So I am finally trying my sample of this! I was waiting so I can do a comparison between this one and the summer Eight Treasures, and I now have time to. I will be drinking the summer Eight Treasures right after, it’s currently sitting in another cup waiting to be steeped when I am finished this. Tea day for me :)
The dry leaves smell fairly strongly of Yabao, and there is a lot more present in this blend than the summer one. The dry leaves definitely evoke winter as well, with all the juniper and elder berries, and the yabao makes it look very piney to me.
The wet smell is where the different smells really emerge. I get a faint spiciness and a hint of the vanilla at the latter portion. It’s quite a delicious smelling blend, definitely a lot less floral than the summer, the wood smells come out more in here. I can’t pick out the lemon or burdock yet, they might shine in the flavor though. Oh, and I think I get a bit of the jasmine just mellowing everything together. Yes, definitely some jasmine.
The taste is quite a sharp contrast to the summer one in my opinion! This is very woodsy, the Yabao is there, tasty and tree-like, then I do find the lemon in there, and a touch of the basil. I’m not entirely sure what juniper berries and elder berries taste like, but I imagine they add to the pure, foresty goodness. The tiniest hint of vanilla keeps this blend balanced and smooth, and I think the jasmine helps with that too. As I continue sipping, actually, the floral and sweetness comes out a bit more, reminding me of the summer blend. It becomes smoother and not quite as woody too. The Yabao becomes more present at the end of the cup as well in this steeping.
Overall, this was not quite what I was expecting, but I am pleased with it. I guess I pictured more berry and spice tastes in it and maybe even more wood flavors, but this is excellently blended so that nothing is overpowering. I really like the Yabao in this, I’m very sad the straight Yabao is no longer on Verdant’s site, fingers crossed it comes back! Thank you Verdant for another superb blend!