticeable black pepper and ginger spice, kind of sweet, a pungent green herb (curry leaf?), a scintilla of citrus blossom (look at me using like I’m in middle school), a cooling minty whisper. Aftertaste of those gummy, sugared orange slices that remind me of old people in my childhood. Kind of a thick mouthfeel, not thin at all like a lot of herbal teas. Tongue tingles. Many resteeps. Warming, calming. They grow north of Tibet, neat. Best caffeine-free I’ve ever had. Crazy. Awesome. Get some.

Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Girl Meets Gaiwan

I’ve been eyeing this one for a while. Good to have the endorsement, I’ll have to give it a try!

Mastress Alita

I absolutely love those gummy orange slices. If my supervisor puts them in her candy dish, they will be gone by the end of the day, and she’s giving me the stank eye because everyone in the office knows who is responsible for it.


There’s always a candy thief in the office. I’m that way with Smarties.


I loved these things. I didn’t get citrus, gummy orange slices, or ginger out of them, though I got dill, green bell pepper, caramel, grass, and pickle brine out of them. How long were you able to keep them going? Once I got to the 20 minute mark, I just gave up because I could not seem to exhaust them. I have no problem admitting that these little flower buds defeated me.


Brewed western with just 1 flat tsp (~1.4g), I was able to get 4 untimed, 8-oz infusions before I fell asleep, so roughly 1L:1.5g. The citrus was the most prominent note for me in taste, smell and aftertaste but I admit I haven’t spent much time around chrysanthemums besides what people put on their porches around Halloween. I just brought out the bag for a sniff and I can pick up on the dill, green bell pepper and pickle brine you mention. I suppose that’s what I labelled as ‘pungent’ in my tired state. I’m really impressed with their longevity!


For me, the ginger came out in spiciness rather than in flavor.


Do you have the chrysanthemum flower tea as well. I still have about 40g of last year’s production that I am working my way through. They make for an interesting contrast with the buds. I find the flowers smoother and a little sweeter with a fruitiness that I did not get out of the buds.

Mastress Alita

I don’t have plain chrysanthemum but do have chrysanthemum flowers mixed with white tea. Oddly enough, I remember it reminding me a lot of butterfly pea flower…


derk, yeah, the latter is the one. I always intended to pick up the Emperor’s Yellow Chrysanthemum, but have never gotten around to it.

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81 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ve tried enough ‘floral’ teas, or maybe I’m just some kind of cretin, but this just makes me think of pickles and I’m not mad about it.

bonus: these lil’ buds look like teeny pumpkins.


Clearly a cretin.

Your review made me chuckle :)


These DO seem pickly, now that you mention it. haha


some days are just cretinous days, and I’ve learned to accept it. and I’m glad it made you chuckle :)


I’ve been meaning to make some more of this, but I keep hesitating thinking ‘do I really want to drink some pickles right now?’ before choosing something else. what an odd thing to think about, hahaha.


Well, if it makes you think the flavor is pickles, then there is nothing you can do about it. haha :D

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