China ~ Emperor’s Yellow Organic Yellow Tea | Yunnan Sourcing

Today I’ll be reviewing an interesting yellow tea from Yunnan Province in China.

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Hello all! I am finally back again with more tea to taste. My life has been significantly hectic lately so I apologize for being very, very MIA.

Today’s tea is very interesting – it’s a yellow tea from Yunnan Province! This tea is certified organic and was grown in the Simao District of Pu’er Prefecture, right on the southern slope of Ma Wei Mountain.

It’s produced similarly to a black tea, however the sun-withering and oxidation stages are reduced. That makes this tea more like a Korean yellow tea, which is really just a lightly oxidized black tea.

So, without further ado, on to the tasting!

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From the looks of it, this tea is exclusively buds. The dry leaves smell kind of like a cross between a green tea and a lightly oxidized black tea. It has the floral, fruity notes of a lightly oxidized black with the intense, toasted nuttiness of a Chinese green. There’s a little bit of a savory, slightly yeasty smell almost which makes it smell a little bit like crackers.

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The wet leaves smell toasted like the dry leaves but instead the dominant scent is a floral scent of a lightly oxidized black tea.

The tea itself has a strong, roasted nut scent and lacks the floral, honeyed notes of the dry leaves. The roasted scent coupled with the nuts once again smells a lot like toasted crackers or something of that nature.

The first steep begins with a punch of roasted nuttiness and the savory notes of buttered vegetables. As far as vegetables go, I got some asparagus notes as well as Brussels sprouts. Aside from roasted flavors there is a light, gentle, floral sweetness; a bit like wildflower honey but not nearly as intense as the honey notes that would be in a full-fledged black tea. Further steeps lessen those harsher, roasted notes (however they still remain present) and bring out more of the floral nature of the tea, as the flavor profile slowly comes closer to a black tea.

Overall, this tea was very interesting. It’s a new take on lightly-oxidized blacks, and I think that it is definitely worth trying if you’re looking for something unusual to add to your tea collection. I’m definitely inspired to go seek out more yellow teas as well since they are so mysterious and I would love to try more.

Rating: 9/10
From: Yunnan Sourcing
Ma Wei Mountain, Simao District, Pu’er Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China

 

China ~ Anhui Huoshan Huangya Yellow Tea | What-Cha

Today I’ll be reviewing a Huoshan Huangya yellow tea from China’s Anhui province.

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Hello! Today I have another day off because of the snow (unusual for March, but hey at least my pollen allergies are delayed) so I shall review some tea.

Today’s tea is a yellow tea from Anhui Province of China and it is actually the first Chinese tea I’ve reviewed on this blog.

Now I must admit that I’ve never had yellow tea before (I used to think I did, but it turns out that what I thought was a yellow tea was actually fake).

Yellow tea is quite rare and unusual, as it only accounts for less than 1% of China’s total tea production. I’ve read that it was a favorite of Chinese emperors, however the method of making it was lost and only rediscovered sometime in the 1970s.

Yellow tea is traditionally cultivated in Anhui and Hunan Provinces, however there are several yellow teas made in Sichuan and Henan.

In order to make yellow tea, the leaves are first withered in the sun, then pan-fried like a green tea, and then steamed, heaped, and finally dried to eliminate any further oxidation.

The most famous/rare yellow tea is Junshan Yinzhen, a yellow tea that is traditionally produced from tea leaves growing on Junshan Island, a less than 1 km-wide island located in Dongting Lake in Hunan Province. True Junshan Yinzhen can go for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

This tea is an Anhui yellow tea called Huoshan Huangya, and it originates from Bai Ma Jiang Peak in the Da Bie Shan Mountains of Anhui Province’s Huoshan County. This tea was traditionally given as tribute to the emperors of the Ming dynasty.

I purchased 100g of this tea from What-Cha as I wanted to include a yellow tea in my collection, and I steeped it at 167 degrees F for 80 seconds for the first steep, and at 170 degrees F for 80 seconds for the second steep.

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The dry leaves smell nutty and grassy but almost in a dry, crisp way. There are slight hints of vegetables and a detectable smoky note.

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The wet leaves smell very strongly of a nutty scent akin to Chinese green teas (ex. Long Jing). There is a slight smoky note along with a vegetal, asparagus scent that is almost savory and umami in its nature.

The tea smells very light compared to the leaves, however the scent is detectable and it’s a lot like the wet leaves. I was actually a little worried that I didn’t steep it long enough since the liquor smelled so light however I knew I was fine when I tasted it.

The tea is very smooth and has an almost milky, creamy mouthfeel. The first taste is a sweet, nutty note that I find is very common in Chinese green teas. Next notes of smokiness and cooked vegetables come through as it ends on a slightly savory, buttery flavor. A second steep brings out the nutty, vegetal, and buttery flavors even more and it becomes even more similar to a green tea in its flavor.

Overall, this tea is fantastic. It has all the characteristics I would look for in a Chinese yellow/green: light flavor, smooth mouthfeel, and no astringency at all. After coming into this as a yellow tea virgin, I am pleased to say that I will be looking to try more yellow teas because this one was one of the best Chinese teas I’ve ever had.

Rating: 10/10
From: What-Cha
Bai Ma Jiang Peak, Da Bie Shan Mountains, Huoshan County, Anhui Province, China