Wild Arbor Buds

Tea type
Pu'erh White Blend
Not available
Floral, Fruity, Pine, Stonefruit, Spicy
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 oz / 184 ml

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  • “thank you thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sharing this tea with me! Seriously – this tea is AMAZING. There is enough for one cup and MANY resteeps I’m sure! I have never tried a tea like this before –...” Read full tasting note
  • “I sampled this – quickly – at the end of a day – a few weeks ago and never logged it so I RE-tasted it today and have a little time to jot down my thoughts… This is slightly sweet and floral but a...” Read full tasting note
  • “After posting about the Wild Fresh Buds from In Nature this evening, I know that I had tried a very similar looking tea from Mandala tea, but, when I looked for it on here, I couldn’t find it. I...” Read full tasting note
  • “(This sample was generously provide to me by Mandala Tea with my order. Thank you Garret.) Dry Leaf: Has a spicy aroma with a light wood aroma think pine or cedar. Wet Leaf: Has a spicy aroma the...” Read full tasting note

From Mandala Tea

Although this amazing tea is pu’er leaf buds, it is best described and prepared as a white tea since it is picked in the late winter/early spring of 2011 and only sundried. No other processing takes place.

The liquor is clear and the flavor is sweet and floral with hints of pine. Complex flavors and yet so simple to enjoy. Mild and pleasant. This tea is rare and beautiful, as fresh as spring!

This is a wonderful example of a tea that will change and deepen in flavor over time. We recommend storing it airtight for the first year and then opening to the air for further aging as a pu’er tea.

About Mandala Tea View company

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12 Tasting Notes

516 tasting notes

thank you thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sharing this tea with me! Seriously – this tea is AMAZING. There is enough for one cup and MANY resteeps I’m sure! I have never tried a tea like this before – perfect for my indecisiveness tonight.

How to brew… I looked on mandalatea’s website and followed their instructions to start with 1 minute and add 15 seconds for each subsequent brew.

The liquor is very very light. The smell is heady and piney, with an herb-like texture that reminds me of lavender. I’ll admit, the smell kind of turned me off – but when I sipped it – WOW.

The front of the sip is like pine wood but as it reaches the back of my mouth it becomes so SWEET and almost syrupy – I can’t help but take another sip. The taste at the end of the sip is not piney at all, it transforms almost into a marshmallow texture and flavour. Such a unique change in a split second – I am loving this!

I am falling head over heels in love for good pu-erhs – this is such a treat to try!

I’ll update this note as I resteep. :)


yay! You got the package!! Woot! Glad you liked this one!


Hello, Ms Daisy! I am so glad that you are enjoying these wild arbor buds. In April I was in that area and had the fortune of seeing where these are grown and harvested. This is one of the teas that we sell here at our Mandala Tea shop that pleases almost everybody. And it works very well in tea glass brewing, as well, where the leaf is left submerged in water, the tea is consumed and when the water level gets down to about halfway, more water is added and so on. This is definitely in our top 5 as far as sales right now. Thank you for taking the time to give a review! We are grateful. Many blessings to you!

Daisy Chubb

Thanks for the comment Garret! I DID enjoy this very much, and thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for introducing me to your company! I’m definitely keeping my eye on it – so many delicious looking offerings!

Thank you for your passion! It definitely shows in the quality. :)


Yay! In the next few days, many more new items will be coming up on our site, including my latest ripe tea cake (Mandala Year of the Dragon), a couple of new raw cakes (material bought directly from farmers on my last trip), a whole bunch of new yixing, tea trays, other tea accessories. It just keeps getting more fun, more interesting and more exciting! Thanks so much to TEA=BLISS, too, for her turning you on to some of our schtuff! May the best of health be yours!!


oooh – I can hardly wait!

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6768 tasting notes

I sampled this – quickly – at the end of a day – a few weeks ago and never logged it so I RE-tasted it today and have a little time to jot down my thoughts…

This is slightly sweet and floral but a bit black peppery and pretty PINE-e.
The after taste is a bit bark-like but more like pine-needles…with a hint of sweetness.

I do like this white pu-erh.


Sounds good! I like white bud puerh even iced. Refreshing!


I have some of this tea from Verdant I haven’t even tried yet. what a slacker!


I sourced this tea myself when in Yunnan. This particular crop is going to really deepen in flavor over the next couple of years. The piney-ness will soften and aroma will turn a little sweeter and syrupy. The flavor, too. I am just about to open the crates of this tea and store them in the vault with the other pu’er teas here. I keep them sealed for the 1st year and then store them as pu’er for the duration of their lovely little lives! Thank you for the review!!!


I just ordered Verdants because the sample was fantastic and you can steep it endlessly. I was amazed!


David (of Verdant Tea) and I are great friends. We just spent 4 hours together on Sunday sipping and talking tea. Such a joy to know another great importer of teas. Great guy!


I didn’t know you (Garret) and David were friends! That’s wonderful! It really DOES make sense that you are because – from what I can see – you share some of the same customer service fundamentals, business sense, and tea/farmer/education appreciation!!! Excellent!!! You and David are but great!


awww, shucks, thanks for the kind words about mine and David’s companies! We enjoy it whenever we can get together because we are both so passionate about the tea. Sometimes we talk, other times we just sit, sip, smile and giggle :) You should join us sometime!


White pu-erh sounds interesting, I’ve never encountered that before. Aged white tea?

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4843 tasting notes

After posting about the Wild Fresh Buds from In Nature this evening, I know that I had tried a very similar looking tea from Mandala tea, but, when I looked for it on here, I couldn’t find it. I don’t know if somehow it got lost in all the updating that is going on, so, I decided to post about it again… so consider this a backlog.

This is a sweet, mellow Pu-erh. Here is my full-length review of it: http://sororiteasisters.com/2012/04/08/wild-arbor-buds-white-pu-erh-leaf-buds-from-mandala-tea/

Geoffrey Norman

I’m always fascinated by the Wild Arbor varietal. It’s not even a Camellia sinensis…but still “kinda” tastes like tea.


Really interesting post! I know exactly the burs you’re talking about, hahaha. Do you think someone who normally doesn’t like the dark puer type tea would like this “white” version?


CHAroma – you might want to ask check out some raw pu-erhs, like this one, much lighter and sweeter than the dark shu variety : http://shopmandalatea.com/raw-pu-er-tea/250-gram-mandala-silver-buds-raw-2011.html


Hi, everybody! CHAroma, we’ve had many customers who have not found black pu’er to be their cup of tea. In the shop, I’ll brew up some green pu’er for them as a green tea and some become instantly obsessed. Of course, there are variables one can play with in the brewing process, but black and green pu’er teas really are two completely different animals, for sure.


Cool, thanks for the information!

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60 tasting notes

(This sample was generously provide to me by Mandala Tea with my order. Thank you Garret.)
Dry Leaf: Has a spicy aroma with a light wood aroma think pine or cedar.
Wet Leaf: Has a spicy aroma the wood aroma was very faint.
Liquor: Was clear
Taste: This tea was very light think “white tea.” There was a spicy aspect to this tea that warms you up. When I say spice think pepper. There is a light wood I get like pine or cedar which can give that earthiness some may describe it. But, for me it’s a woody taste.
Vessel: 100 ml or 3 oz. gaiwan and sample we will call 5 grams. I brewed it gongfu style and brewed it about 15-18 times I would guess. Sorry, I didn’t keep track. But my number should be close.
Overall Opinion: My score is a 90, I have not had enough of this tea to know the good,the bad, and the ugly from this type of tea. What I can say is this tea is very intriguing. The texture of this tea as you steep it out is soft and smooth. After I was done steeping this tea I threw it in a container with water and put it in the refrigerator and cold brewed it and actually had nice iced tea the next day. So, amazingly enough this tea is great hot or iced. As for the people who always need to add a sweetener to their teas this one works well with honey in my humble option. I am more of a guy that keeps things plain but I had a hunch that a dab of honey would work fine with this tea and wanted to try it out for all the people who have sweet tooth’s out there. I also want to add this is a very forgiving tea. I am very curious on how this tea will taste aged.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Interesting what you say about sweetening this. Had not occurred to me to do so, I guess because I find these kind of sweet in their own right. But… for those customers of ours who do like a little sweet, it does seem to me that honey or perhaps a hint of light agave nectar might go well in the tea liquor, particularly for the iced version. I shall have to let a couple of our folks know about this.

Also… these particular buds were picked in very very very early spring of 2011. I’ve got 40 lbs aging in the same vault where our pu’ers are stored. I stored them airtight for one year and then opened them up for storage in there. In spring of 2013, I’ll open up the 2012 buds. And so it’ll go, year after year… buying and storing, buying and storing :) Glad you enjoyed these, my friend!!


@Garret- I like to keep my tea plain Jane so I can enjoy the tea as the tea master intended. But, I do like to test adding a sweetener if I feel it could be added without it tasting terrible. LOL! But, taste is subjective. My wife adds sugar or equal to all her teas which is why she is more of your red tea drinker aka black tea. I think she does better with the English/Irish breakfast or and Orange Pekoe. I have got her to come around to some shu puerhs but again she wants that sweetener in there. So, now you know where her taste buds lie any suggestion on what else she may like? LOL!


Tell you wife better sugar than equal or any other artificial sweetener. Not to prescribe any health stuff to you, but the artificial sweeteners are really tough on the body, particularly the metabolism and the brain cells. I’ve been suspicious of them for some time, but the latest research has really made me happy that I have stayed away from them.
Your wife may very well dig the Black Pearl hong cha we have. I bought a ton of them on my latest trip to China and the success and popularity of them makes me realize that I will have to buy more sooner than I thought. We’ve had many customers tell us it is the best hong cha for breakfast they’ve ever had. Definitely worth a try. She can try them in a lighter infusion without sweetener to see what she thinks. Otherwise, many customers are brewing them up strong, adding a dash of milk and a wee bit o’honey -not the candy :) – or sugar. Rock on!!

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2 tasting notes

This tea has many shades of flavor based on steep time and water temperature. It’s my go-to tea when I need to focus on a task and remain energetic.

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379 tasting notes

Busy morning so I went ahead and followed their recommended first steeping of 2 minutes and added 1 minute for each subsequent infusion. I can do a little more work with 2 minutes to 5-minute infusions versus 15 seconds :D.

The liquor is pale and the flavor is lovely. Fresh pine needles, with fresh and light fruity notes, white peaches, stonefruits, hints of spice. Mildly sweet and floral notes. Refreshing, peaceful, clean, it changes slightly through infusions with gentle, soothing delicious flavors. No bitterness, no astringency, just a wonderful serene mood changer in a cup of tea.

175˚F, 110ml, rinse, 4 steeps, 2m, 3m, 4m, 5m

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Pine, Stonefruit

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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171 tasting notes

I am working at doing these reviews a little more imperfectly, because otherwise it will take me FOREVER to review all of the teas I want to review.

I got this as a sample from a friend: thank you!

I am glad I had an opportunity to compare this tea to early spring 2014 Yunnan Sourcing (YS) “Sun-Dried Buds” Wild Pu-erh tea varietal I have brewed up a number of times so far.

This tea was harvested in the late winter/early spring of 2011.

The dry tea is very similar in appearance and aroma to the 2014 YS tea varietal: largish green and white cluster-like buds, with light-brown edges, with the exception that there were no brown twigs (as there was with the YS version), and the Mandala version was not quite as green-ish in color as the YS version (not surprising as the Mandela version is three years older). There was very little aroma in the dry tea buds, but not much less than the 2014 YS tea varietal.

I used my ceramic 180 ml blue and white gaiwan, Stevia, approximately 7 grams of tea buds, 7 OZ water.
I started at about 175, 1’ and increased the temp a bit and added a minute, for each successive steeping, and so far I got the 5 steepings.

The tea liquor has a very light, clear yellowish-green color; it has a very similar aroma to the 2014 YS tea varietal: reminiscent of a forest. The flavor is sweet, spicy, somewhat fresh, with a hint of pine needles.

To me, in many respects this is like a white tea in terms of delicate flavor, sweetness, and freshness. But because this tea is technically a pu-erh, my understanding is that it should mellow with age (rather then going bad after a year or two), and to me that gives it a HUGE advantage over any typical white tea. Although this tea does not come across as fresh as the 2014 YS tea varietal (which I expected), overall, I am impressed that this 2011 version of wild Yabao tea buds seems to be able to stand its ground when going up against a much fresher version. It seems to have as much flavor, aroma, and staying power over multiple steepings as did the 2014 YS tea varietal. This tea is considerably more expensive the the YS version, but at least I know this one stands up well after three years.

Flavors: Pine, Spicy

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

Awesome, I have been thinking about getting this tea, and your review is spot on to what I would want to know. Do you think since it is supposed to be more like puerh it would hold up to hotter temps, or would the flavor be destroyed? I don’t have any experience with dried buds done in this fashion.


Fun to see how this tea ages. When I get a fresh crop of it, I leave it sealed for the 1st year of its life. After that, I store in open containers in our pu’er tea vault and let them age with the rest of the pu’er. I learned that storage technique when I was in Kunming back in 2008. Neat to taste and smell the differences as the tea ages. And yes, the green freshness does change. But it turns into something deeper, with more caramel like sweetness rather than the green sweetness. At least that’s what I get with the aging.

Dang… tea is a blast!


Cwyn: I glad the review seemed helpful. Before I brewd this up, I looked at a number of reviews of wild Yabao tea bud varietals; I didn’t find lots of detail on how best to brew it (Mandala’s website states to start at 175 F for one minute, and then go up from there). Previously, I treated the YS tea varietal more or less as a white tea, brewing it very similar to Mandala’s website recommendation; if I remember correctly, I think I went fairly hot on the last steepings (190+), and still got flavor out of it. It seems this type of tea is pretty amazing in terms of how many steeping I can get out of it, and in how resilient it is to stepping temps. Perhaps someone else can speak to how well it handles near boiling temps?


Garret: I was actually wondering if this tea should be stored as any other pu-erh, and it turns out in your comment you already answered that question for me!

Still, I do have another related question: I am guessing this is raw pu-erh, as it sounds like there is no ‘accelerated fermentation’ (or whatever the term is when cooked pu-erh tea is processed) done with this tea? I want to know, so I know which types of pu-erh (cooked or raw) to store the wild Yabao buds with.


I did 6th steeping at near boiling, and a 7th at boiling (after the tea sat out all night) and there was still discernible flavor along with good aroma. So, yes, I believe this tea can handle boiling temps.

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48 tasting notes

This is a very light tea. For all of you that like White Peony tea the taste is very similar. As for buying the tea I would say Mandala offers much better options. This tea is not bad its very high quality but for most people it will be too light. If your favorite teas that you like are white peony’s than I would recommend, otherwise there are better teas.

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13 tasting notes

WOW! Very unique aroma and equally unique taste—this one is an instant favorite and a MUST try. Not to mention it can be infused more times that I could count! Steeped in a glass tea pot at the recommended 1tsp per 8oz at 1 minute, adding 15 seconds per infusion, with an initial 10 second rinse.

1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

This stuff goes and goes and goes!! Don’t be afraid to start with 3 to 8 minute steeps, either. It works very well as a tea glass/tea thermos style drinker as well! So very happy that you are liking this one!

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359 tasting notes

Not always the biggest fan of white teas, but I do have my favourite Bai Mu Dan and Silver Needle. Never had a white pu’erh until I’ve tried Mandala’s teas.

Another first is the look of this tea. Very unusual cute little white buds, they are just perfect. The look like mini pinecones.

Since it’s my first experience with this type of tea, I diligently followed Mandala’s instructions (If you know me, you know I’m usually not so good at following “the rules”!)

The brewed liquor is really pale, almost colourless.

This is sweet and fresh at the same time, it reminds me of the purest maple water. It’s almost candy sweet and It’s got that soft mineral alkalinity, it’s round and velvety in the mouth. It’s similar to some yellow tea I really love. It’s subtle, but there’s still a nice distinct pu’erh earthiness to it.

Awww…I’ve fallen in love with so many teas lately! Thought I was all set with my usuals, and now I keep adding to my staple list. That’s your fault Garret! (And Dexter3657’s, and Sil’s, lol!) But that’s what I call a good problem, is it not?

It was pretty spectacular, it provided a beautiful relaxation moment… This was a blind buy and I’m so happy I went for it. It reminded me of happy times when I was just a little girl.

My grand father was everything to me, he was a mentor and his influence made me who I am today. He was a hard working farmer, and a maple syrup producer. He was a master at transforming quenching maple water into the most amazing treat ever. I’d spend hours at the sugar shack watching him perform his art. He’d let me drink the maple water directly from the bucket that had collected the precious nectar from maple trees. If you ever tasted maple sap, you know it’s unlike any other beverage. Here, we now find maple water at the grocery store, just like coconut water. Not quite as good and fresh as having it directly from the tree but close enough!

This tea was a good reminder of those happy memories…


Beautiful memory. :-)


Thanks Morgana! This tea is just AMAZING!


Nice note!


Wow, that’s an amazing story. :)


Thanks JC and Fjellrev, tea inspiration :-)


That’s so neat! Maple is awesome. :)


Maple water definitively didn’t reach yet my part of the world !I need to try this. Grand parents are often a big part of what we are, I miss mines


I would love to try maple water. Sounds amazing!


Ysaurella & Stephanie, I really hope that maple water sold in stores reaches your part of the world eventually :-) It is something new even here, about time someone thought about the fact that there’s a market for it.


I got some of this on the way! Maple water sounds great TeaFairy! We do molasses in my neck of the woods.


Well its only my interpretation of it, maybe you’ll find molasses in yours mrmopar :-)
I just hope you enjoy its purity and unusualness as much as I did…let me know!


We have birch tree water in Russia. We used to joke that its just water with sugar added. is maple water clear or have some color?


Boychik, that’s interresting, I never heard of birch tree water before, do you make syrup out of it like we do with maple? Yes, maple water is clear.

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