Yunnan Sourcing is notorious for releasing the purple variety of tea. Not only do they carry a large stock of purple sheng puer, they also carry purple varietal white and green tea. For their white tea they released a limited amount of Wild Tree Purple “Sweet Ya Bao” White Tea, which is their most rare purple varietal of tea — and also comes from the Jinggu region of Yunnan. According to Yunnan Sourcing’s website, it took 2 people 16 days just to harvest 10 kilograms of this tea. Despite the extensive process of harvesting Sweet Ya Bao, was their effort worth it? Lets find out!
Steeps 1 - 6
For this session I used 3g of tea for a 60ml gaiwan, and upon opening this tea, the sweet odor of watermelon wafted in my face. Anyways, the first steeps of this tea revealed a sweet watermelon base along with the undertone of cucumber water. As the steeps went on, this tea’s body grew thicker and heavier, due to the texture being very raw to the tastebuds (which was due to how fresh it was). After the continuing steeps, the watermelon base faded away as the strong bodying notes of dill weed made its way to coat the tongue, as it left a humid rosebud mist in the cheeks.
Steeps 7 - 12
Ya Bao’s base tasting note of dill weed slowly transformed into a dill weed that was heavily coated with bee pollen. The cucumber undertone mixed blissfully with the floral rosebud aftertaste, which left a lasting sweetness in the mouth. Long after this tea made its way past my throat, a sugar like sweetness radiated from every crevice in my mouth. Up to the very last steep, this tea was still giving out flavor. By the twelfth infusion, I was very tea drunk and was ready to end it here.
Wild Tree Purple “Sweet Ya Bao” is definitely a purple varietal tea that doesn’t taste like any tea I’ve had before. The tasting notes of dill weed came as a complete surprise, along with the finishing notes of rose buds. This was something that took getting used to, but after a few sessions with Ya Bao, I can definitely say that it’s growing on me. Another aspect of this tea that took me by surprise was how much liquor I was able to draw out of just 3g of tea. For the entire gong-fu session, with just 3g of tea, a little over 2 liters of water was used. The crazy thing about it was that there was still more tea that could be drawn out of Ya Bao.
To wrap things up, Yunnan Sourcing did a fantastic job bringing such a strange and tasty tea to light, and is an experience that others should partake in because it shows just how different a tea can really be. This tea was sweet and its longitivtiy definitely makes it worth its value. I can conclude that this tea’s extensive harvest was definitely worth the effort, and is something that I will drink again very soon…