Huang Mei Gui - Wuyi Oolong Tea - Spring, 2012
Varietal: Huang Mei Gui
English Name: Yellow Rose
Harvest: Spring, 2012
Growing Region: Wuyi Shan Scenic Area, Fujian Province
Roast: Medium High
Huang Mei Gui translates to English as “Yellow Rose.” It is a relatively newly developed/bred varietal which has been in commercial production since about 2002. This batch was hand harvested and processed in the Spring season of 2012 inside the Wuyi Shan National Scenic area. The medium-high roast was performed in the traditional manner over hardwood charcoal.
Appearance, Flavor & Aroma:
This tea’s dry leaves are the long and twisting shape and dark greenish red-brown color characteristic of traditional Wu Yi Yan Cha. The rather intense fragrance of the dry leaves is roasty-toasty with touches of cocoa and dried flowers.
This tea is recommended for people looking for a more nuanced Wuyi oolong experience since it tends to be more mellow and subtle in the cup when compared to some of the more brash & assertive Wuyi varietals, such as Shui Xian or Rou Gui.
When infused, this Huang Mei Gui produces a reddish-amber, medium-bodied infusion. The flavor can best be described as toasty, woody and sweet with apparent floral elements (maybe a yellow rose?). The aftertaste builds nicely over a series of infusions, and, in my personal experience at least, it produces a pleasant cooling/tingling sensation on the palate.
We strongly suggest Gong Fu style preparation with this tea. Rather than sticking to a specific weight of tea leaves to water volume measure, we recommend simply filling your gaiwan or Yixing style teapot 1/3 to 1/2 full of dry tea leaves, use water just under a boil and a series of short steepings. If you prefer to use a weight to volume measure, try starting with 8 grams of leaf in a 150 ml gaiwan or teapot.
For Western-style steeping, start with 2-3 grams of leaf (it’s hard to give a volume measure in teaspoons because of the large leaf style) per cup. Use water under a boil (195 degrees F), and steep for 3-5 minutes. Adjust the amount of leaf, steeping time, and water temperature used according to your preference.
I also highly recommend either using aroma cups with this tea or at least remembering to smell the lid of the gaiwan or your empty drinking cup. The aroma that lingers on the surface of the ceramic surface is amazing and well worth savoring.