First Encounter: BREAKDOWN
Hold the bud between your fingers, inspect the flower. Squeeze between your fingers and inhale deeply. Snap the bud open - does the stem crack? Peel buds down to the stem, rolling the buds between your fingers to release the aromatic oils [terpenes]. Smell your fingers.
Tactile inspection categorizes a number of qualities. Texture collapse--squeezing a nug between your fingers--gives us a sense of consistency [ranging from dry, brittle, and dusty to soft, firm, and resilient], density [ranging from loose, airy, and collapsable, to rock hard], and moisture [ranging from dry, light, and crispy to weighty, vibrant, and sticky].
Breaking the buds down with your fingers furthers the tangibility of these characteristics. You may find that the flowers crumble easily, leaving you with dusted fingertips. You may find that the flowers take more effort to pick apart, leaving you with seriously sticky fingers.
This tangibility also lends itself to profiling the aroma of each flower.