Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Tea Source
This rare white tea from Yunnan is a winter-pluck tea with huge downy buds and leaves from wild growing tea trees and produces a liquor that is mellow, sweet, slightly fruity (ripe plums?), and lingers with a soft floral finish. Can also be aged, as a puer.
Learn more about this tea here.
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I was happy to find this Silver Bud Ya Bao White Tea from Tea Source in this month’s Steepster Select box, if for no other reason than I enjoy Ya Bao teas and even though I do enjoy them, they are not often a tea that I put in my “cart” when I’m shopping for tea. It was a nice surprise to find this among this month’s tea selections.
I took this tea for a few steeps, because Ya Bao teas are one of those types of teas that the flavor develops over the course of several steeps – it’s definitely worth the effort to brew this one more than once!
The early infusions were very light in flavor. Very delicate. Sweet with hints of vegetation (on the grassy side) and notes that are reminiscent of honeydew melon. I taste a hint of nutmeg – a warm, gentle spice – with maybe a hint of white pepper. I love the subtle flavors here … although I do find myself wishing that they were a little more pronounced.
That wish was granted with the later infusions. The flavors began to develop with the second infusion, offering notes of peach and sweet, creamy notes. I am tasting less of the aforementioned spice notes now, and the vegetal notes have become more hay-like to me. This cup is sweeter and the flavors are more defined.
With the third infusion, I noticed the flavors beginning to wane and became less distinctive, which tells me that a fourth infusion may be futile. However, the three infusions that I did get from this tea, I really enjoyed them.
A really lovely Ya Bao! Thank you, Steepster, for selecting this tea for this month’s box! If you’re interested in the Steepster Select subscription program, click here to learn more.
Leaf Type: Yabao & Green Tea & Tulsi
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
Unique and unexpected. This version of their amazing Eight Treasures Winter blend has been altered to emphasize the surprising similarity with a Valentine’s tradition – candy hearts. If you break the flavours down, this blend is complex – sweet and almost candy-like,with lively citrus, warming vanilla and natural wood and pine.
Learn more about this blend here.
Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.
I know I probably say this every month, but I’m always so excited when my Amoda Tea box arrives! I was especially excited for this month’s tea box because I had read on Steepster that this would be a “special” blend box, similar to what we received in December. This month, Amoda Tea teamed up with another one of my favorite tea vendors: Verdant Tea!
And this special Eight Treasures Valentine Blend from Verdant Tea is the first tea that I’m tasting from this month’s Amoda Tea Box. Having previously tried their Eight Treasures Yabao Blend, I felt pretty confident that I’d enjoy this Eight Treasures too.
The ingredients of this blend are similar to the previously tasted and reviewed Eight Treasures, with a few notable differences: this blend has juniper, tulsi and burdock, while the previously reviewed tea has goji berry, marigold and honeysuckle. The result is a drink that tastes slightly warmer … spicier. The previous tea had a more floral and fruity taste – I’d liken it to a “springtime” sort of flavor, while this tea that sits before me has more of a warm “wintertime” kind of flavor to it.
I taste notes of marshmallow from the yabao and these mingle nicely with the vanilla notes. The above description suggests a “valentine hearts candy” sort of taste, and I get that. It does have a sweet taste that is vaguely reminiscent of those little hearts that say “Be Mine” or “Kiss Me” on them.
I also taste the woodsy notes that the description suggests and these notes give it a very winter-y kind of taste: imagine a cozy fire crackling in the fireplace and sipping on tea with your valentine! This tea inspires thoughts like those.
I found that my second infusion was even more delicious than my first – the sweet notes seemed more intense and those “candy heart” notes were better defined in the second cup.
This is a really delightful blend from Verdant, and this box from Amoda Tea makes me a happy subscriber once again.