A year ago, I had zero clue that “yellow tea” was a thing that existed. And now I know that although it’s processed similarly to green tea, they’re completely different. Because it is allowed to dry for a longer time, the tea leaves actually turn yellow and possess none of the grassy or vegetative flavour, that is synonymous with green teas. Thanks to Tao Tea Leaf, a local tea retailer, I was able to purchase an ounce to bring home for the learning experience. Today I’m excited to do an in-depth review of this top grade Jun Shan Yin Zhen, all the way from the Hunan Province, China!
Jun Shan Yin Zhen comes in a resealable gold coloured foil pouch. There is a store label plastered on the front, which includes a brief tea description, company website, as well as a steeping guide. There are no listed ingredients available to my knowledge; online or otherwise. This tea consists of gorgeous, long needle shaped tea buds covered in fuzzy down and possessing a yellowish-brown tint to them. The dry leaf also appears to be uniform in size, bearing a prominent resemblance to Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) tea. The aroma is like sweet hay, with notes of honey and floral, but still well balanced.
Tao Tea Leaf recommends steeping Jun Shan Yin Zhen for 2-3 minutes in 80°C (175°F) water. I opted to steep this tea for just over two minutes.
The liquor reminds me of a watered down apple juice, golden in colour overall. The scent has elements of green tea, but mostly white. I like the amount of layers that are present in the flavour of Jun Shan Yin Zhen. The initial sip is full of toasty, earthy goodness, but as it sits with you, it takes little time to develop into something fruity with a lightly sweet, floral finish. Although somewhat tannic towards the end, my favourite part about this tea is how it manages to taste fuller in body, but still be so pure and delicate. It’s almost as if I actually have a cup of White Peony in front of me.
This type of yellow tea is not only rare, but nationally recognized throughout China as one of their top ten teas. From start to finish, the quality level was apparent. Jun Shan Yin Zhen really did feel like a hybrid of white tea and green tea to me, and that familiarity throughout only added to my overall experience. Every one should try yellow tea at least once. And I personally am looking forward to testing this one out in my gaiwan for a gongfu session!
What are your thoughts on yellow tea? Sound off in the comments below!
Stay tuned for a post featuring a jam inspired black tea blend!
Until we steep again…