Silver Buds Yabao

Tea type
Pu-erh White Blend
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Cedar, Honeydew, Marshmallow, Peach, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood, Autumn Leaf Pile, Mushrooms, Pine, Brown Sugar
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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94 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Everytime I drink this, the flavor automatically just seems SO familiar. It's a cooked breakfast cereal: Cream of wheat, or maybe steel cut oats, cooked overnight in the crockpot. There is a pool...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2855 tasting notes
  • “I have a terrible track record for this tea. I think I am under-leafing and under-steeping it because it's mostly just water. It's such a pretty tea to waste. I steeped it a second time for 10...” Read full tasting note
    65
    cavocorax 1621 tasting notes
  • “I have been playing around with this tea to figure out the best way to steep it. Definitely more leaves and more time if you want a richer cup. I iced some buds a few days ago and have been french...” Read full tasting note
    100
    lynne-tea 235 tasting notes
  • “Cold steeped over night in the French press (to keep the buds in the water) in the fridge. The result is much more profound than the hot steepings have been. There is a long, mouth sticking...” Read full tasting note
    91
    jimmarks 323 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2010

Workshop: Xingchen Workshop

Region: Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China

Dry Leaf: Yabao is in a class of its own. Unlike any other teas, the buds are picked from ancient tea trees in middle to late winter when the bud is still tightly compacted and encased in a protective shell as it awaits spring. This particular Yabao is composed of large buds that have not begun to open yet and allowed to sun dry completely without any other processing, making this more similar to yellow or white tea than to pu’er. Still, like pu’er yabao is aged to greater complexity.

Aroma: Heady and thick smell of snickerdoodle cookies baking and a trace of pine needles.

Color: Extremely light. Almost clear.

Flavor: This unique tea has intense flavors of mulling spice. There is a floral texture and the sweetness of marshmallow. The texture becomes velvety over many steepings.

Notes: Yabao is very hard to find. It has not developed a following in China yet, making production quite low. I believe that its audience is in America, where tea drinkers are not yet set in tradition, and people are open to new things. Yabao is a perfect gateway to aged teas, because it is much more mild than conventional pu’er, while still growing in depth and complexity over time. I have a single brick of 15 year old yabao, and it is simply my absolute best tea. Age some for yourself and see what yabao has to offer.

About Verdant Tea View company

Company description not available.

94 Tasting Notes

2855 tasting notes

Everytime I drink this, the flavor automatically just seems SO familiar. It’s a cooked breakfast cereal: Cream of wheat, or maybe steel cut oats, cooked overnight in the crockpot. There is a pool of butter, a drizzle of honey, a puddle of soymilk, & a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s a winter morning’s bowl of soothing porridge, bland but warming.

Someone else described it as a Snickerdoodle cookie, & I can agree with that as well. It’s very pleasant, & there’s a hint of pine. Where the Moonlight white cake was roasted winter squash, with roasted green beans being added in later steepings, this is like the bed of grains you might have underneath it.

Lily Duckler

Yum! Love your description here, Terri. I was just thinking about what tea to make this afternoon, and you’ve decided it for me.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks Lily! It’s fun going back through these TOMC selections. I think that particular month (Dec) was especially well balanced :)

Cavocorax

Ok that sounds pretty amazing. I might have to sample this!

Kittenna

To me, this kind of reminds of Christmas/gin because of the juniper notes. I’ll have to try it again though – don’t think I’ve had it in probably 8-10 months (except as an ingredient in a couple blends, where it’s tough to tell where flavours are originating).

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65
1621 tasting notes

I have a terrible track record for this tea. I think I am under-leafing and under-steeping it because it’s mostly just water. It’s such a pretty tea to waste.

I steeped it a second time for 10 minutes!, and now I’m getting that familiar peppery marshmallow blend that I expected. Phew. At least I salvaged this one.

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100
235 tasting notes

I have been playing around with this tea to figure out the best way to steep it. Definitely more leaves and more time if you want a richer cup.
I iced some buds a few days ago and have been french pressing them in the fridge. Once there is about 1/3 of the liquid left, I refill it with boiling water and put it back in the fridge. This gave me a really refreshing delightful brew with sweet pine dew notes and marshmallows with sweet cookies. Perhaps sugar cookies? The taste is very smooth and thick.. it’s quite thick tasting actually. This is really surprising due to the extremely pale liquor. The sweetness is amazing also. The first steeps, it was definitely more sugary sweet, now it’s nectar sweet.. pine nectar. mmmMmm
Who knew these little buds would taste so good? And be so cost-effective. I’ve done 4 really long icing steeps for one set of leaves and I’m onto number five now. I have a feeling I will get many more too. So happy I have these lovely buds for summer time!

Edit: Honestly, I keep drinking this iced, and as it warms up, the sweetness increases. It’s at the point now that my mouth is coated in sweetness, like a simple (but extremely complex tasting) sugar syrup. Each sip stokes the sugary fire. So much goodness.

Edit #2: Here’s the thing. Still making iced tea from the same buds (this is about the 6th or 7th looooong large steep!!) and I still get flavour from them! I had to give you all an update of this as I just got the most delightful sweet rock sugar taste in the middle of my tongue and it made me giddy! ohhhh I love tea. :D

Preparation
Iced
ScottTeaMan

Sounds delicious!!

Lynne-tea

It is so delightful! I think for beginners, this tea is a bit difficult for flavour identification (I had a few people try it lastnight.. one said ‘dirty dish water,’ the other correctly identified a pine note, but could not notice the sweetness really).. funny tea.

ScottTeaMan

I’ve had some bad tea, but none that tasted like dirty dishwater! :))

Lynne-tea

Haha yeah.. I think she was being hyperbolic. That’s okay though.. I really enjoyed the tea so that is all that matters.

ScottTeaMan

I am going to purchase this someday, it really is an interesting tea-adding to shopping list.

Kittenna

I think I should try it iced… I wasn’t the biggest fan of it when I had it.

Lynne-tea

I would say try it iced. It’s really nice but takes a few sips to get the flavours besides pine I found. I iced it for a while too (1-2 days)

Mark B

Love how you’ve experimented and really gotten to know this tea!

Lynne-tea

Thank you! Me too! I was determined to get to know it. I knew it could give me extraordinary things (I mean… just look at the buds!) if I found out the proper way to steep the tea =)

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91
323 tasting notes

Cold steeped over night in the French press (to keep the buds in the water) in the fridge.

The result is much more profound than the hot steepings have been. There is a long, mouth sticking sweetness here that lingers long past swallow.

I’m not necessarily convinced that this isn’t an awfully long way to go for a cup of tea, especially one that isn’t hot. But the result is very tasty.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Bonnie

Ok…so Jim, what does it taste like? Just a bit curious?

Jim Marks

Ah… see previous notes for those details.

Bonnie

Sorry Jim..didn’t catch that!

Jim Marks

No problem!

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675 tasting notes

So I got some of this in a swap from Cavovorax a while ago (I’m pretty positive it was Cavo), and it kind of scared me, so I just sent it along to my friend. Once she tried it, she couldn’t stop raving about it. She immediately bought more from Verdant claiming she couldn’t live without it. And, of course, I was kicking myself for not even trying it. Silly, silly.

My Verdant order arrived today, so this was the first tea I wanted to try. It kind of smells like the forest. But I’m enjoying the scent. I must say the taste matches up well with the scent. Like pine trees. Subtle pine trees. Pine tree tea. I have always wondered what pine trees taste like.

I think I need to fiddle around with the steeping times and temperatures, because this one is tasty, but I don’t think it’s keep-around-in-my-cupboard tasty. Any suggestions on steeping parameters?

In other good news, I finally decided on a topic for my proposal. I also added some photos of tea. Now to find space in my cupboard for all these new teas. And the five other orders on the way.

http://s770.photobucket.com/user/courtneyns/media/Steepster/4D8078E6-10EA-4B54-B472-DDB40BBD6D22_zpswyhyh0kv.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

http://s770.photobucket.com/user/courtneyns/media/Steepster/5DD658B8-C5EF-4E84-A5EA-BF94F25F1CC1_zpszmnq7li0.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

I got the yabao snickerdoodle, and yes! Pine trees! So interesting. I think I steeped at 185 for 3-4min.

caile

Nice! And…wow at five other orders! ;-)

Courtney

I didn’t see that one OMGsrsly! I did pick up the Eight Treasures Yabao though. Perhaps that will be my next cup.

I’ve been so out of hand this month with order caile. :|

sundaysipping

I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that has trouble fitting their tea orders into the cupboard. :-)

Courtney

Haha! I had to rearrange drastically sundaysipping. I’m only “allowed” one tea cupboard, so I’m going to need to get creative.

Sil

gross. silver yabao and i do NOT get along… blech. in so far as cuboards go… i need a day to rearrange..my unopened teas are taking up too much room in me “open once you’ve finished some other stuff” cube

Courtney

Sil! I got the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong Smoked Wuyi as a sample in my order – are you interested? I kind of despise smoke in my tea haha.

Sil

of course! looooove it! that would be awesome

sundaysipping

Part of the deal with my fiance and I moving in together was that he got a fish tank and I got a tea cupboard. It’s the smallest cupboard in our kitchen, meanwhile my fiance has a 55 gallon fish tank. I’m considering taking over the (much larger) spice-and-sundries cabinet for my tea. After all, tea is so much more important than things like canned tomatoes. And I’d still only be using one cabinet.

Courtney

OMG sundaysipping I also have the smallest cupboard in the kitchen for my teas and my fiance has a 160 gallon fish tank. That is bizarre. We are already pressed for room in our kitchen so I’ve taken over a drawer in our kitchen cart for all my swaps that come in. I’ve managed to hide three tea tins in there too. Mwuahaha.

OMGsrsly

Do it, sundaysipping! :D Courtney, the tea was part of the Verdant Blends christmas box.

sundaysipping

OMGsrsly, I am so tempted. Only think keeping me from doing it is that he cooks most of our meals and I’m afraid he’d dump some of my Lime Gelato into pasta sauce, thinking it was oregano or something. What a horrible thought.

Courtney, that is so weird about the fishtank and cabinet! Maybe I can trade my fiance if I offer to let him get a bigger fishtank … (he thinks I don’t see him eyeing them when we’re in the fish store but I totally notice). I think that you should convert your kitchen cart into a tea cart! Also: I love the idea of a kitchen cart — we have no storage space and barely any counters so this might be a good solution for us. Hmmm.

Courtney

That’s exactly why we got the cart. It is so handy. I may be able to convert one more drawer in it at least. Mwuahaha.

OMGsrsly

That would be a waste of good tea, wouldn’t it, sundaysipping. :)

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98
673 tasting notes

Thank you so much Jason for sending me a sample of this special tea!

Finally, my spirit was calm enough to drink this tea and appreciate it fully. The time had to be right. So much chaos lately, with little rest.

I didn’t want to rush a rare tea that I couldn’t gather up for myself again. This Yabao is gone. No longer available. ( Psych Joke is on me! I thought this tea was gone,but it’s NOT! So I’m dancing in place (tap, tap, tap! Love happy endings!)

The dry leaves looked like large daggers of wheat and when wet turned bright green, cream and toast.
Smelling like newly sheared grass on a warm Spring evening. Sweet floating scent carried easily on the wind.
The liquor through these 15 second steepings in my Gaiwan, were very clear. Pristine.

1. My first taste was a gentle mist of honeydew melon, light and airy. The juice sparkled then thickened at the very back of the throat. This startled me. How could this be a Pu’er? My mind was stunned not knowing how to process what I was tasting.

2. This cup became a vision of pine trees around a pool of water with light reflecting off the surface. Glistening, sugary bursts heady and intoxicating. Looking down from a point above the pines, gliding on silk…the taste so smooth, fluid and lasting.

3. I didn’t want to admit to it. No! But, I did smell snickerdoodle in the leaves. Ah, yes. Spice and rock sugar, sweet and juicy with some of the pine trees hiding in the background like a trip to a fabled Fairytale House filled with much craved treats.
The best was indeed yet to come.

4. There was an odd smell in the leaves that made me crazy! I wanted to know what it was?! I loved the smell!
This steeping took me on a journey back to the Sierra foothill town of Paradise. One way I heated my home was by woodstove. Being a woman alone with 5 teenaged girls (only 1 was mine…the rest were “throw away kids” that nobody wanted) we had to cut wood and stoke the stove to keep warm in Winter. I remembered the smell of cutting down trees…the smell of the center of the wood and fresh sap. Even though we used cedar and oak, Christmas meant Pine tree cutting.
This Silver Bud Yabao on infusion #4 was smelling like fresh cut pine wood, and sweet like rock sugar, juicy and silky at the finish.

Magnificient! Stunning!

Thank you Jason!

Missy

Sounds pretty awesome.

Bonnie

Awesome, unexpected, different!

Azzrian

Correction – YOU wanted them and they are blessed to have had you! <3

Bonnie

Thanks! Explains why my daughter has adopted 3 and Fostered 27 (the 2 she has now are maybe adopt additions!) . My parents raised my orphaned cousins. You keep the love going!

Bonnie

You would do the same. You don’t leave kids out in the forest!

TeaBrat

Ah, I just got the 2008 yabao that’s on Verdant’s website

TeaBrat

It’s in the pu-erh section, but I don’t think it’s the same tea as this one that says it’s from 2010 in the description?

Bonnie

Got it! Happy!

Hesper June

A big thank you to you and your daughter for your devotion.
We adopted my little sister when she was 4 and she had been in the system for 2 years, she had some wonderful foster parents, and we are forever thankful that they cared for her till God blessed us with her:)
The tea sounds so yummy!
We heat with a wood stove, so I know the smell you are speaking of, I love that smell:)

Bonnie

Hesper June, Hug!

Hesper June

Hugs right back ya’ :)

Jim Marks

There was a “Spring plucked” silver buds yabao which sold out about half a year ago, that probably accounts for the confusion.

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72
2229 tasting notes

Well, this has certainly grown on me a bit. Enough that I would almost say I like it… I’m not tasting as much juniper as I did last time, just a thick, gentle, soft brew with a tweak of sweetness at the end. I’m terrible at describing flavours (it tastes like yabao! Yeah… useful, eh?) but the texture is the utmost in silky teas.

I feel like this would be great in a fruity blend… and wish that I could create more of Autumn Hearth‘s 12 Days of Christmas tea! Or honestly, just mix this with pear chunks. Because that tea was stellar (ok, I could say “is” because I do still have a cup’s worth sitting in my from-Sil swap pile!)

ETA: Third infusion is creamy and pretty tasty, but I really don’t have a high tolerance for this tea still, so even though I’m sure it could keep going, I think I’m done. I have, however, realized that it’s an oolong sort of tea flavour that I’m picking up here as well – I only placed the flavour because I’ve been sipping on two oolongs that are both very oolongy at this point. I’ve picked it up in the aftertaste of whites before as well.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91
886 tasting notes

Well, it’s about time I try this tea! I’ve been nervous and excited for it, especially after reading all the reviews. I love the look of this tea, little buds, they look so fresh and spring like to me! I feel like I am taking an adventuresome, yet calming walk in the forest with this tea!

The dry smell is definitely a faint cedar, with some spice. The wet leaves, from what I can decipher, are some kind of grassy scent, but with a forest in there as well, and I also detect something spicy again and something..hmm…a sweet fruit? Almost like a nectarine to me, I could be way off though! It’s a very interesting smell to say the least, I like it so far. I steeped for 4 mins in boiling water, after a rinse, as recommended by David on Verdant’s site.

Now for taste! Wowzers, this tea is really unique! It’s really quite light, but there’s a definite cedar, woodsy note, and I get some sugar sweetness at the end. It’s so strange that it tastes this way, so foresty, given that the tea itself is nearly clear! However, it does remind me of white tea, so the light color isn’t entirely off. It has a fresh taste, and a warming note to it as well. It’s times like this that I do wish I had a gaiwan though, to try lovely teas like this, I think even more flavors would become pronounced! I’m picturing myself walking through a serene forest, with spring buds poking out in the spring, brown leaves on the ground, and a nice little waterfall into a stream. Haha, I love how poetic tea makes me feel sometimes :)

Overall, I like this. I’m anxious to try steeping it a few times to see how the flavors change. Once again, a hit from Verdant!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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97
376 tasting notes

this elegant tea has been driving me bananas all day. multiple cups, multiple steepings and the same disconcerting echo: i know this taste, i’ve had it before, what on earth is it??? i have spent my sips narrowing it down.

the sweet fresh taste from pea shoots, the hollow starchy taste from corn milk when you’re husking it, the woody husks you sometimes find on ripe blackberries. to my palate no part of this is connected to a green, black or puerh tea. i have never had a tea remotely like this. there are no floral notes, only fresh, sweet light tones that echo around and around ‘you know me, what’s my name?’

this excellent tea has had me doing circles today! i even gave up one of my precious sample buds to chew on so i could whittle down the taste contributers.

beautiful clear, lovely with cream…. drat i’ve run out…. must look into buying more….

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

This does stand alone. Sometimes I sense nutmeg too.

Terri HarpLady

I also think “malto meal” or steel cut oats with this one…or maybe cream of wheat? It tastes like a cooked breakfast cereal

JustJames

well, i’m out now and have ordered more but i will concentrate on nutmeg and steel cut oats when my new batch comes in! i do believe this one has become my new staple…

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Now I’m wondering if I should have included this in my order last night! Hmmmmm!

JustJames

you were ordering last night too? i was going to add something today (hopefully) but it looks as though their site has crashed =0( —hopefully it’s an update and not something more serious.

Terri HarpLady

yeah, they are probably updating it.

JustJames

hope so… the alternative is stressful!

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Just remember: You can get through this! You will SURVIVE! ;-)

JustJames

lol, i meant for THEM!

Fuzzy_Peachkin

lol! Whoops! Well some people around here do turn panicky if they can’t get their favorite teas. :-)

Lily Duckler

thanks for the well-wishes, James. A bit stressful, but nothing Geoffrey can’t conquer! The site will be back up ASAP- I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s restored.

So glad you enjoyed the Yabao! It was the first kind of tea I fell head-over-heels for, and we actually shared a brick of aged yabao with all of the guests when David and I got married. I wonder what the mystery flavor is for you? Can’t wait to hear what it is if you find out!

Fuzzy-Peachkin: if you like (and if your order hasn’t already shipped out), I can make sure that Yabao is your free sample. Just let me know (or PM me).

Dexter

It’s always exciting for me to read awesome reviews like this for teas I have on the way but haven’t tried yet. Just makes me even more eager for my order to arrive. Nice review James.

Lily Duckler

Quick update: we’re back up and running! To say thank you for all of your patience and support, please enjoy 15% off any of the teas in our shop (good through Monday). Just apply the code UPTIME15 in the cart, and you’ll see the discount applied.

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80
58 tasting notes

First off THANK YOU Bonnie for the opportunity to taste this tea

Dry smell: The dry smell is a lot different than I expected. It has a very sour, green vegetal smell that reminds me of grass and dandelions in the summer. It has a wet tree bark smell, a slight hint of a green apple. I was expecting a much darker smell so I’m not quite sure what to expect from this tea.

Wet smell: The wet smell is delicious in a really strange way. It is very dark and I can smell the dark aroma of forest. It still has a sour aroma but became a lot deeper and richer than when it was dry.

Taste: This is a strange tea, unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. It has a really light flavor that I can’t place. It’s a smooth, creamy flavor of spices. I think the strangest part of this tea is that when I start to swallow, there is an extremely sweet flavor on the roof of my mouth. It is like sugar is melting right on top of my throat. It’s a strange flavor.

This is an interesting tea, I’m not sure if I like it or not. I was a good experience anyways

Bonnie

This is why I sent some to you, it is very different isn’t it. It resteeps very well.

Insence&Tea

Ya I’ve resteeped it about 20 times at this point. The way it changes is really interesting. It almost seem likes it gets sweeter the longer I go. It has more of a spice like bark taste than it did at first. I find I like it better after it cools down a bit.

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