I picked this one to try next because I am intrigued by Verdant’s Eight Treasures Yabao blend, but I’ve never had a Yabao before. Then I thought, wait, I do have a yabao, from the club. But then I found out that this is pretty different from the silver buds yabao that is used in the blend. Nonetheless this will be a learning experience!
The dry leaf smells sweet and a bit smoky when warmed. I did a quick rinse, then a 4-second first steep, which is quickly becoming my default for gongfu almost regardless of the tea. The resulting liquor is light tan in color and smells like pine wood and a hint of smoke. In the flavor I get the piney-ness, but also a juiciness that is hard to resolve whether it is fruity or vegetal. I think it is savory and brothy, but also slightly sweet and woody, which is where the confusion is coming in.
Later steepings remind me of cooked spinach and that smoked pine-barrel note hangs on in the aroma, if not the taste. This is a really interesting tea, although not quite my style. Nonetheless I did enjoy my tasting session with it. Now I am more interested to see how the silver buds yabao is similar and different.