Ya Bao

Ya Bao

Yunnan Silver bud

Yunnan, China

White Tea

Season: February

Availability: In Stock

Price: £6.20

  • Description
  • Tasting Notes
  • Pairings
  • Brewing Instructions
  • Ingredients

Ya bao (bud shell), or Yunnan Silver bud, is a very rare tea hand picked in February from old, wild trees growing in Southern Yunnan, S.W.China. The tea trees grow in the high mountains at altitudes of 1,500 metres. After a long, cold winter the trees start to produce unique, large, downy buds in which the new leaves and branches are forming ready to open in spring and eventually grow into branches. This type of new growth inside the buds means they become large and develop little  scales, visually very reminescent of pine cones, which act as a protection from the cold months.

The buds are sustainably gathered by the local people ensuring the wild trees continue to grow and thrive. The old, wild trees do not belong to anyone so the local people collect and sell them thereby providing an income for the community.

The plucked buds are laid in the sun and dried and once the moisture is removed the buds are simply packed and go through no other stages.  Although this single process is  the same as white tea, Ya Bao is distingished from other white teas  by its unique flavour and appearance. Ya Bao is only harvested once a year just as the buds appear and so produced only in limited quantities.

Multiple infusions can be made

The large dry buds of Ya Bao are a pale beige colour with the unusual appearance of opened, mini pine cones.The smell is earthy and woody. On steeping the tea takes on an almost colourless hue with a woody aroma reminiscent of hops and pine.On sipping the aroma is repeated in the taste with pine and hop notes finished with a deliciously lingering, almost marshmallow sweetness. A complex and unique tea.

So light and delicious this tea deserves to be drunk on its own . However it would marry with a light Victoria sponge or buttery shortbread.

2.5 grams to 200ml of water at 80c. Steep for 5 minutes. Reinfuse until the flavour is dissipated.

Infusion Accessories

Small teapot or brew gong fu style.

Tea buds