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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108 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
  • “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

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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108 Tasting Notes

20 tasting notes

Quick tasting note for this, which i got as a sample

String players will understand this but this smells just like rosin and tastes like what rosin SHOULD taste like (don’t ask how i know it doesn’t…). I’m definitely smelling and tasting marshmallow too, but like GOOD marshmallow. It’s way sweeter than most other unsweetened teas. I didn’t understand the description of “sparkling” but now i do. It tastes almost like someone squirted perrier in there! Ahh! So strange but good

Will resteep (brewed western)

Edit: green apple flavor identified. Even though i hate green apple this is strangely yummy. This tea just plain confuses me

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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60 tasting notes

Dry Leaf: This tea has a spicy aroma with a faint cedar aroma I pick up.
Wet Leaf: This tea had a warm and spicy aroma didn’t pick up the cedar smell really in the wet leaf.
Liquor: It was extremely pale almost clear.
Taste: This tea to me is light with a spicy kick to it. This tea’s spiciness got lighter and lighter with each steeping but it is the spice you pick up mostly with this tea.
My Score/ Over All Opinion: 90, I personally couldn’t compare this to anything. In my humble opinion this is in a league of it’s own. I was experimenting with this tea and found a little bit of raw honey just adds that touch of sweetness and works well with this tea in my humble opinion.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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5 tasting notes

A truly delicious tea! I used about 4 teaspoons with 1.5 cups of water for a medium-strong flavor, and resteeped 4 times before I had enough. There is a LOT of theanine in this tea, the sweetness of the theanine is apparent in the first few brews. The taste was slightly fruity, floral, earthy, and complex. It was not “toasty” tasting like I’ve come to expect from anything below black/puerh in the tea oxidation spectrum. This tea was very relaxing and I didn’t feel much caffeine. I’m glad to be an early adopter of this amazing tea variety.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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141 tasting notes

So this is also from the Great Canadian Travelling Tea Box. I consumed this yea on Oct. 1, 2013. This tea had me on the fence, as I felt I couldn’t fully grasp the flavor. I chose this as my second tea to try because it piqued my interest.

Dry Leaf: This was an interesting leaf, as it was something I had never seen before. It was little yellow-y, white buds that had a sweet scent.

Steeped: It was light in flavor and color, there was a really subtle taste of spices, but it was very subtle. And I got kind of an earthy feel from this tea.

Again, I will have to try this tea again at some point, but it was pretty interesting.

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93 tasting notes

Not my cup I am afraid… :( Like previously mentioned in the comments – the taste is weird and I cannot even classify this as tea tbh. More like herbs.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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13 tasting notes

it’s weird for me something that i don’t expected..
this don’t look likes tea and don’t taste like tea…
it’s not bad… maybe a little weird for me.
i think i have to taste it another time,
now that i know what is the falvor i wait to be in the mood for taste it.

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25 tasting notes

Using a gaiwan with this tea is one of the most amazing tea experiences. It starts off complicated, lots of spice, pine and wood notes with a hint of sweetness. By the end it is purely toasted marshmallow, one of the most amazing, perfect and natural progressions. The spice and pine slowly wear off and the sweetness gets more pronounced each time.

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638 tasting notes

I have never liked Yabao tea too much but really can’t figure out why anyone would want this tea. It just tasted moldy to me. Definitely not my cup of tea!

Doug F

I agree. I don’t see the point.

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415 tasting notes

Okay, I am going to try to keep this one short. Knowing me, I will probably fail. I have been working on a small sample bag of this tea for the past two days and should finish it by tomorrow. Since I find writing about yabao difficult, I’m just going to record my first impressions as clearly and succinctly as possible in this review.

I brewed this one gongfu style. I followed Verdant’s gongfu guidelines closely this time around. Following the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose buds in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. I performed eleven additional infusions, increasing the steep time by 10 seconds per infusion. So, steep times on the additional infusions ranged from 20 seconds to 2 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry buds gave off a subtle aroma that reminded me of spices and herbs. After the rinse, I noted a combination of spices, herbs, pine, juniper, cedar, and citrus on the nose, but I was not particularly able to pick out clear impressions. In the mouth, I noted a blend of straw, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pine, juniper berry, cedar, eucalyptus, clove, and lemon on the early infusions. The middle infusions were sweeter and fruitier. I began to note impressions of peach, apricot, yellow plum, oatmeal, and marshmallow beneath the woody, spicy, and herbal sensations. Later infusions continued to emphasize sweeter aromas and flavors, though I could still detect impressions of oatmeal, straw, pine, cedar, lemon, and juniper lurking in the background. I also noted a subtle minerality on these infusions, though it was not particularly distracting.

Well, now that I have completely failed at writing a short review, allow me to state that I found this tea to be very enjoyable. I’m still not particularly familiar with yabao, so I do not know what separates a decent one from a great one, but I did very much enjoy this offering. As a matter of fact, I have only had one other tea of this type (the yabao offered by Whispering Pines), and I have to say that I found this one to be the better and more accessible of the two. In the end, I would recommend this tea to drinkers specifically looking for something subtle, graceful, deep, and challenging.

Flavors: Apricot, Cardamon, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Marshmallow, Mineral, Nutmeg, Oats, Peach, Pine, Plums, Straw

Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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500 tasting notes

I was looking through my cupboard/s trying to decide on a brew to wake me up, and this stuck out to me. I was trying to decide between this or a 2008 Bulang. This won for some reason. I could just taste the sweet liquor and it just sounded “thirst quenching”. So, into the gaiwan these little guys went. I always loved the look of Yaboa. They are so alien looking. These buds give off a strong hay and wheaty scent. I washed them once and prepared for brewing. The liquor is so clear; it’s as if I’m drinking the hot spring water. I give the steeped little buds a scent and pick up that iconic hot hay. I can hint at some fruit notes in the background and just a pleasant dryness, like steel cut oats. The liquor deepens to a slight golden, but it remains translucent. The taste is juicy! This brew instantly hits my taste buds with an oily sweetness. This is exactly what I needed to get my morning started. The nectar succulence mixes well with the light woodiness and brings my spirit up as it quenchs my thirst. I really enjoy Yabao. Every time I brew some up I recall the first time I discovered this peculiar “Puerh”. I was always fascinated by the colour of the tea. I think that is my favorite part of this brew. I was able to steep this for quite some time before I had to go to work. I love that this brew is so durable; I was able to leave in the gaiwan and still yield a sweet and smooth drink. This is a good Yabao offering, and I’m glad I rediscovered it.

Flavors: Drying, Fruity, Grain, Hay, Hot hay, Nectar, Oats, Pine, Sweet, Wood

Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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