I have never tried yabao before, so was excited to try it when I saw it in the box. This is such an interesting tea! The dry leaf is incredibly beautiful. It is made up of large, delicate looking buds and is probably one of the most beautiful teas I’ve come across. The scent of the dry leaf is complex, and surprised me. For such a delicate looking leaf it has a powerful scent! It starts off woodsy with a dominant pine aroma, with an earthy and surprisingly floral base. It has a hint of sweetness to the scent, too, and some spiciness comes out the more you inhale. In truth, there was a note I couldn’t quite identify, and I inhaled deeply several times to try to figure out what it was before I realised that I was just inhaling it because it smelled amazing. If they made this into a perfume, I swear I’d wear it.

Brewing, the scent is not so divine. It loses a lot of its complexity, keeping the base earthy hay and pine notes, which become a lot more pronounced. It actually smells similar to a burnt white tea, by which I mean it smells.similar to white teas I’ve brewed in the past at too high a temperature and ruined them. I actually panicked and thought I’d have to add some cold water when I first started to steep it, but KittyLovesTea has Included a generous sample in the box so I left it as it was, thinking I’d try again if I was wrong.

I’m glad I left it, because the liquor after steeping western style for two minutes was super pale and had very little flavour. I put the buds back in to steep for a further minute, which helped a lot. The liquor is now a pale creamy colour, perhaps just a touch lighter in appearance than most white teas I’ve tried. The flavour is also more pronounced, though still very delicate and I think it could take a longer brew. The subtlety of the flavour was surprising, based on how fragrant the dry leaf was, but nonetheless it is still very pleasant to drink. It has light hay notes followed by a slight smokiness I didn’t expect at all. I can also detect some delicate floral flavours – sometimes it’s as if it’s flavoured with Jasmine, and it is definitely a touch on the sweet side. No real spiciness that I detected in the scent is present in the flavour, but it finishes with a lingering vegetal, almost green bean-like note, though unlike a vegetal green tea, which is actually very pleasant. There are still some notes which I can’t quite place, and I would like to know more about this tea, so I have a feeling that this may end up being one I keep a hold of.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer