Leaf Type: Yellow
Where to Buy: Nan Nuo Shan
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.
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!