Xue Ya Guangxi Snow Bud (广西雪芽) is a complex and flavoursome white tea. It is grown in Baise, Guangxi Province, utilising plants specifically used for white tea production that originate in the famous Fuding tea growing area of Fujian Province. The small silver leaves produce a herbaceous liquor with a buttery and savoury flavour. This particular tea is grown to organic standards and is an early spring First Flush pre-Qing Ming harvest from 6 March 2022.
The Xue Ya name, which literally means Snow Bud, comes from the appearance of the silver buds when plucked – they look as if covered by snow. There is plenty of this silvery, downy ‘fur’ on the dried leaves of this tea, signifying it is made from fine tips. When the leaves are brewed and unfurled, it is possible to see that they are mostly represented by smaller buds. The use of such small, young leaves that are still covered in silvery ‘fur’ results in a very fine yet complex taste.
Guangxi Province is not particularly famous for growing white tea, but some farmers have brought plants from Fujian and planted them for white tea production here. Similar to our Yin Zhen Guangxi Silver Needle, the cultivar utilised is the famous Fuding Da Bai (福鼎大白 – Fuding Large White). This cultivar is used in Fujian to produce our Xue Ya Snow Bud. However with the change of terrior comes a change in flavour. While white teas tend to be more delicate, having a very light profile, the Xue Ya style generally has a more complex and robust flavour. This Guangxi Xue Ya also delivers a more robust version of a white tea, however we think it is a little better balanced with more interesting and unusual flavours when compared to the Fuding version.
Xue Ya Guangxi Snow Bud is made up of small very neat buds. When brewed, it produces a clear and bright liquor with a pale jade colour and a herbaceous aroma that has verdant hints of parsley and smoked butter. The herbaceous profile has a complex and refreshing taste. The initial flavour starts with savoury notes of toasted nori seaweed, salted plums and a hint of peachy fruitiness. These flavours then give way to clean verdant notes of buttered parsley. The buttery aspect is reflected particularly well on the mouthfeel. The finish is clean, with a lasting warming and comforting sensation.
This tea is best brewed at 80°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste, brewing multiple times. Like with all white teas, you can experiment with both low temperature and long steeping time as well as high temperature and short steeping time as an alternative way of brewing.