Huang Ya Yellow Tea from Nan Nuo Shan

HuangYaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yellow

Where to Buy:  Nan Nuo Shan

Tea Description:

A truly original yellow tea produced according to a traditional recipe in an ancient Chinese tea region. The sprouts are picked when still tiny and tender to be carefully processed in small batches.

The taste is very clear and rich, refreshing but not fresh. Warm, brisk and mineral with hints of hay and a pleasant, slightly sweet, aftertaste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

For those of you who are familiar with my love of tea, you are probably aware that yellow tea is my favorite variety of tea.  So when Nan Nuo Shan offered to send me their new harvest of Huang Ya Yellow Tea, I leaped at the opportunity.  Yes PLEASE!

To brew this, I got out my gaiwan.  They sent me 6 grams of the tea and since I have a fairly large gaiwan, I poured the whole 6 grams of tea into the bowl of the gaiwan.  I gave the tea a 15 second rinse and followed it with six infusions (1 minute for the first infusion with 15 seconds additional steep time for each subsequent infusion).  All six infusions fit quite nicely in my YiXing mug designated for yellow teas.

And how I love this tea.  It’s so lovely!

Before I proceed with the review, I wanted to highlight some information on the Nan Nuo Shan website about yellow tea that I found rather interesting:

The production of yellow tea is not only difficult but also risky. During yellowing the tea might turn moldy, causing the lost of precious raw leaves. So former yellow tea producers decided to focus on more popular and risk-free green teas or at least to shorten the yellowing phase to few hours instead of days, thus producing yellow tea undistinguishable from green tea.

That is something to keep in mind when you’re purchasing yellow tea in the future.  It’s important to communicate with your tea purveyor to find out what you can about production of your teas!

This tea!  It is pure loveliness and joy in liquid form.

Sweet!  The tea is sweet with a lovely contrasting note of bitter toward the end of the sip.  This is not the “oh no, I steeped the tea incorrectly” kind of bitter.  This is not an off-putting kind of bitter.  It’s a delicate, savory note that contrasts with the sweetness and adds complexity to every sip.  It hints at the layers of flavor that are waiting to be explored by the sipper.

It has a soft, creamy texture that is similar to a Chinese green tea but without the strong, grassy/vegetative and/or kelp-y taste that you might notice with a typical green.  Hints of butter with a light, tangy quality that reminded me a little of the tangy note that I might experience from buttermilk.

It’s lightly earthy as opposed to what I’d call vegetal, but the earthy tones are vegetal tasting.  It doesn’t taste like earth as in loam or peat, it tastes like an earthy green taste.  Like kale that has been cooked to perfection:  earthy with a little bit of bitter and and a hint of tangy.  Only this is better because it also has that delightful sweetness!  I’d take a cup of this over a plate of kale anytime!

It’s so smooth.  There’s no astringency.  Even the tangy quality here – it’s a flavor without the sensation that accompanies an astringent tea.  This is one of the very best yellow teas I’ve yet to encounter.  I highly recommend this to all who are looking to expand their experience with yellow tea!  (All of you, right?)  It’s an incredibly beautiful tea!

Huoshan Huang Ya Yellow Tea from What-Cha Tea

HuoShanHuangYaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yellow

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

A rare tea produced only a few days each Spring that features a great bamboo nose and a slight nutty taste followed by a lingering sweet after-taste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  Yellow Tea!  It’s been quite some time since I’ve tried a “new-to-me” yellow tea for review.  Yellow Tea is my all time favorite type of tea.  I love it.  And I LOVE this Huoshan Huang Ya Yellow Tea from What-Cha Tea!

To brew this tea, I used my gaiwan and measured one bamboo scoop of tea into it, and then I heated the water to 170°F.  First I rinsed the leaves with the water, by infusing them for 15 seconds and then straining off the liquid and discarding it.  Then I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds and added 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion.  I strained each infusion into my very special Yellow Tea Yi Xing mug.  This mug is a little larger than my Ali Shan and Jasmine Yi Xing mugs, so I can fit 6 infusions of tea in the mug.  So that’s what I did.  I’m now sipping on the results of the first six infusions of this tea. HuoShanHuangYa1

Mmm!  Sweet and delicious.  The texture is creamy and smooth.  The sip starts out sweet with nutty nutty notes.  By mid-sip, I’m picking up on notes of flower.  The sweetness remains throughout the sip.  The aftertaste is delicately floral with a light sweetness.

What I like best about Yellow tea versus say, a white or green tea or even a green Oolong is that there are elements of most of these teas:  I taste creamy notes that you might find in these three tea types, but it’s not quite as heavy in texture as an Oolong or even a green tea might be.  It has subtle floral tones but they aren’t as sharp as with these other teas types.  And there is less of a vegetal note than with these other three tea types.  In fact, I’m having a hard time detecting ANY vegetal note to this cup, and I’m searching for it.  There is a very, very faint vegetal note hiding in the distance behind the sweet, nutty flavors and the notes of flower in the breeze.

It’s simply a wonderful tea, and this yellow from What-Cha is beyond wonderful.  Better than wonderful.  It’s absolutely, exquisitely perfect!