This is a great yellow tea. It is bold and complex, very buttery and it develops some quiet peppery notes during additional steeping. The infusion is perfectly clear and intensely yellow.
“This is a great yellow tea. It is bold and complex, very buttery and it develops some quiet peppery notes during additional steeping. The infusion is perfectly clear and intensely yellow.” Read full tasting note
“Stream of consciousness review, meaning once I get to the steepings/infusions part of this review I’m just going to be taking note of my initial impressions/thoughts. I initially recorded...” Read full tasting note
“Another I removed from the Lewis & Clark teabox as there was one serving left. I tried to steep this tea like the other yellow tea I tried before, though the leaves look different. These kind...” Read full tasting note
“L&CTTB interesting. sort of roasty and nutty. somewhat sweet. kind of creamy taste to it. After I had it western style, I saw that people did this in...” Read full tasting note
This yellow tea composed almost entirely of buds comes from Sichuan province. Its magnificent young shoots are selected before being covered with the fine hairs typical of that grade of imperial picking! Its light yellow liquor is sweet and tasty. Bold hazelnut aromas are complemented by hints of vanilla and herbs. The finish is supported by its creamy texture and sweet taste. In the tradition of great teas – preferably to be enjoyed in a Gaiwan in a careful ambiance
Company description not available.
Meng Ding Huang YaDammann Freres
Meng Ding Huang YaDobra Tea
Meng Ding Huang YaCanton Tea Co
Meng Ding Huang YaT2
Meng Ding Huang YaTeaSpring
Meng Ding Huang YaTeaCuppa
Stream of consciousness review, meaning once I get to the steepings/infusions part of this review I’m just going to be taking note of my initial impressions/thoughts. I initially recorded this as a series of jot notes but have obviously since edited things to be paragraph formatted and easier to read…
This was a birthday present from my Dad; with the expensive price tag that comes along with this one I didn’t think that I’d ever be able to justify buying it but when I was explaining to him why yellow tea is such a big deal and how it’s something that I’ve been dying to explore but, because of the rarity, having a hard time doing something must have clicked for him because he surprised me with 25g!
I should note, the only other yellow tea I’ve had was a flavoured one and definitely not this high of a quality – I think that’s obviously something of note with this review.
Dry smell: From the bag this smell very strongly smells of rich hazelnut with herby undertones. After measuring it out into my gaiwan and being able to smell it closer/more directly I notice those smells and an almost borderline graham like smell. I do think you need to have an at least somewhat refined palate to pick up on it though; I’ve had various family members smell the dry leaf for this one and each of them swears they can’t smell a thing. The smell is so distinct for me though so I can only assume the difference here is that they’re tea plebians/don’t drink tea at all and, well, I’m obviously not and I definitely do.
Visually, the dry leaf reminds me a fair bit of silver needle, but with a more “tarnished” dusty yellow/ light brown colour, and very slightly smaller and more compressed/flat. I think it looks very aesthetically pleasing!
Infusion One – 30 Seconds:
Strong herbaceous and hay notes with a particularly peppery start and just a smidgen of astringency and bite are the first and foremost flavours with a menagerie of buttery vanilla and creamy hazelnut notes offering contrast and softening the tea a touch. There are corn silk notes and very soft roasty ones that fit somewhere into the equation. Fades into a soft, lemony flavour that lingers for a very long time, but only after having swallowed. There’s a lot going on, but it’s very pleasant! The leaf left in the Gaiwan smells like lemon pepper and hazelnut; weird but mouthwatering.
Infusion Two – 20 Seconds:
Smells like pepper, lemon and hazelnut. Less bite and less generic herby notes but still has some grip and some hay notes; it’s much more distinctly lemon pepper in start of the sip fading into roasty notes, vanilla and lemon in the body of the sip. I’m losing some of the hazelnut now as the other flavours get stronger. I tthoroughlyenjoy the transition from savory to light and sweet. It almost reminds me of vanilla lemon sponge cake in the aftertaste but the confectionery component’s not all there. It’s the butter that’s forming that impression, though. Leaf in the gaiwan is very lemony with some hay scent as well. It’s ticking my nose a little and making me sort of want to sneeze. But in a good way?
Infusion Three – 20 Seconds:
Oh wow; the flavour has diminished quite quickly as well as lost almost all the bite/grip. I pick up on a lot of hay notes; it’s quite similar to the flavour profile of your generic white tea/silver needle. There’s some creamy, buttery notes and a faint hazelnut and vanilla flavour. Mostly, it’s a sweet but dull lemon flavour though. This is my least favourite infusion thus far and I think, probably, a good place to stop steeping – even though I think I could get at least one more decent infusion from this I personally don’t push my Gong Fu sessions too long; I’m the sort of person who prefers to experience multiple different teas in one day than spend my whole day drinking a single tea.
Overall, this tea had a lot of really varied flavours to it but I found it so fascinating and enjoyable, and I think I learned a great deal from it. I would absolutely seek out this varietal again; I’m so intrigued to see how other companies’ offerings would compare! It’s quite sad that all of the ones I’ve seen have been so expensive; it’s definitely not one of those teas I can afford to buy from several companies in order to sample/compare…
Personally, I thought the second steeping was the best and had the most range of flavour as well as distinct flavours. Even though I know I said that I feared a novice/less trained palate would have a hard time picking up on the nuances I may have been wrong there; I thought almost all the flavour notes were very obvious. And, I definitely recommend seizing the opportunity to try this one if it presents itself to you!
Flavors: Biting, Black Pepper, Butter, Corn Husk, Cream, Hazelnut, Herbaceous, Herbs, Lemon, Nutty, Roasted, Vanilla
Another I removed from the Lewis & Clark teabox as there was one serving left. I tried to steep this tea like the other yellow tea I tried before, though the leaves look different. These kind of look like sencha leaves, wide and flat, but the color is a dustier muted light grey. There ended up being two teaspoons of leaves here which I used the last time for the yellow tea anyway. The dry leaves certainly have a nutty aroma!
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 2 min steep
This one is much different from the other yellow tea that was entirely lemon (like a lemon dusted cake or something). This one is mostly like a mao feng type green tea, nutty creamed corn flavor but there are hints of the faintest lemon in the aftertaste. The tea does leave my mouth a little dry, but it’s an okay flavor. Maybe not as nice as a green tea and certainly not as nice as the other yellow tea I tried (maybe because it was so different).
Steep #2 // 20 min a.b. // 2-3 min
This cup wasn’t as good. A little bitey. It’s odd when I find second steeps of white teas are amazing but second steeps of yellow teas (at least the two I’ve tried) haven’t been memorable. Of course, I could be steeping them incorrectly.
Hazelnut, butter, vanilla and a slight herbal taste…this is a wonderful tea. One to be steeped in a Gaiwan starting at 30 seconds and then to be enjoyed over and over again in multiple steeps. A delightful tea for a time of pondering…best straight and on its own.
Flavors: Butter, Hazelnut, Herbaceous, Vanilla
The directions on the bag said 5 mins?! I listened, and wow I knew that was way too long. It’s become a bitter bitter and astringent. Theres also a nutty quality. Also some vegetal and roasted smell. I know see the gaiwan method, and will use the last of my sample on trying that method.