Did a cold steep of this last night, and OMG YUCK! I tried to drink it but ultimately tossed it out. I think this was better hot. I think it was too mushroomy for me cold steeped.
“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
“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
“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
“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
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.
Company description not available.
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Yi Wu Wild Buds Yabao 2009 Pu'erThe Finest Brew
YabaoWhispering Pines Tea Company
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Yi Wu Shan Da Ye Sheng Bing Stone-Pressed (Yi Wu Mountain Green Puer Cake)Misty Peak Teas
Yinzhen Bai Hao (Silver Needle)In Pursuit of Tea
2009 Late-Winter Budset YabaoVerdant Tea
Imperial Dark - Bu Lang Gong Ting 2009Mandala Tea
Another excuse to use the gaiwan!
So, I’m still fairly new to aged/pu’er teas, and haven’t had a lot of success with white teas in the past. The fact that this is a white tea aged like a pu’er seemed like an interesting challenge.
And oh man, this tea was weird. A good weird, but it was unlike anything I’ve tried before.
Steeping parameters: about 2 tablespoons of leaf (which was composed of big fluffy buds, almost like wheat kernels). A 4-5-oz gaiwan. 24 oz of water brought freshly off the boil and kept in a hot teapot. 6 steeps total, starting at 30s and ranging to 1 minute.
The dry leaf smelled sweet, and I could definitely get a piny, resinous smell. After I rinsed out the leaves, that fresh forest smell was even more apparent.
The first steep (30s) tasted of pine and earth, and even kind of fishy or mushroom-like. It was a nice pale yellow.
The second and subsequent steeps all took on a pale green colour, like pastel or young shoots. The last steep even took on a blue tinge, so it was almost mint or celadon in colour!
All throughout, I tasted pine and the forest – it made me think I was back in my uncle’s cottage up on the Bay of Quinte, with the leaves falling and the damp air (even though there are mostly deciduous trees, rather than coniferous). The liquor made my tongue feel fuzzy over time – it wasn’t quite astringent, but I could sense a sort of velvet fuzziness. The fourth and fifth steeps also brought in an oolong note.
Near the end of the sip, and in the drained leaves left in the gaiwan, there was a floral sweetness that I have a hard time describing. Lily, perhaps? Chrysanthemum? Not sure.
All in all, this was definitely a distinctive blend. I’m not sure if this will be a restock, but I’m happy to send samples to others who are interested. Thanks to De for giving me a generous bag of this, still sealed from Verdant.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Mushrooms, Pine
I was looking through my tea stash this afternoon thinking I wanted something low in caffeine and also mild, easy on the stomach. This caught my eye and I can’t believe I’ve never logged a note for it on Steepster but here goes. :)
Tea liquor brews up to be almost clear. In flavor I guess this is most like a white tea, but it has such interesting flavors. There is a definite sweetness with flavors of hay mixed with a pine aroma and flavor. I imagine if you boiled up a stalk of dried wheat it might taste like this (but of course I don’t really know). Somehow it manages to be gentle yet invigorating a bit at the same time.
I admit I’m a bit on the fence about this stuff but it definitely suited the mood I was in. I just have no idea how to assign it a numerical rating because it’s quite unlike any other tea I’ve tried.
This was taken out of the Here’s Hoping teabox a while back. At first, I thought these leaves were old since they have a brown tinge to the mostly white color, but looking at Verdant’s picture, that is what the picture looks like. The scent of the just opened package wasn’t that appealing though.
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 4 min steep after rinse
The flavor is a bit odd. It DOES taste like linen like the Verdant description mentions…but the odd flavors… not snickerdoodle for me! Not the best of flavors. I thought I had something like this before and it tasted much better. Maybe I used too many leaves or oversteeped? If anything, it has the flavor profile of a raw pu-erh which are one of my least favorite types of tea.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
I really don’t love the flavor of this, but I’m pretty sure I had a yabao blend from Verdant before that was fine. Maybe it is old. I’ll try the yabao snickerdoodle sample that BrewTEAlly Sweet sent over soon and I’ll be able to tell. This just has a cottony, tangy taste I don’t like. Could be overleafing though..