It took a lot of work for me to get something from this tea. I started with a one-minute infusion and tasted very little, so I continued on to three minutes. I found a faint sweetness and a musty, earthy taste redolent of the cedar that Verdant mentions in its tasting notes, but even then I felt I was tasting not so much a delicate tea that needs patience and dedication to tease out its complex essence (an approach that I adopt when tasting lightly oxidized Oolongs), but a cup of lightly vegetal hot water. I guess I do need to have that “wow” or “aha” moment when I drink a tea. Emily Dickinson defined poetry this way: “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” I want that kind of experience when I drink tea.

Interestingly, this tea gave me a different kind of buzz than other tea. Maybe it’s all that energy packed in those buds.

David Duckler

Hi Triumph,
It looks like one or two other people have had that very light experience you describe with the Yabao. I find that a lot of the flavor in this one is in the aftertaste, and that it does not have the same gripping mouthfeel as a conventional sheng pu’er, but that the spice and textures at play make it more than worth while. Try using more tea leaves next time. Using 3-4g of this looks like a lot more tan 3-4g of Tieguanyin. Sometimes I fill my gaiwan 1/2 full with leaves, and do pretty long steepings, which gives the riches textural interest in the tea.

I am sorry that you had a less-than-perfect experience with this one. I share your values of needing that moment that you describe of being gripped and fully consumed by the tea. A tea that I think is just really pleasant is not worth importing for me, as it is an incredible series of hoops to jump through to get these small farm teas through customs and over here. I hope that you find the “aha” in the Yabao. If not, I will send you a sample of the new yabao I am looking at bringing in with your next order. It is less cedar and more honey spice.

Doug F

I’ll try adding more leaves next time. It’s not that I didn’t like it. I found it interesting and I could sense some of the flavors that you mentioned coming through. I do generally love the teas you find and I’m grateful to you for doing what very few people must be devoting themselves to; namely, going to great lengths to connect us with local farmers and providing us with memorable tea experiences. I look forward to making my way through your catalogue!

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David Duckler

Hi Triumph,
It looks like one or two other people have had that very light experience you describe with the Yabao. I find that a lot of the flavor in this one is in the aftertaste, and that it does not have the same gripping mouthfeel as a conventional sheng pu’er, but that the spice and textures at play make it more than worth while. Try using more tea leaves next time. Using 3-4g of this looks like a lot more tan 3-4g of Tieguanyin. Sometimes I fill my gaiwan 1/2 full with leaves, and do pretty long steepings, which gives the riches textural interest in the tea.

I am sorry that you had a less-than-perfect experience with this one. I share your values of needing that moment that you describe of being gripped and fully consumed by the tea. A tea that I think is just really pleasant is not worth importing for me, as it is an incredible series of hoops to jump through to get these small farm teas through customs and over here. I hope that you find the “aha” in the Yabao. If not, I will send you a sample of the new yabao I am looking at bringing in with your next order. It is less cedar and more honey spice.

Doug F

I’ll try adding more leaves next time. It’s not that I didn’t like it. I found it interesting and I could sense some of the flavors that you mentioned coming through. I do generally love the teas you find and I’m grateful to you for doing what very few people must be devoting themselves to; namely, going to great lengths to connect us with local farmers and providing us with memorable tea experiences. I look forward to making my way through your catalogue!

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I love tea and living in a place that is cold or cool nine months of the year, tea is a constant source of warmth and education. I always drink tea straight and rarely drink flavored teas or Tisanes, except for the occasional Rooibos. I’m a proud father of two young boys, an avid skier, motorcyclist, reader, and runner. I have a doctorate in English (dissertation on Emily Dickinson.)

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Maine

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