My Norbu Ya Bao is from spring 2013, but I’m posting my tasting note here because I don’t have time to erect a new tea profile. Does Ya Bao vary enough from year to year to warrant separate entries? Perhaps for connoisseurs. I’m a serious gringo, however, and this is the very first time I’ve even HEARD of this wild tea.
To prepare these unique buds—which bear zero resemblance to tea, I might add!—I rinsed them first with hot water then steeped them at about 180C for three minutes. The liquour is extremely pale—only barely tinged green. The color is more green than yellow, as can be seen if the glass is held up against a sheet of white paper. (I’m using a Bodum double-walled clear glass, as I usually do for green and white teas.)
The scent is ever-so-slightly vegetal and astringent. The taste is perhaps mid-way between a very light green and a white tea, but it doesn’t really taste like any particular green tea or any particular white tea to me. The texture of the liquid on the tongue is silken, just like the dried buds feel to the fingertips.
I bought a package of this hoping that it might be caffeine free, since it looks nothing like tea. However, it appears to derive from a tea-esque plant, so now I’m not sure… I’ll find out later tonight, when it’s time to go to sleep.
second infusion: tasted, smelled, looked, and felt just like the first!