Silver Buds Yabao

Tea type
Pu-erh White Blend
Not available
Apricot, Cardamon, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Marshmallow, Mineral, Nutmeg, Oats, Peach, Pine, Plums, Straw, Drying, Fruity, Grain, Hay, Hot hay, Nectar, Sweet, Wood, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Frosting, Vanilla, White Chocolate, Bamboo, Fennel, Melon, Cucumber, Honey, Honeydew, Ginger, Smooth, Spicy, Licorice, 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 8 g 5 oz / 138 ml

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105 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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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...” Read full tasting note

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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105 Tasting Notes

124 tasting notes

The buds smell like brown sugar. Soooo good. They still smell like tea, just with a great earthy sweet spiciness permeating them.
I went with western style brewing – I rinsed them, then steeped for 4 minutes. The liquour is such a delicate light color.
The liquour smells a little woodsy. Like taking a tree, deep red with rain and drizzling honey over it and brown sugar and then sticking it over a fire, letting the sugar crystals pop and spark into a molasses syrup imbued with the scent of the wood.
I’m honestly not sure if I like the flavor. It is a strange mixture of sweet and woodsy. It certainly isn’t bad and it is fascinating but it’s not necessarily a flavor profile I’m feeling.
It does have a really nice aftertaste of nectar or sugar.
I think I prefer brewing Verdant teas gongfu style. Today I just seem to lack the mental energy.

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138 tasting notes

So this was the tea I wanted to try the most. Mainly because I still have some of the Sun-Dried Winter Yabao still left. I wanted to put them side by side and to taste them both. Yabao is a tea that I have been trying to find out more about. I have been to the Verdant website and read everything, but there is really nothing else that I can find on the internet about the tea. Different types? Health benefits?

I put the Winter in my gaiwan and the Silver in a tasting cup. Let it begin…

The dry leaf:
Winter- cedar with some spice
Silver Buds- sweet mustard

Wet leaf:
Winter- cedar
Silver buds-floral sweetness, marshmallow,baked peach.

Winter-dark yellow
Silver buds-Clear

1st steep:5mins, 2nd steep:10min, 3rd steep:20mins

Winter: woody and light, became sweet through the steeps.
Silver buds: marshmallow sweetness, became more floral after each steep.

I like them both, but the Silver Buds was the one that I would give to someone that is not a tea drinker and I wanted to show them something new and complex. I loved it! I ordered 2oz of the silver buds and Im glad that I did.

To bad I can’t add a picture of my tasting…:)


I am scared of this one for some reason!


I can’t wait to try it.


I read something of pine needles in the description Amy! Don’t be scared of the pine neeedles…….EMBRACE the pine needles.:))


yeah..I though it was strange that I smelled mustard, but thats what I got…:)

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1184 tasting notes

I still really enjoy this because it can give so many steeps!

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83 tasting notes

Thanks to Bonnie for this very generous sample and many others I have yet to try

I was suprised when I tasted this Pu-erh! It tasted more like a white tea! When brewed the water (I was going to brew this “gaiwan style” but when I measured 6 grams on my scale it looked like a LOT of tea..but for western style it only needed 1.5 teaspoons..why is that? how come so much for a small 4oz gaiwan??) is almost clear and it takes awhile for the buds to “open up” a little bit. This tea had a very strange camphor/piney note which I can’t accurately describe, it wasn’t unpleasant..just different for my tastes. It had a very sweet, sugary aftertaste and the piney/earthy note lasted until the 5th infusion. This is my second verdant tea and I have to say that they have an extremely high quality of product!! I will definitely be purchasing from them again !!

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Hesper June

I have been thinking of getting into gaiwan brewing, but something about it all intimates me.
I think that you use more leaves because of the shorter steep times but also the many steeps you can get…someone please correct me if I am wrong!
Sounds like a very yummy tea:)


The size of the gaiwan may have been 6g for an 8oz so use less for a 4oz gaiwan. I think the Yabao is potent anyway. I also like it iced. Gaiwans are not hard. Think of them as a cup or glass with a lid that lets the leaves breathe and the water circulate to provide maximum flavor. You can do this with a mug. Go to the verdant website to see a video about how to do this.


Oops…the measurement is about 1g per oz of water so western style conserves your Yabao unless you are sharing with others and want many sweepings from a gaiwan where you’d get 18 rounds instead of the 5 western steepings.


The verdant website says 5 Grams of tea per 4-5 Oz Gaiwan! But the western brewing only uses 1.5 Teaspoons per 8 Oz of tea? How come so much tea is used in the Gaiwan (in a smaller gaiwan/amount ) compared to the western brewing? It seems like I am using a LOT of tea to make it in a Gaiwan (Plus I am concerned about caffeine.. 5 Grams of tea is a lot of tea compared to a teaspoon..I have a scale! ;) What is the measurement/way you make it in a gaiwan? Thanks are always so helpful :)


Hesper June I was also thinking the same thing..Gaiwan brewing intimidates me as seems so much simpler the “western” way..especially when I use my “Piao I” infuser…OMG I LOVE this works AMAZINGLY well!! I highly recommend it!!!!!!!


The gaiwan steep is very fast and there are 18 infusions instead of 5 ( western style) so you can’t compare the two as equals but as being different experiences. You wouldn’t use a gaiwan with 5g just before running off to work. I often use a brew basket or just do western style because unless I want to spend a good deal of time with a tea, 18 steepings just isn’t going to happen.

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300 tasting notes

This is fantastic (so glad I have two samples). This is like Bai Mu Dan and Shou Mei on crack. It’s Soooo sweet and a bit more herbaceous. Wet leaves smell like rosemary and artichoke and I taste candied rosemary and some melon in this third steep. Husband said it tasted like bath water or brewed rocks (okay so he may be onto something with the mineral note) and he does not taste the sweetness. How?! I’m getting a divorce.

First steep was for 15 secs but when I saw all the recommendations for longer steeps I set the timer for two minutes, however a smelled it at 1 mins declared it too good not to drink and set the tea maker on my mug. So glad I did! Third steep is just under two minutes. Would like to try it with tea in the cup and cold brewed in the future. I also would like to acquire more of this and age it. And I want a husband who has taste buds that work. Edit: sister stopped by and shared two steeps with me. She said it’s yummy. Also researching theanine and I do believe I am tea drunk. I <3 my yabao

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

So many tea-drunken Steepsters lately! I need to join in. :D


I get tea drunk easily. Read up on it. But, I think for me, I take anti seizure meds for migraine and maybe the two together amplify the effects. I’m trying to JUST SAY NO…when I’ve had enough of a buzz. Sounds funny. I’ve talked to other people who feel it in their head only. I feel it all alcohol but better. More aware.

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1473 tasting notes

Verdant Tea rocks my socks, not only for their amazing teas, but also for their out of this world customer service. I feel like David Duckler is a personal friend of mine, and that’s an awesome feeling to get from a company.

Like my wife said, we both got six months subscriptions to Verdant Tea’s tea-of-the-month service for each other, and David has wonderfully agreed to combine them so we get ten months of glorious tea. I see this being a subscription we definitely keep up with, we’re already so impressed!

Included in the package were two straight teas and an herbal to mix with the other two, a very detailed and incredibly interesting letter explaining a bit about the tea and helpful hints on how to combine them, and tasting notecards for each tea. Just lovely.

We tried this tea on its own last night and it is delicious. Spicy with a touch of sweetness, I was sad when I found my cup empty. I look forward to resteeping this over and over and being continually surprised by the full flavor coming from a tea that gives such a clear liquid.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec
David Duckler

Aww, thank you. Tea has a way to bring people together. I couldn’t help feeling like I was good friends with every tea vendor I sat down with in China. There really isn’t any other way to go about things. I am glad that you are digging the Yabao. I hope that you have a great time trying the Yunnan Golden Buds and playing around with mixing teas together.

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171 tasting notes

I was nervous to try this one after reading the description. Floral aroma, woodsy. That’s exactly what it is, but it is soooo good! It smells piney and tastes a little piney. Happy this was part of the tea of the month, especially since it’s sold out now!


I love this tea!It’s really different but good.

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174 tasting notes

Fascinating tea. Again Verdant continues to amaze me with their complex and different teas. Upon opening the bag I didn’t really smell anything at all, I smelled a little bit of cardboard but I was trying so hard to smell something that I could have been smelling the cardboard for recycling behind me. The buds are fat and short and fuzzy, they kind of remind me of a Beech trees buds in the way the scales overlap but shorter.

The wet leaves smell was like walking through a wet mixed forest in fall after the leaves have fallen. It was a very wet woody scent. The infusion was more or less clear and had that same woodsy scent with stronger pine notes and a slight floral note.

Taste was clear and bright at first sip followed by pine and cedar notes with the wet woods. There was a spiciness I picked up, like black pepper and a sweet minty like aftertaste. In later steepings the pine/cedar notes take dominance with some sweetness, the floral notes fade, the minty aftertaste kind of hangs around but you have to look for it and the black pepper note disappeared around the third steeping. I’m interested in seeing how this ages.

I steeped this so far about 5-6 times and am about to make another cup. Steeping method is a 5 oz cup with an infuser basket with short steep times with 205F water. The first infusion was about 10 seconds and now I’m steeping about 20 seconds for the 6 or 7 steep.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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1778 tasting notes

A sample from Angrboda

I’d been curious about this one for a while, and I have to say it’s one of the most unusual teas I’ve ever tried. I’ve only ever tried one pu’erh, and never a while, so it’s been an interesting experience! I let the water cool a little, then added just over a teaspoon of the buds. They’re pretty well odourless, and the liquor remains a very pale yellow, really almost clear. I wasn’t convinced there’d be much flavour to discern, but it just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a tea by the colour of the liquor!

I wasn’t sure what to expect on first sip. There’s something a little bit earthy in the taste…almost compost like, in a way, but very faint. There’s also something that puts me in mind of green tea, an almost vegetal note that reminds me somehow of asparagus. There are also aspects of the flavour that make me think of white tea…a sort of floral, hay-like sweetness. Some others have said sugar cookies, and I agree with that. It’s an overlying flavour, but definitely there, although subtle. Pretty much everything about this tea is subtle, actually. None of the flavours scream out or dominate, but they all occupy distinct layers of the flavour, and contribute something different to the whole. It’s a complex tea, and I got a lot from it. It’s certainly not a boring or straightforward cup, so I’m looking forward to trying this again. It’s probably not one I’d want all the time, but definitely worth a try. It’s an intriguing tea, that’s for sure! Thanks to Angrboda for sharing this with me!

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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53 tasting notes

You know what’s absolutely amazing with this tea?

Monkey bread. Seriously. I know that’s probably tea-blasphemy or something but it seriously works together in an I NEVER WANT THIS TO END sort of way.


What is this monkey bread you speak of? I’m super curious now.


^Agreed. What’s monkey bread?


Monkey bread is like … a big pull-apart cluster of little bits of sweet bread that have been individually rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mix. And this tea already has these sweet baked-good/cinnamon notes running through it and together they are just bliss.



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