The Sipper Club March 2018 Edition
Purple Sweet Yabao Buds
Spring 2017 Harvest
Hey there Sipper Club babes!
The weather is shifting from blazing hot days to cooler, damp, windy Autumn weather. This is a great time to shift away from cooling green tea and to start drinking more oolong, black/red tea, chai and aged tea. With this seasonal weather in mind, we are bringing you one of the most intriguing, rare and tasteful teas that we have had the pleasure of drinking: Purple Sweet Yabao Buds.
This tea is a special varietal of Purple "Ye Sheng" Wild Tree Tea and is also a very rare 'sweet' sub-type. In terms of category, this tea falls somewhere between white tea and pu-erh tea, as well as being "Purple". These are the early season buds that would become offshoot branches of the tea tree. They are harvested early in Spring when the high altitude trees first begin to produce new growth. It took 2 people 16 days to collect and process just 10 kilograms of this standout tea!
Plucked from wild tea bushes native to high mountain areas in Yunnan Province, the buds and young leaves have a delightful purple colour resulting from the harsh growing conditions at high altitude. The purple colour acts as a shield, protecting the young buds and leaves from ultraviolet rays. Minimal processing (which includes a brief withering and hot air drying to shut down oxidation) allows us to enjoy this rare purple tint in the dry leaf & buds.
Purple tea has a flavour base that is recognisable throughout the various varietals and processing styles. It is often hard to describe or compare as it is so utterly unique! To us, Purple Tea has a heady, pungent, woody, floral base that is common throughout. Different varietals, processing styles, and leaf/bud content (light roast, dark roast, bud, bud + leaf etc) determine the additional flavour profiles beyond this common flavour base.
Purple Sweet Yabao Buds will provide you with a long and satisfying tea session. Besides being incredibly tasty, the experience of drinking Sweet Yabao highlights just how unique and different a tea can be. A small 3gm amount, or 1 heaped teaspoon, will give you at least 3 rich, flavourful infusions. You will be greeted with a woody, musky, surprisingly sweet first infusion. This sweetness is commonly experienced as watermelon juice-like, or "juicy" and remains during subsequent steepings. Make sure to use 90 degree water and increase the temperature for later steepings if you feel you need to draw more out of the buds.
The tea liquor is a radiant, pale, clear lemon colour with the slightest hint of green apple. Don't let the faint colour fool you! The flavours are strong, thick and will coat your mouth and tongue with a deliciousness that lasts long after the tea session is over.
This is a highly refreshing tea that will give you a wonderful lift, without any intense caffeine surge or jitters (unless you are highly caffeine sensitive of course).
BONUS TEA GIFT:
Royal Chrysanthemum and Big Snow Mountain Black Tea Dragon Ball
Tasting notes: Malty, caramel, floral, inherently sweet, very smooth, silky mouthfeel, slightest astringency.
This delightful, handmade tea ball can be infused directly in a cup or pot without a strainer. The flowers and tea leaves open up, making a beautiful garden scene right in front of you! There may be little bits of tea that come away but these will sink to the bottom, allowing you to pour or drink the infusion without needing to strain it.
Use freshly boiled water and infuse for 2-4 minutes for multiple infusions. This tea is very forgiving and can withstand longer brewing times. We infused ours 8 times in total, making it a wonderful option for a day worth of tea. If you have had enough after a couple of infusions, remove the tea ball and put it in a container in the fridge to be used within the next 24 hours.
Royal Yellow Chrysanthemum is the highest grade Chrysanthemum that is normally available. It is sweet, and vegetal and imparts a slippery and soothing feeling in the mouth and throat. This black tea together with the chrysanthemum flowers makes a thick and viscous tea, complex and interesting while lasting many infusions.
Big Snow Mountain Black Tea is from Mengku County in Lincang, which is a high altitude area that is home to many tea gardens. This lovely black tea was processed with care from first flush, Spring 2017 Assamica tea leaves picked from 30 to 40 year old tea bushes growing naturally at an altitude of 1800 meters.
We hope you have a wonderful time drinking the March Edition of The Sipper Club and look forward to continuing our tea journey together next month.
Share your tea sessions with us via FB/Instagram with #thesipperclub or #bohemiateaco hashtags!
As always, please get in touch with any questions, comments, experiences.