Ohhhhh, it’s sooo coooooold! My fingers are frozen and my feet are numb. I’ve closed all the windows and I sit here watching the rain falling from the grey sky. Last week, my building opened the outdoor swimming pool, set out the lounge chairs and posted all the rules. Nobody has gone in yet. It’s too cold. I’m still wearing heavy sweaters, jeans, boots, jackets, and scarves! I don’t think summer is ever coming! It’s June and I want to put the heat on! There’s something wrong with this picture. Maybe tea will warm me up!
I received a sampler of Tea Vivre’s spring 2017 teas a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been itching to get at this Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow Tea. I last tried yellow tea a couple of years ago and as I recall, it reminded me of smoky bacon… I’ve been wanting to try again and see if it’s any better.
I open the packet and am greeted by the most wonderful aroma! Fresh green hay, oat-y breakfast cereal, and chestnuts. I just want to stick my nose in the packet and leave it there. I inhale deeply and just enjoy the smell of green. The leaves are short, straight little needles in a surprisingly bright green colour.
I steep 1/2 of the packet in a gaiwan for 45 seconds, and in boiled, but cooled water (85°C). I pour out the most delicate yellow tea – almost clear – and it smells sooooo inviting! The first sip is bursting with flavour. First I taste sweet roasted chestnuts. Then I notice sun-warmed hay, and finally, sweet green vegetables – like green peas – which is a good thing! It all tastes so sweet and warm and pleasant. The aftertaste is clean and sweet green! I love it! There is no taste of bacon or smoke – so that’s an improvement!
The second cup is left to steep for 90 seconds and it pours out a half a shade darker, but is still very light. This cup is quite different from the first. It has less of the chestnut, and more of the green vegetal notes. It’s a bit more like cucumbers, asparagus, and straw, or fresh tatami mats. But it’s mild and pleasant. There is nothing bitter here, and the aftertaste is clean. If I didn’t already have 100 teas in my cupboard, I’d order this one!
This is a completely different experience from my first yellow tea. This was delightfully light, fresh, and clean tasting. If you love delicate chestnutty (is that a word?) green teas, you will love this beautiful yellow too!
Super Big Thank You to Tea Vivre for providing this sample!