Ya Bao (芽苞) Silver Buds is a rather unusual pure bud tea originating from Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province of China. This tea is hand plucked from wild growing trees of Camellia sinensis var. dehungensis, a tea tree varietal native to the high mountain regions of southern Yunnan that is favoured for production of pu-erh teas. This particular batch was picked and sun dried in February 2021.
Similar to our Ya Bao Purple Buds, this Ya Bao Silver Buds tea is plucked very early in spring when the trees just start producing the smallest of new growth. After plucking, these buds are simply dried in the sun in order to remove any moisture and no further processing is carried out.
This tea really is a white tea, however it is also sometimes sold as a pu-erh or a ‘white pu-erh’ as it is made from buds from the same Yunnan trees that are used for producing pu-erh teas. It also undergoes processing that is more akin to a young Sheng Cha (生茶) Pu-erh. Young buds of this tea are simply dried in the sun, leading to slight oxidation during sun drying. So this white tea is closer to a Mao Cha (毛茶), which is the loose-leaf form of young Sheng Cha Pu-erh and is the starting point for a pu-erh tea.
The dry leaves of this Ya Bao Silver Buds white tea have an unusual appearance of whole small buds and a woody and earthy aroma. When brewed, this tea produces a light and bright liquor with a very faint colour. The taste, however, is surprisingly complex. There are prominent woody and earthy notes with hints of pine and hops on the palate. This is a satisfying cup of tea that has a mouth watering effect and a long lasting slightly fruity and sweet finish.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed more than 3 times depending on your preference.
This Ya Bao Silver Buds white tea was first featured in our June 2017 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.