Leopard Snow Buds has a light liquor with exquisite fresh green tea taste. A suburb white tea!
Enjoy our blog post about this tea: The Most Delicate of Chinese Tea.
Country of Origin: China
Region: Fujian Province, Wuyi Mountains
Shipping Port: Fuzhou
Grade: Handmade special snow buds
Manufacture Type: Streamed green tea and handmade snow buds
Cup Characteristics: Very light liquoring with exquisite fresh green tea character
Infusion: The leaves virtually return to life and are emerald green
The method of manufacture of this tea is quite interesting. The bud and the first leaf of new shoots of the tea bush are hand picked during the last two weeks of March and the first week of April. Only certain tea bushes grow the leaf that is required for this tea. [On a tea estate there are thousands of tea bushes so it is necessary to maintain accurate records for the location of these special bushes.] The leaves are plucked between 3:30: am and 7:00 am when the dew is heavy on the leaves. These leaves are rushed to the tea factory where they are re-sorted and hand rolled ever so slightly. The leaves are then immediately steamed to capture the cool and crisp pre-dawn taste of green tea. Note that some of the leaves are covered with a 'white down'. This signifies new, fresh and pure - characteristics that are held in high regards by those striving for the ultimate in tea quality.
There are only a handful of villages in the Wuyi Mountains that make this tea. Legend has it that in the 1500's when special teas were highly sought after by the wealthy merchants of Shanghai and Fuzchou, a certain tea grower Mr. Wu Guan Ping was personally picking the leaves for a special client (also he did not want to divulge the location of these special bushes to his workers for fear that they would steal his tea bushes). Under the cover of pre-dawn darkness while plucking the tea, a white leopard that was known to inhabit the mountains came upon the poor Mr. Wu. The outcome was predictable. When they discovered what was left of Mr. Wu, they found tightly gripped in his hand tea leaves that appeared totally different from any others on the estate. In honor of Mr. Wu this tea was pronounced 'Leopard Snow Buds'.
Green tea, above all others has a very delicate flavor which is easily marred by the impurities in the water used for brewing it. In the Tang and Ching dynasties water filters were not available and teas were often as expensive as gold. In those days the wealthy tea drinker would bring water from afar (sometimes up to 1000 miles away). Lu Yu the 'Tea God' declared: Mountain spring water is best, river water is next best, well water is the poorest.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180'F or about 80'C. Take 7-10 leaves (which is about a large pinch of tea - using your forefonger and thumb) and let them steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew - they foretell life.
Iced tea brewing method: It is not customary to make iced tea from white tea, nevertheless if you wish to do so we would recommend the following method: Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]