So for today we have Verdant Tea’s Eight Treasures Yabao. First a little history, Eight Treasures Tea (or Ba Bao Cha) is an herbal tea in the Traditional Chinese Medicine arsenal that is reputed to replenish Chi, stimulate the blood, and tonify the liver (among other things) but unlike most of the TCM teas I have tried this one actually tastes good. Take Verdant Tea’s spectacular blending skills and you have a unique version of a traditional tea.
Made from Yunnan Green Jasmine, Silver Buds Yabao, Organic Goji Berries, Organic Marigold Petals, Organic Whole Vanilla Bean, Organic Honeysuckle, Organic Rose Petals, Organic Elderberries, this tea is a thing of beauty. Certainly one of the most colorful teas I have seen, and I am a fan of the blooming teas! The aroma of this lovely tea is a mixture of fruits and flowers (as to be expected) the first thing you notice is this mix of tartness and fruity, similar to the way dried blueberries smell, following that you get a rich floral scent bringing both the jasmine and rose petals together and mixing them with an aster or strawflower like scent. Lastly it is followed with notes of pine resin, earthiness, and rain water. Yes, rain water, or at the very least the smell the air gets right before it rains during the spring. If this tea was available as a perfume or soap you can bet I would wear it, it smells that good.
After a good steeping the leaves are not as pretty, but it happens to flowers that way sadly. The aroma becomes very sweet and heady, like a mixture of pears, jasmine, and berries. It is what I imagine eating dessert in an exotic garden would smell like, it is very intoxicating. The liquid itself brings in more of the pine resin aroma mixed with fresh spring water and a touch of the floral.
Ah, the tasting! Do I detect dates? No, I think that might be the richness of vanilla beans, but is certainly has a slightly date like quality to it. This tea tastes very clean, or at the very least very cleansing. It is like drinking something pure and revitalizing, similar to drinking spring water that has been accented with pine and honeysuckles. It maintains its floral notes without being too heady which can be a problem with teas that have jasmine or honeysuckle in them. As the tea chills it takes on a sweeter quality with a slight citrus note from the goji berries. This tea could be enjoyed hot or iced and would be great for every season, but especially Spring or early Summer. I think it would be an excellent after dinner refresher, especially after a heavy meal.