Wild Arbor Buds (White Pu-erh Leaf Buds) from Mandala Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Mandala Tea

Tea Description:

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! 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the more unusual looking teas that I’ve come across in my tea adventures.  These buds remind me of the tops of the grassy weeds that I used to run through when I was a kid … you know the ones that would deposit burrs in socks and then keep poking you as it got further and further embedded into the fabric of the sock, becoming more and more uncomfortable?  Well, the uncomfortable feeling never stopped me from running through those grassy fields when I was a kid, and this tea’s unusual appearance isn’t going to stop me from trying this tea!

It brews up to a very pale color … it almost looks like water that is in my cup, it is so pale.  But for such a light color, there is a lot of flavor to this.  I hadn’t read the description above until after I had taken my first couple of sips, and my initial reaction was that this tastes very much like a pu-erh.  It has that pu-erh earthiness to it, although it is more like a “white tea” pu-erh earthiness (which is quite appropriate for this IS a white pu-erh) than the darker pu-erh teas that I’m used to.

It also has some characteristics that I’d expect from a white tea, although it is not as delicate as most white teas I’ve tasted.  But this does have that hay-like quality to it that I often taste in a high quality Bai Mu Dan.

The sip starts sweet, with an almost immediate transition to the earthiness of the cup, and hints of hay, as well as woody tones and floral notes weave their way throughout the sip.  Towards the end of the sip, I notice a mineral-y kind of taste toward the end of the sip that settles on the palate.  The finish is slightly earthy with hints of fresh pine.

It’s quite a nice cup, and a different way to experience pu-erh.


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