Xue Ya (雪芽), literally Snow Bud, is an exquisite and delicate white tea that comes from China. The name comes from the appearance of the silver buds when plucked – they look as if covered by snow. In fact you can still see plenty of this silvery downy ‘fur’ on the dried leaves of this tea.
This Xue Ya Snow Bud comes from the highlands of Zhejiang Province in China. The leaves are large, silver and green in appearance with a somewhat peachy and straw like fragrance, which is the result of the leaves being withered naturally. When brewed, this tea produces a bright liquor with a light sweet fragrance. The complex but delicate flavour has exquisite floral, peachy and nutty notes. Overall this Xue Ya Snow Bud white tea is light and airy but the flavour will further change and develop with repeated steeping.
Generally there are two brewing parameters that can both work well for all white teas and in particular for this Xue Ya Snow Bud. One is a hotter temperature (around 80°C+) followed by short infusion time of 1-2 minutes (or even shorter). Second way to make white tea is to use lower temperature (around 70°C) but also longer infusion time of 3-5 minutes. Short infusion at a high temperature works great for some white teas but can result in a harsher taste. Longer infusion times at a lower temperature tend to bring out more sweetness from white teas. We generally suggest the latter as the best way of making your white tea. You can experiment with both ways to see which one works better for you with a given tea.
This Xue Ya Snow Bud white tea is best brewed using the low temperature and long infusion method at 70°C for 4-5 minutes. It can be brewed 3+ times depending on your taste preferences. As often with high quality Chinese teas, many find that the second or even third infusions can be the best ones!