2009 Late-Winter Budset Yabao

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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22 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I know everyone really loved this tea, but somehow it didn’t impress me as much. I brewed it western style. I brewed it in my gaiwan. It was good, yes, but something about it didn’t sit right with...” Read full tasting note
  • “An interesting tea!! Very unusual. I think I love it. :) I know I didn’t brew this perfectly. I just felt like I needed to try this today and so I threw it in my bag to try at work. (So my...” Read full tasting note
  • “Story Time: Well I have experienced food poisoning for the first time. I ate some of my left over stir fry that I think was a day or two past prime. For that night and to late after noon I was...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is one of those teas that has me mystified. I have read all the positive reviews, and I am a big fan of Yunnan Yabao tea, and yet this version tastes nothing like I had hoped. I have made...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Year: 2009

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 very 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: Intense aroma of pine needles with a heady and thick smell of snickerdoodle cookies baking.

Color: Extremely light. Almost clear.

Flavor: This unique tea has intense flavors of mulling spice, paired with cedar wood. There is a floral texture and the sweetness of marshmallow. The cedar grows with each steeping until it evokes the feeling of being in a cedar wood sauna. The texture becomes velvety.

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.

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22 Tasting Notes

250 tasting notes

This is truly one of the more interesting tea I’ve ever had, not because of how great it tastes (Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really delicious tea) but for how many great tastes it has. wonderful tea that note quite a white tea, but not a Sheng either, it is a tea that breaks down stereotypes with its complexity.

The first infusion is very complex, with spice flavors competing with flowers an cedar for dominance. The flowers are particularly strong in the aftertaste, which reminds me of White Peony. The second infusion was noted by and increase in the “spiciness” and a sharp decrease in the magnitude of the flowery tastes. By the third cup, the spiciness is very pronounced, and is the very first thing that I taste, with the flowery notes being very hard to find.

Later infusions tend towards spicyness, and finally start to fade arround the 6th cup.

To be revised tomorrow, when I’m not sleepy.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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16 tasting notes

Well, as the rating indicates, I thought this tea was simply amazing. This tea reminds me a lot of a eucalyptus “tea” my mom use to make, but without the medicinal aftertaste. It had a soft “cloudy” sweetness, with eucalyptus and raisin notes in the aftertaste. There was also a pleasant tingling sensation that came through towards the end of the first cup and almost dominated the second.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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7 tasting notes

This tea was so shockingly good, it had me at the first steeping! It was as if I were drinking a hot cup of the holiday season!

It tasted very much like the scent of warm ceder wood, freshly cut.

I was hooked! This is the kind of tea that never gets old, steeps all day-constantly producing the amazing flavor that you love. The texture of it is is unbelievably silky.
I would highly recommend this yabao to even the most uneasy tea drinkers as the flavor takes over and lets the taster relax and meld together with the tea.

This tea is almost impossible to find, the only sensible place to purchase it would be at Verdant Tea- a great tea for a fantastic price.

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41 tasting notes

Another incredibly rare tea offering from Verdant Tea. There are only 2 families that produce this varietal of tea. I have seen it in a few other American tea houses, but take heed: this particular Yabao is far and away the best. Such a versatile tea; notes of cinnamon and nutmeg spice with a sweet and warm mouthfeel. I currently have a brick of Yabao as well as the loose leaf in my possession (from Verdant Tea), both of which are incredible.

Yabao is particularly nice because of its ability to steep indefinitely. This tea is a perfect candidate for throwing to the bottom of a travel mug and leaving there all day. I have also steeped this Yabao for 2+ hours and had no problem with it lasting throughout.

One more note: I have a 15 year Yabao in my possession and it is particularly mind blowing. This tea is GREAT for aging long term and will only continue to build in complexity. My honest opinion for any tea lover would be to buy a half pound of this…some for now and some to age long term. The price is right!

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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14 tasting notes

To the comment about this tea tasting like hay. I would agree that it can taste like that but this is a light and subtle tea. This tea isn’t going to bang you on the head. This is tea that you have explore. Then you’ll likely find the flavors these other reviewers are talking about.

Also, you can steep this tea forever!

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1 tasting notes

Maybe I was expecting something sweeter from the golden needles, I’m not sure, but I was definitely expecting smooth, and in that regard this tea does not disappoint. It definitely has a smooth texture and flavor

Flavors: Asparagus

Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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37 tasting notes

Woke up with my spouse, and started studying, We’ll haveways some of teh late-winter budset yebao, she tells me she doesn’t care, but I make it for several steeps just to fill her cup highest with the lightly camphor and pines woody pitch taste that I have been saving since 2012 when David sent this one to me, I ALSo say what’s up verdant!! If y’all reading this, and you’re still in business you must have done something right, cheers

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