It was a long time ago that I sipped on a yellow tea and that tea was definitely not worth remembering. So drinking this sample of Huo Shang Huang Ya (Amber Mountain) from Mei Leaf was like a first time to me again.
What makes a yellow tea different from a green tea is this step after withering and drying where the tea makers put a damp cloth on top of the tea to oxidize it a little before roasting. This should take some of the grassiness out of it and add a bit of sweetness to it. With this tea it’s easy to recognize this extra step in the flavor. A very long lasting, lingering, full sweetness is the first thing that stands out when drinking this tea.
But it’s a lot more complex than just sweetness and softness in the mouth. What I liked most about this tea were the nutty notes (hmmmm) and the citrus aftertaste. The more brews, the stronger that citrusy aftertaste got, which reminded me of a young and immature raw pu’er. In the fifth and last brew there was a sharpness and spiciness to it that I liked very much.
At first I wasn’t impressed by the leaves. As I said I hadn’t had my hands on a yellow tea for a long time, so I didn’t know what to expect, but there was a lot of broken leaf in the tea. However, once they were washed away after a couple of brews and the leaves started to open up completely it was a beautiful sight and from the start on it was a truly delicious tea. In my next order this one will not be a sample anymore, but a larger package.