Silver Needles of Gentleman Mountain 'Junshan Yinzhen'

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Yellow Tea
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From Quantitea

Junshan Yinzhen is similar to the white tea Bai Hao Yinzhen in the plucking standard and downy white trichomes (small hairs). You’ll find the flavor profile is similar but because of the ‘men huang’ (seal yellow) heaping step, the tea is subdued and smoother than Bai Hao Yinzhen. This tea has a flavor profile of lightly toasted bread, steamed vegetables, hints of fruit and vanilla.

Plant: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis culivar ‘No. 6 Yin Zhen’
Type: Yellow
Origin: Junshan Island, Yue Yang City, Hunan Province, China
Elevation: 70m
Harvest Date: 04/15/2015
Plucking Standard: bud only
Process: Withering, Fixing, Heaping, Drying
Brewing Parameters: 185F for 3 min, 3 steeps

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1 Tasting Note

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Today I am taking a look at the two Yellow teas from the Quantitea 12 Loose Leaf Tea Flight, and let me tell you this, bravo to them for including Yellow teas, they are one of my favorite types of tea and they frequently get neglected. The first one I am looking at is the Silver Needles of Gentleman Mountain ‘Junshan Yinzhen’, a delightfully fuzzy tea from Hunan, I have had this tea where it is covered in downy trichomes and also where it is just needles with very little fuzz, and knowing my love of fuzzy teas it is no surprise I am partial to the ones covered in down. Giving these needles a sniff I detect vegetal notes of okra, bok choy, peas, corn and I swear I am not making this up…cornbread. It honestly smells a bit like gumbo but minus the tomatoes and this makes me so hungry. The starchy undertones of corn and cornbread give the tea a sweetness that compliments the more green notes.

This is the first time I have ever brewed a Yellow tea western style, I always use a gaiwan, so this will be a learning experience for me. The aroma of the plumped up soggy needles is green and sweet, with starchy notes of corn and bread with okra and sweet peas, there is also an undertone of very distant smoke, like someone grilled the okra before tossing them in the gumbo…man I really need to go get some food. The aroma of the liquid is gentle with notes of okra and corn with yeasty bread (more like bread than cornbread this time) and an underlying tomato leaf green note adding a crisp quality.

Ok, that is really quite yummy. It is still reminding me of gumbo with those strong okra and corn notes, as a person who might be addicted to okra in its many forms I can safely say this note pleases me immensely. The midtaste is bready and sweet, reminding me of a combo of cornbread and sweet yeasty farm bread, towards the finish there is a hint of pepper and a lingering okra note. I steeped this one for a few more cups, trying to wring every bit of flavor out, my only complaint is that I want more. I loved this tea in a mug and I really want to see how it performs in my gaiwan, or a yixing, clearly I need a yellow tea only yixing now.

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