After reading my original review, my good friend and tea industry contemporary, Tiffany Picard, sent me 19 single-serving packets of different Ba Bao Cha blends. Because I am very seldom in the mood to drink flavored or sweetened tea, I decided that I would brew one packet every year around Christmas time.
This morning I decided it was time to try one, so I fired up the kettle and grabbed a gaiwan. Last year I used a larger teapot and omitted the sugar during brewing... but this time I emptied the entire contents of one small packet into the gaiwan (which is the traditional way to do it).
This was what was in the one packet that I chose to brew.
I steeped the blend for 3 minutes with boiling water and then strained it into a decanter. I sipped it cautiously and noted its heady, perfume-like flavor. It is very sweet and fruity. My 22-month-old daughter, who is used to sampling a tiny bit of my tea, asked for a taste, so after it was cool enough I gave her a little sip. "Funny Tea!" she exclaimed. That cracked me up and we ended up talking about "the funny tea" for the rest of the day.
It tastes as "pretty" as it looks.
Keep in mind that Ba Bao Cha is not really "tea," it is a sweetened herbal beverage containing a little bit of tea. There are some people who believe the herbs it contains are particularly healthy or curative. While I can't speak to that, I do believe that it is much healthier to have a cup of all natural Ba Bao Cha than it is to drink soda or Kool-aid.
I steeped the Bao Bao Cha one more time and it was not nearly as good as the first brew. After a few more sips I started playing with the herbs to see just what I was drinking.
...a few chrysanthemum flowers,
three or four goji berries,