My first thought when sipping this tea was “My god, this is the best tea I’ve tasted this spring!” After finishing the first cup, the rest of the tea in my chahai had turned undrinkable. So, kinda hard start.

Leaves are beautiful, wet and dry. I’ve been missing those tight, sharp needles! Aroma is dry, sweet. Leaves are dancing nicely in the pot ( I use small, gongfu-style glasspots)

Taste is complex, yet remarkably balanced. Sweetness, some sourness as well. Usually when tea tastes sour it tastes sour in a way I don’t like it, but this time it works for me. There is also the dry nut-like taste, which is tied to the sourness. Taste is quite wide. I am assuming I used too much leaves (I felt like using more than I usually do) and while that resulted in a great first sip, the taste quickly transformed, and got more bitterness.

I am not very experienced in yellow teas. There is something very similar in the body of this tea and Huo Shan Huang Ya I have, I’m assuming that’s the “yellow” taste. Tasting blind I would have assumed this was green.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Jesse Örö

This tea was surprisingly strong. I have got this strong teahigh from only a couple of teas, know that I am again used to spring teas.

Nathaniel Gruber

Interesting review. Generally I wouldn’t associate bitterness with yellow tea. In your opinion do you think this was strictly the use of too much leaf material or is it missing something of quality? I’d be interested to know because the few yellow teas that I have tried are vegetal and sweet but I’ve never tried one that turned bitter.

Jesse Örö

For some reason I decided to use more leaves than usually, I used about 1,5 times the “normal leaf amount”. I don’t have a scale, but the amounts I am normally using are similar to those used by other I’ve made tea with.
Of course all teas change in the cup, and this one changed towards bitterness. It tasted like I had brewed it too long for that leaf amount. So, I think I overbrew this one at first, but that became “visible” only after a moment -maybe the tea settled down and got mixed up better, or maybe it just got changed by time.
You say you’ve never tried one that turned bitter? At all? I mean, as far as I know there aren’t many teas that can stand anything, there is always a way to make bad cup out of tea. Well, this year some of the best green teas have been almost invincible, practically impossible to go wrong.

Jesse Örö

I sincerely believe this tea is of high quality. It’s possible that something just happened – one can never “control” tea, maybe this was one of those occasions of tea acting weirdly on it’s own.

Nathaniel Gruber

Fair enough. You’re right, each time you make a tea it will taste different based upon a number of factors including the mood of the one making the tea.

I think I was more getting at the point that the majority of the really best Chinese teas are very difficult to over-brew. Depends on the kind of tea…a Sheng Pu’er is going to be touchier than an Oolong generally. Yellow tea, to me, has always been so pleasant and mild that I was a bit surprised to hear that it turned bitter on you.

Interesting stuff. I’d be fascinated to try this tea!

Jesse Örö

Well, I think I agree, it’s weird how it got bitter, usually this good tea doesn’t act like that.

Many of these higher end spring teas (green, white, yellow) seem to go really dry and sour in a negative way when overbrewn. I think there is something similar happening with wulongs sometimes, when using lots of leaves and a longer steeps. Taste goes “stuck”, there is simply too much of each flavour in the cup, and they start to supress each other.

Nathaniel Gruber

Yeah, I could imagine what you mean. I have had some pretty negative experiences with using too much leaf.

ScottTeaMan

I love Meng Ding Huang Ya! I had this tea in 2008 from TeaSpring. So fresh, nutty and delicious! I only wish I had bought more. I’ve only had one other tea from TeaSpring and it too was very fresh and delicious. I’ll have to order from TS again. :))

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Comments

Jesse Örö

This tea was surprisingly strong. I have got this strong teahigh from only a couple of teas, know that I am again used to spring teas.

Nathaniel Gruber

Interesting review. Generally I wouldn’t associate bitterness with yellow tea. In your opinion do you think this was strictly the use of too much leaf material or is it missing something of quality? I’d be interested to know because the few yellow teas that I have tried are vegetal and sweet but I’ve never tried one that turned bitter.

Jesse Örö

For some reason I decided to use more leaves than usually, I used about 1,5 times the “normal leaf amount”. I don’t have a scale, but the amounts I am normally using are similar to those used by other I’ve made tea with.
Of course all teas change in the cup, and this one changed towards bitterness. It tasted like I had brewed it too long for that leaf amount. So, I think I overbrew this one at first, but that became “visible” only after a moment -maybe the tea settled down and got mixed up better, or maybe it just got changed by time.
You say you’ve never tried one that turned bitter? At all? I mean, as far as I know there aren’t many teas that can stand anything, there is always a way to make bad cup out of tea. Well, this year some of the best green teas have been almost invincible, practically impossible to go wrong.

Jesse Örö

I sincerely believe this tea is of high quality. It’s possible that something just happened – one can never “control” tea, maybe this was one of those occasions of tea acting weirdly on it’s own.

Nathaniel Gruber

Fair enough. You’re right, each time you make a tea it will taste different based upon a number of factors including the mood of the one making the tea.

I think I was more getting at the point that the majority of the really best Chinese teas are very difficult to over-brew. Depends on the kind of tea…a Sheng Pu’er is going to be touchier than an Oolong generally. Yellow tea, to me, has always been so pleasant and mild that I was a bit surprised to hear that it turned bitter on you.

Interesting stuff. I’d be fascinated to try this tea!

Jesse Örö

Well, I think I agree, it’s weird how it got bitter, usually this good tea doesn’t act like that.

Many of these higher end spring teas (green, white, yellow) seem to go really dry and sour in a negative way when overbrewn. I think there is something similar happening with wulongs sometimes, when using lots of leaves and a longer steeps. Taste goes “stuck”, there is simply too much of each flavour in the cup, and they start to supress each other.

Nathaniel Gruber

Yeah, I could imagine what you mean. I have had some pretty negative experiences with using too much leaf.

ScottTeaMan

I love Meng Ding Huang Ya! I had this tea in 2008 from TeaSpring. So fresh, nutty and delicious! I only wish I had bought more. I’ve only had one other tea from TeaSpring and it too was very fresh and delicious. I’ll have to order from TS again. :))

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Bio

Tea enthusiastic, and a one of founders of Uutos, Finnish company providing tea-consultation and organizing events. We tend to drink up our winnings.

Haven’t been posting much lately, been drinking teas mostly not found on internet stores and not bothering to log them. My tea drinking has also been shifting away from analytical tasting, and more towards feeling and experiencing, so I’m writing less notes. I do recognize both sides of tea drinking important for me, and I believe I will start logging more frequently again, maybe with spring teas.

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Helsinki, Finland

Website

http://www.uutos.fi/etusivu/i...

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