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.
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