It’s my layman’s understanding that yellow tea is pretty hard to acquire at a reasonable price outside of China (or at has been least up until very recently), and I’m aware of the possibility of inferior or even counterfeit teas branded as such. Not at all implying that’s the case here, just noting in general as I really have no basis to judge what an authentic yellow tea “should” be like. (I have a couple more coming my way this month, so maybe I’ll get a better handle on what the general characteristics are based on common traits between the few I’ll be able to try.)
That said, I’m quite taken by how unique this appears. Dry it looks a little like long golden/tippy black leaves, there’s definitely a bit of oxidation, and the dry smell is quite extraordinary—it really is like a cross between all the basic tea types I’ve tried. There’s the toastiness of black tea and roasted oolongs, but also a fresh green mossiness more akin to greens and other types of oolongs, and that whole “delicately sweet floral perfume” aspect of Chinese whites and scented teas. Brewed in the cup this is surprisingly reddish brown but with gold undertones, reminds me of some of the peachiest and roastiest most classic/old-fashioned oolongs. The flavor is very mild and pretty smooth but as it cools a gentle darjeeling-ish woody astringency comes in that I really dig. As it cools further a fruity sweetness comes in. Good choice on an overcast damp mossy fall day like this as it evokes mossy forests and wet wood. Reminds me a bit of a class of oolongs, I forget which but I had some from Butiki a while back, where there are darjeeling qualities. Or perhaps it was the darjeeling that had oolong qualities, I forget. Whatever it is, I like it and it does come off as pretty unique.