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365 Challenge > Day 3 - Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow tea (Anhui)

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

This ecological hand-made tea is a yellow tea from Anhui, Fujian province. The history of yellow tea goes back to Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D) making it the second oldest tea (after green tea) discovered in China. Unlike green tea, yellow tea is lightly fermented (10-20%). Yellow teas are produced at small quantities by a handful of masters and this drives the prices up significantly. The production of this tea has been historically limited and during the Ming Dynasty, Huo Shan Huang Ya has been offered as an Imperial tribute. In other words, this tea was only consumed by the imperial courts and commoners did not have access to it.

The yellow tea is processed similar to green tea; however, it includes another step called ‘yellow sealing’. Compared to green tea, the roasting happens at a much lower temperature and for a longer period of time. The longer roasting and drying, prevents the water of the leaves to evaporate quickly and they remain tender. The leaves are then wrapped into a thick paper or cloth which causes a light fermentation and at intervals the tea is slowly roasted again and re-wrapped to trigger oxidation until the leaves turn to yellow-green. This process is called ‘yellow sealing’ which also makes the taste of the tea less grassy. Scientific experiments identified anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation and anti-cancer properties of yellow tea.

The below photos show all the steps of processing yellow tea:

Image taken from Xu et al. (2018)

This Huo Shan Huang Ya comes from the plantations at 900 meters high and offer a light, vegetal and sweet flavour. This tea won some prizes including the Commercial Products of Good Quality in 1990 and China's Tea Cup in 1999.

Tea Profile:

Type: Yellow

Origin: Huo Shan, Anhui, Fujian Province

Harvest time: Pre-rain spring2019

Leave colour: Black/brown when dry; dark green when infused

Liquor colour: Clear and bright yellow green

Tea aroma: Lightly sweet with delicate freshness and nutty notes

Steeping/brewing: You can use 90°C water temperature and steep for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time.

Shelf life: 18 months (to improve shelf life store the sealed tea leaves in a dry, dark place with low temperatures)

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