Mariage Frères are characteristically coy with their descriptions. Their website claims Hunan, but my sources tell me this is similar to Anhui’s Huo Shan Huang Ya (Yellow Sprouts). Whatever the origin, this is a difficult tea to make, or at least I found it to be so. Strictly 75 degrees Celsius, and keep the cup/teapot open so that the water is cooling down as the tea is steeping. And it’s properly steeped after about a minute. Keep it steeping for a longer time and it loses most of its aroma and taste, and becomes an average green tea. I think I only got this two times out of ten.
But the results, oh the results! Impossibly beautiful flavor and aroma, gentle and full-bodied at the same time, layer upon layer of different kinds of sweet and floral taste and smell. And if you keep the wet leaves after steeping, they give off a yet another kind of sweetness. Breathtaking, really. Just very demanding to make.