In the quiet of the temple's bamboo garden, a young disciple approached Lao Cha, sitting in the shade of an old, twisting pine. "Shifu," he asked, holding out a handful of Huang Da Cha leaves, "what secrets do these hold?"
With a chuckle, Shifu replied, "Imagine a farmer, hands as rugged as mountain paths, crafting a brew as mellow as a lullaby. This tea," he said, holding up the golden liquor, "is like his work: earthy hands yielding a harvest as sweet and comforting as bread fresh from the oven. It's simple yet profound, unassuming yet rich—a true lesson in contrasts. Remember - the finest warmth often comes from the coarsest hands."
The disciple smiled, closed his eyes, and took a sip, understanding dawning at him with the flavor on his tongue.
Huang Da Cha, our addition to the Yellow tea collection, is a nice and comforting tea. It comes from Anhui - a region with a millennium-old history of tea production and one of the cradles of China's vast tea culture. Anhui is the home of some of China's most renowned teas, and Yellow Tea is a signature product for the area.
Our Huang Da Cha grows in a mountainous tea garden more than 800m above sea level. The large leaves for this tea come from tea bushes aged 60+ years. Its picking standard is one bud with two or three tightly twisted, glossy leaves mixed with stems and stalks.
Yellow tea's processing involves the well-known steps of withering, steaming or pan-frying, and drying, plus one additional step of Men Huang (闷黄) – "yellowing". During that stage, farmers gently pile and heat the leaves using stacking or wrapping in cloth or paper. The ongoing non-enzymatic transformation leads to the characteristic yellow color of the tea leaves. It also alters the taste, making it softer and more mellow. The "yellowing" phase is also at the core of the formation of yellow tea's distinctive sweet and mild aroma.
Our Huang Da Cha opens up with a sweet, roasted "coffee" scent, well-known to those familiar with Japanese Hojicha. Over the brews, the golden yellow tea liquor transforms further, adding a sweet, fruity accent that develops into a rich and comforting milky cacao taste. As the tea maintains a smooth profile without any trace of bitterness or astringency, each sip offers the soothing warmth of roasted flavors. As the steeps progress, the air becomes infused with the homely scent of freshly baked bread crust. If every tea tells a story, this one would be of the rugged, coarse hands of the farmer that give birth to the softness and sweetness of the freshly baked golden-crusted bread.
The tea leaves a pleasantly sweet aftertaste with a soft and mellow character. It is further enriched by the deep, gratifying aroma of baked grains and bread crust. The leaves, after the brew, present themselves in a glossy, dark ochre to brownish hue, with dark brown stalks, uniform and without impurities.
Along with its mellow and sweet taste, our Huang Da Cha is good news for caffeine-sensitive tea drinkers. It's naturally lower in caffeine due to the high content of stems and stalks, and the usage of bigger, grown-up leaves that contain less of this stimulating substance compared to buds and younger, more tender leaves.
Watch a short video about Yellow Tea
- Place of Origin: Guihua Village, Jinzhai County, Anhui Province, China
- Altitude: 800m
- Harvest Date: June 2023
- Picking Standard: One bud with two or three leaves, stems and stalks
- Aroma: Roasted, cacao with milk
- Taste: Sweet, cacao with fruity notes.
- Cultivar: Local Qunti Zhong (当地群体种)
- Caffeine Level: low
1g per 60ml 3-4min
1g per 25ml 5sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion