Got inspired by Western Europe No. 1 topic of the day, the fluffy white material changes a gray day into pure white beauty. Well, Hangzhou is not that blessed, even so its Winter, but I ran a simulation by preparing Snow Bud and Moon Light White Pu-erh tea side-by-side.
The candidates, 2014 Snow Bud ball, 6.5 g rinse in a simple 700 ml glass pot including a sieve, 2012 Snow Bud cake, 6.5 g rinse in a 120 ml Dehua Gaiwan and a 2010 Moon Light White cake, again 6.5 g in an identical Gaiwan. Notably it a Jinggu session, to be more precisely, a Yangta garden (alt. ~1.800 m) session.
Sometimes this kind of Pu-erh is called white Pu-erh and indeed not only the material comes from "Big White" cultivate aka Dabai which you know from Fuding's Baihao Silver Needles or Baimudan white teas, but taste is close to its Fujian Baihao family, too. During tasting I noted "Should be loved by all Silver Needles fans" and further "a nutty and slightly citrus sweetness, but much thicker texture as in Silver Needles"
The tasting notes in detail:
Rinse to wash, well impossible for the small ball, I just fill up the pot and its leave unfold in slow motion, nice! The Snow Buds and Moon Light White I rinse by 75 degrees Celsius, too but directly use to heat up the cups, while a sweet fragrance is filling the room. The colors a quite different, where the Snow Buds are quite light yellow the Moon Light White come in bronze. After about three minutes I rinse the Snow Bud balls and they are even more transparent, well they are very fresh, too and its 700 ml water for 6.5 grams. I noted "different years!", well its obviously when comparing 2012 cake vs. 2014 ball.
The fragrance of the empty cups, tell further on different year, even harvest times and age. Obviously the 2010 Moon Light White, which cost only a third of the 2012 Snow Bud cake got an one dimensional and rather fragile smell of dried sunflowers, whereas both Snow Buds show a fruity flavor, which warps the tongue later, too. Notably the 2014 balls have a bit smoky smell confirming its autumn harvest, interesting the 2010 is harvested in September, too, but without any smokiness.
The first three rounds I keep a temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Celsius and quick 5 to 10 seconds infusions, wheres the balls meanwhile good 5 minutes in the water and nearly completely unfolded. All three have onle dominating hint of honey, nearly no bitterness or astringency and there is a clear taste similarity between rather Silver Needles, than Baimudan.
Starting by 2010 Moon Light White, its taste is generally more simple, I taste honey hints, a bit drupe and a little dry aging notes. The texture is medium and the taste not really complex, more straightness and simplicity.
The 2012 Snow Bud, a late spring tea is a nutty, citrus-honey bomb, full bodied and profound texture by long lasting after taste. A true masterpiece of hand selected material, processed under best procedures and an experienced master, a real asst for any tea collection.
The 2014 Snow Bud balls are quite fresh, harvested and processed in September, providing a fresh fruity sensation, by moderate texture and complexity. Again very nutty, citrus-honey hints, a bit hey and obviously not as rich as its 2012 counterpart, but that is only a question of time.
What a great "powder day" here in Hangzhou, makes hungry for more on White Pu-erh varieties.
And remember "Don't eat yellow snow!"
Have a great session, too!