It’s a long discussion if Yabao is even tea in the most classical sense. ya 芽 is a bud, shoot or sprout and bao 包 is a bag or pocket. Our Yabao comes from the same wild-grown old trees as our Moonlight White Bud, grown in the misty high mountain forests on the Chinese – Burmese border. But while the Moonlight White is the young leaf buds picked in March, Yabao is picked even earlier, in February. And, it’s not leaves, it’s twig buds, collected off the top of the plants to prevent them from growing too tall.
Yabao is a very unique thing. It can take as many brews as a good pu’er – it seriously lasts forever. Processed like a white tea, it is also storable like one – and develops it’s flavours with time. While a fresh Yabao clearly has it’s fresh and floral unique beauty, an aged one develops spiciness and depth.
Oh, and you can coldbrew it. Even just a few buds thrown into a liter of cold water and brewed for about 6 hours make a fantastic summer drink that doesn’t just taste and smell phenomenal but is also stunningly beautiful. Check it out!