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365 Teas Challenge > Day 315 - Gushu Ya Bao from Yiwu

This is the third ya bao of this challenge. The first one was written by our guest blogger, and it was very informative. The second one was this, I loved it. This one looks different from both ya baos, and certainly taste dissimilar to the second ya bao. To be honest, I did not expect so much variety in the world of ya bao, but today I even found out that some of them can be processed like black teas.

To be honest, I am not 100% sure whether this ya bao was oxidised at all, but the colour of the buds and also the taste suggested that it might have been. When I bought this tea, the seller had a tiny batch available and told me that it was from ancient trees (gushu) of 500 years old. I would like to believe that. But then I tasted it, and its aroma disappointed me. The flavours were actually OK and refreshing, but the leathery and smoky fragrance really put me off and made me think: i) perhaps this tea was oxidised; ii) maybe it was also smoked.

So, I learned today that not all ya bao tastes the same. And also that this is not my favourite one. Also, just for info to me this is not a tea and I am judging on the taste. It is common to see this tea classified as white tea or pu-erh tea but I stick to the tisane category.

Tea profile:

Type: Tisane

Origin: Yiwu, Yunnan Harvest time: 2020

Leaf colour: Light brown buds with fuzzy hair Liquor colour: Very light yellow

Tea Aroma: Leathery and smoky

Tea Taste: Mellow and refreshing

Steeping: Place about 4 g of this tea in a gaiwan or teapot and add hot water around 90°C. After rinsing the leaves, you can steep for 10 seconds and add 10 second to each consecutive steeping. You can re-steep this tea about six times.

Shelf life: Can be aged

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