Yellow tea is a hard tea to come by, so whenever I see it, I always give it a try!
Description: “This produces a light yellow liquor, smooth, woody notes with hints of toasted and sweet grains, like puffed barley and corn cereals.”
Instructions: Steeping vessel – gaiwan | 150 ml | 76°C | 4 g | 30 seconds; + 5 seconds for additional steeps
Review: During my tea journey, I’ve only had yellow teas two times and each tea was extremely different! So, I jumped at the chance to try another one. Yellow tea is an uncommon tea type that is only produced in China. As noted on The Tea Practitioner’s website:
“…[Y]ellow tea is very similar to green tea in that its oxidation process is halted almost immediately after plucking. Then this Chinese tea is rolled, pan fired several times, dried, and “yellowed” by introducing moisture through humidity in a temperature controlled unit, around the average temperature of the human body.”
This tea was harvested in early spring 2021 in Sichuan province, China. The dry leaves looked like a green Silver Needle. The dry leaves had a thin layer of silver hairs and were flattened, like a Dragon Well (due to being pan-fried) and had a deep olive brown-green colour. It smelled like a thick forest of pine and cedar, roasted nuts, baked bread, and had an underlying sweetness. The roasted quality reminded me of a hojicha or genmicha.
Pre-warmed gaiwan: The recommendations didn’t mention warming the teaware, but I like doing it regardless as it ensures that the teaware is warmed and the water temperature drop since the water is warming the teaware which affects the taste of the tea. As an added bonus, adding the tea into the warmed gaiwan releases the aroma of the tea. The dry leaves smelled roasted chestnuts, pine, and fresh bread.
Infusion 1 (30 seconds): The pale yellow liquor has a roasted smell with small hairs floating about. It tasted like a delicate Dragon Well with roasted chestnuts, bread, and caramel notes. There was dryness at the back of the throat.
Infusion 2 (35 seconds): Like the roasted smell of the dry leaves, the pale yellow liquor tasted like a hojicha. It tasted like roasted chestnuts, pine, and rye bread, with a nice lingering caramelized sweetness.
Infusion 3 (40 seconds): The liquor was a pale tan brown colour with a vegetal and roasted quality. The roasted flavour was the dominant flavour, especially when cooled.
Infusion 4 (45 seconds): The flavour was starting to wane, but there were still a roasted barley and bread crust taste along with some dryness.
Infusion 5 (50 seconds): The rose gold liquor had a faint roasted note.
The wet leaves were an olive brown-green colour with a roasted fresh cut grass smell.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable experience and I wish I had more! I am excited to explore more yellow teas and learn more in the future. Yellow tea is always mentioned in passing, so, even for myself, this is not an area of tea I am overly familiar with. I really liked seeing how processing and production were clearly evident in the final product. Since it was sweeter and roasted tea, it hit all the notes and it was a lovely sip. I would highly recommend this for someone who wants to explore yellow teas as well (4/5 rating)!
- Type: Yellow tea
- Origin: China, Mengding Shan, Ya’an City, Sichuan Province
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: Yellow tea
- Company: The Tea Practitioner
The question of the post: Have you ever had yellow tea? How did it taste to you?