Silver Buds Yabao

Tea type
Pu-erh White Blend
Not available
Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Frosting, Marshmallow, Pine, Plums, Vanilla, White Chocolate, Bamboo, Cardamon, Cedar, Cinnamon, Fennel, Melon, Cucumber, Honey, Honeydew, Ginger, Smooth, Spicy, Clove, Licorice, Hay, Sweet, Wood, Peach, Spices, Autumn Leaf Pile, Mushrooms, Brown Sugar
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 9 g 5 oz / 152 ml

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103 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...” Read full tasting note
    terri-harplady 3204 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...” Read full tasting note
    cavocorax 1774 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
    lynne-tea 258 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
    jimmarks 325 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

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103 Tasting Notes

4 tasting notes

I could never place this tea in a flavor category but I know when I taste it, it just feels great to swish around my mouth. It’s spicy but also tender, the body has a slick thickness to it that I really enjoy and with just a little bit of honey it tastes totally different. I also love how you can make a cocktail out of this tea with a little bit of gin. Definitely something I will be coming back to again and again.

Flavors: Ginger, Smooth, Spicy

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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870 tasting notes

Got a nice box full of new teas to try! This one was in it and I really wanted to try it. Steeping it gong fu style. The aria of the wet leaves is amazing. It’s sweet and spicy with pine and herb notes. The first steep kind of tastes like lightly sugared warm water. The second steep has a nice piney spice with a touch of sweetness. There is almost a soft ginger taste to it. The third steep lost a little of the spice and is turning a bit sweeter. I think I may have under leafed. Next time I will try adding a little more :)

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134 tasting notes

This is the first tea I’ve up-rated for its ‘fun’ quotient! It’s a brain-tickler… normally I would not expect to enjoy this combo of flavors but they are mysteriously intriguing. I dislike clove but the first steep it was all about clove and licorice… but with a countervailing smoothness and sweetness that removed their edge and left the whole palate stunningly interested. Smooth, sweet and savory.

The last sip, by then cooled, was another stunner: caramel. Just this intense sweetness out of nowhere. What fun.

As Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson noted, it has a fragrance of basil, which is just another twist in the interesting profile. Maybe there’s a little juniper in the flavor, but I didn’t pick up the strong pine that characterized it for so many other fellow Steeps.

This tea is a great conversation piece, so a must-have for any tea tasting having the purpose of sampling a wide range of different tea personalities

The name “yabao” is a perfect psycho-onomatopoeia – what your thought ‘sounds’ like in your head when you taste this… like a flash-impact word in a superheroes comic book : bam! … yabao! ha!

Plus it’s fun how the buds puff up like little seaweed pillow-fingers in the Atlantic, if you know the ones I mean.

Thanks to Christina for the great trade!

Flavors: Caramel, Clove, Licorice, Marshmallow

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293 tasting notes

This is the second yabao that I’ve tried, the first being from Whispering Pines. These buds from Verdant are thinner and sharper, looking more like wild bamboo shoots, though the dry aroma of pine, rosemary, and dried grass is much the same and quite inviting. The difference that comes through when brewed is an additional, cinnamon-sugar aroma that is just a little spicy and sweet. It’s very unique, though the overall impression of the brew is still quite subtle, even more so than the WP version. Now I finally understand why Verdant had a blend called Yabao Snickerdoodle, because that’s exactly what this reminds me of!

Will play more with multiple infusions some other time, I feel like there’s more I could be getting out of it. I do find the part in the description about yabao being relatively obscure in China to be true, it’s a tea I have never seen in China or mentioned by anyone I know there, and there is relatively little information about it even online. It is something that I hope people will appreciate more in the coming years.

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726 tasting notes

This tastes like wood and hay. Sweet wood and hay though. xD Think I like normal Silver Needle better than this even. Oy. Not for me. :S

Flavors: Cedar, Hay, Sweet, Wood


I went and brewed some after seeing this note and remembering it was in my cupboard…but fortunately it turned out alright! (Or maybe I just like wood and hay…)


sounds like your tastes are similar to mine. Yabao is yuck…a lot of oolongs are yuck… haha

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152 tasting notes

Received in a swap with BrewTEAlly Sweet forever ago!

Oh my goodness, this tea was unexpectedly delicious. I’ve never had a yabao and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I used pre-boil water and steeped for just under 2 1/2 minutes. The tea liquor is very, very pale—almost clear. The aroma is like spice and wood. A sharp smell, but very woodsy. I’m sipping right now…it’s cedar and wood on the front end with a spicy undertone. It’s fresh and clean, like air in the forest, or on a mountainside. There’s a hint of fruitiness that’s like peach or honeydew. At the end of each sip it develops a very sweet, marshmallow flavor. It coats your mouth with syrupy sweetness and it’s SO refreshing. It really packs a wallop for such a pale, modest-looking tea. It looks like it will be going strong for a while, too…if what everyone says is correct! I’m excited. I’ll definitely be sipping on this one for the rest of the day. It’s great. (:

Flavors: Cedar, Honeydew, Marshmallow, Peach, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood

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698 tasting notes


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.

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813 tasting notes

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


Mmmm…the cottage sounds as yummy as the tea!

Terri HarpLady

Nice imagery!
This tea always reminds me of oatmeal, lol

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2796 tasting notes

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.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Glad this suited your mood today. :)) I drank this yesterday and thought it was just hot water. Glad you had a better experience.


I love Yabao. I love the descriptors Verdant has given for it: apple, peppercorn, cinnamon, sparkling, cedar…

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911 tasting notes

I don’t get this one. I couldn’t get it to taste like anything. There is subtle and then there is hot water. I got hot water. No cereal, no white tea, no pu’erh. The tea was clear – just the strangest thing.
Dunno what I did, but this was a colossal miss for me.


boooooooooooooring blah tea

Terri HarpLady


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