nada wrote:Though they look very different from magnolia buds...
Nada - Yes. I discovered the same about the magnolia buds - I did a google search for images of mag buds, and couldn't find anything that looks like Ya Bao. Perhaps my source is having a lapse in memory, I'll have to ask.
My source, (Owner of Teance in Berkeley) sent me an image of ancient tea tree to share, but it was too dark for any bud detail, almost a silhouette really; I sent this pic feedback, and there should be more pics on the way.
(Aside - Nada, due to this site, I have checked out your site, and ordered some tea! I am looking very much forward to receiving it, and hopefully falling in love with some new puerhs.)
Lastly here, a few thoughts from my opening post comments about doubtful sheng cakes-- I've noticed as a result of following links from some other puerh threads - that there are some out there, as I imagined, who may seem to enjoy the 'chan-ko' reaction (I probably don't have the english version spelled right, but roughly means 'choke throat' according to my tea source; my tea teacher says generally considered a negative attribute of tea - although, as with wine, isn't it the pleasure of the unique and individual tea drinker that matters most? For me, I don't like it.) Also, I thought I was detecting some opiniions out there that certain kinds of not-necessarily-enjoyable intensity in young sheng are thought to portend excellence (ie-more flavor/complexity) after aging? Again, my tea teacher, and Master Wang of Zen and Tea have both said that Ancient Trees (those from seed, not grafted!) tend not to produce this 'chan-ko' experience, and that this can be a way of detecting lower quality sheng ('chan-ko'/choke throat response) vs higher quality sheng. However, I also wonder about processing techniques that could result in 'chan-ko'?
But I am just a lowly tea whore (ie-unabashed, to distraction, almost addicted, over the top, spends too much on tea, but I digress) lover of tea, a pilgrim on this lovely, long and wide path of tea. So much to learn, and so much to enjoy along the way.