Ya Bao

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Dinah Saur
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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  • “I enjoyed this quite a lot! When I first was opening the various bags my brother sent me from China, this one surprised me most! It’s a type of tea I haven’t experienced before and the pure visual...” Read full tasting note

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My brother sent this tea to me from where he lives in Wuhan. His description of Ya Bao for me is as follows:

From the ends of certain Pu-erh branches, like a white tea, but ages well.

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2 Tasting Notes

91 tasting notes

I enjoyed this quite a lot! When I first was opening the various bags my brother sent me from China, this one surprised me most! It’s a type of tea I haven’t experienced before and the pure visual of it caught me off guard at first. I pinched out a sampling for the photo I took, and was surprised at just how soft and downy the leaves were. They are also quite larger than I was used to in general.

One of my first thoughts of the appearance, which was incidentally repeated by a friend after she saw the picture, was that the leaves look a bit like grasshoppers! After tasting this tea, I feel like that visual consideration almost has an effect on the flavor of the tea. Yes, I know that sounds weird, but hear me out!

My first infusion of this tea yielded a nice mild yellow liquor. The aroma was mild and sweet. The first sip took me to a dewy spring morning with the fresh new growth of wild grasses. Every proceeding cup and infusion only served to enhance this feeling for me.

There was a light sweet flavor niggling at the back of my mind that I couldn’t quite place. All I could think of is that it reminded me of sweet grass. Of being a kid playing in a field where sweet grass grows. And every now and then, you pick a stalk and chew the end in a Mark Twain-esque moment. Something about the flavor eludes me in such a way as to require this kind of description!

It will be fun to try this again to see if I can put my finger on the flavor. Additionally, my brother noted that this tea ages well, so I think I’m also going to stash at least some of it away to age for future tasting!

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Interesting description…….sounds really good. I think Verdant Tea carries this one, and if I order from them I will definitely get some!

Dinah Saur

Good to know! If they do, I’ll have to pick up a sample from them sometime to compare. :)


Super fun! Glad you got to try some of this, and actually impressed your brother found some and picked it up for you. (You asked about Yabao in a prev. note, but I think I’ll just respond here). Yabao was presented as a kind of pu’er made from the early early winter buds of the great big pu’er trees. I have a whole cake of yabao that’s about 7 years old now? It’s pretty awesome.. it’s got sparkle and leather and tobacco and spiced mushrooms and of course that sweet sweetness you’re experiencing. Folks in China either love it and secretly hoard it, think of it as not a straight tea and use it as a mix in with other pu’ers, or shun it because they have a suspicion that it’s bad for you. As for the last one, my arms and legs are all still working, no signs of disease or lung cancer so.. shrug I’m going with what my tongue is telling me (Yum! Drink it!).
Yabao can steep forever without getting bitter, so it’s a nice one to throw in a cup or a thermos and drink off all day. Those buds are huge and light, so it takes more volume to get the same amount of mass you might normally use for another tea.

Glad you got some of this!

Dinah Saur

Thanks for all that info! That’s exactly the kind of information I love to learn and you seem to be a veritable fount of knowledge on the teas my brother just sent me. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Ha!

In any case, I’m curious to try some more of this in the future, especially after leaving some to age for some years. :)


In case you want to store & age that, her is another link should you need to purchase more Dinah:


And another:


Dinah Saur

Thanks, Scott!

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