Huo Shan Huang Ya (霍山黃芽) is a type of yellow tea that originates from Huo Shan County in Anhui Province, China. This tea has a long and interesting history, having been an imperial tribute tea since the Ming Dynasty. The tea leaves have a shiny appearance and are similar to Huang Shan Mao Feng tea.
The Men Huang Process
Yellow tea is distinct from other types of tea due to its special processing method, known as the Men Huang process. After plucking, the leaves are briefly withered, then heated at a lower temperature than green tea. The tea is then rolled, piled and wrapped in paper or cloth to initiate the Men Huang process, which involves controlled oxidation through a light, non-enzymic fermentation. This process is repeated multiple times until the desired flavour is achieved. Finally, the tea is fixed and dried, resulting in a mellow and smooth flavour with little grassy astringency.
Characteristics of Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow Tea
Huo Shan Huang Ya yellow tea is balanced and mellow with smooth vegetal notes and no astringency. It is grown from the Jin Ji cultivar at an altitude of 800 meters and is hand plucked and processed in early April. The tea has a green-yellow color, a sweet and nutty taste, and produces a light-colored liquor when brewed. It has umami vegetal notes that are slightly sweet and savory, with a hint of roasted and nutty notes.
Brewing Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow Tea
To brew Huo Shan Huang Ya yellow tea, use 80°C water and steep for 2-3 minutes according to your taste. The tea can be brewed 3-4 times, increasing steeping time with each brew if desired.
Overall, Huo Shan Huang Ya yellow tea is a unique and mellow tea that stands out among non-oxidized teas due to its special processing method and smooth flavor.