Friday, August 10, 2007

Kashanganj SnowBud from T-Ching (tea tasting)

Scent in package: very light fruity scent
Brewed in: Tea for one pot w/metal infuser, Gaiwan, tea for one pot
Steeped: 3 min@ steaming/4 min@ steaming, several infusions @ 170, and 3 min.@ steaming again.
Cup: Café mug, tasting cup, café mug

This was quite an interesting tasting, and while I kind of “ruined” the gaiwan session, I have enough to try again properly, and plan to do so. All in all though, I really loved the substantial nature of this white tea.

My first two cups were here at work, and I used the filtered water from the water cooler heated in my electric kettle just until it was steaming. I was “wowed” by my first sip, which was much more flavorful than I find many white teas to be. There was that fruitiness again, but very light and complementary to the ultra-soft vegetal notes in the tea. The viscosity surprised me as well…it brewed up a substantial cup that lingered after each sip was gone. The second infusion was just as good, with very little difference in the taste and the same mildly fruity scent wafted up from the cup. Very tasty and soothing, and sweeter than the average tea. There was no astringency or drying qualities at all, just very smooth and mellow.

So last night, I decided to get out my gaiwan and brew a few infusions “gong fu” style. I made many mistakes however (wasn’t quite myself), and using tap water at a cooler temperature was the main mistake. Only one infusion out of the 6 I tried turned out even close to what I had tasted at work, and while it contained the sweetness, it was also very drying and somewhat bitter (all infusions with tap water were quite bitter). Needless to say, I was rather disappointed and it was the next morning before I realized my tap water mistake. I’m looking forward to trying it again with filtered water in my gaiwan.
This morning, I brewed up another cup at work with the same parameters as I used before. Worked like a charm, and I had a very sweet, mellow, enjoyable cup of tea this morning at my desk. I love that sort of fruity sweetness that comes through the vegetal flavors…it seems simple but complex at the same time. One thing I did notice with tap water was a “white pepper” flavor that gave just a tiny bite to the tea – I think it would be interesting to capture that and marry it with the fruit-sweet profile found with filtered water.

The leaves (buds) are gorgeous, and longer than many I’ve seen…a beautiful light gray-green when dry, and very vibrant green when wet, as you can see.

The tea may be pricy, but I think it’s worth it, and I’m seriously considering ordering more. What a great tasting experience.


  1. Your review makes this tea sound so delicious. Coincidentally I received a sample of it today included with my first order from Lochan Tea. My sample has the much more manageable name, however, of "Doke Royal Snow Bud," Doke being the estate in the virtually unpronounceable Kashanganj where this tea is produced.

    Having this stuff on hand led me to read your review with more intense interest than I would otherwise have had, which leads me ... (finally and rather long-windedly) ... to my question: How much leaf did you use?

  2. I'm sure you'll enjoy it...glad you found the review helpful. It did take me a few tries to spell the name correctly, but hey, nothing like a good challenge... :-)

    As to leaf amounts: I used about 1.5 teaspoons for an 8oz pot at work, and filled the gaiwan between 1/3 and 1/2 full here at home. In both cases, it seemed like a good amount as far as flavor/steeping times went. I don't have a scale for grams, unfortunately, but hopefully that will help.


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