Qian Nian Ye Sheng Mini Bing (千年野生小餅, Qiān Nián Yě Shēng Xiǎo Bǐng, "Thousand Year Wild Small Bing") is picked from the wild ancestor of the Yunnan tea plant, Camellia crassicolumna. These wild plants are randomly distributed throughout the forest - as opposed to planted in convenient patches - and the buds, known as Yá Bāo when processed as tea, only appear once a year, in the middle of winter. Each bud opens into 3-5 colorful leaves, which may be red, white, purple, or green. Qiān Nián Yě Shēng is made from the fully-mature, opened leaves that emerge from these buds. In flavor it is smooth, vegetal, and herbaceous with notes of summer squash, a soft olive oily savor, and red bell pepper with a crisp fragrance evocative of a dry, grassy meadow.
Studies show that Camellia crassicolumna leaves, such as these, likely don't produce caffeine.
This mini bing includes 100g of pressed tea. The base color of the wrapper is blue, indicating that it is an herbal tea (we categorize it this way due to the likely absence of caffeine). The ring color is green, indicating that it has been prepared as a Sheng Pu'er.
I've fallen in love with this tea, it was okay in the beginning, just light and mellow, but over time I've come to adjust to the complexity of this tea. It lasts a very long time, up to 20 brews depending on temperature. Mineral sweetness with absolutely no astringency or bitter bite, smooth from beginning to end. Classical "ya bao" taste dances around on your tongue during the session, providing a very wild characteristic to the flavor.