Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow Tea
A young monk asked his teacher, the wise tea master Lao Cha:
— Sensei, if Buddha were to visit you, what would you treat him to?
— How can I amaze the Enlightened One? Perhaps but only with the Yellow Tea from Huo Mountain... The most delicious, gentle, and rare tea in the world. I’m sure that if Buddha were ever to visit me, it would be solely to get a taste of this tea.
Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow Tea comes to life through a unique process that involves “heaping” in order to yellow the tea leaves. It is a lightly fermented and gentler than green tea.
The fresh tea is hand-picked before Guyu, the 6th period of the traditional Chinese solar calendar, which usually begins on April 19. It’s standard practice to pick one bud with one leaf, or one bud with two unopened leaves, where only the tips of the tea leaves are picked. Fresh leaves are covered for 24-48 hours in bamboo trays after being wok-fried and baked. The Huang Ya leaves are then baked again over charcoal until 90% dry and left to soften for 3-7 days. During the last step of making Huang Ya, the tea gets quickly exposed to a charcoal fire in order to increase the aroma. This step is specifically unique to Lu An teas. The method for Huo Shan Huang Ya tea is that of someone repeatedly setting the bamboo tray of almost dried leaves over high fire. He then removes, flips, and repeats for hours.
Huo Shan Huang Ya is a lighter fermented yellow tea with notes resembling green tea, except rounder, sweeter, and less tannic. The strong chestnut flavor is the most significant characteristic of this tea. It’s highly recommended to use a Gaiwan when brewing in order to enjoy the strong fragrance and the delicious taste.
- Place of Origin: Taiyang Village (elevation above 800 meters), Huoshan, Anhui Province, China
- Harvest Date: April 2020
- The Standard of Plucking: One bud with one leaf, or one bud with two unopened leaves
- Dry Leaf: Straight strip with slightly spread out leaves, covered with abundant white tips; deep green and slightly yellow color
- Aroma: Chestnut, slightly floral
- Taste: The first infusion is sweet and mellow; from the second infusion the taste gradually becomes fresh and brisk, like green tea
- Caffeine level: Low