Disappointed by Yellow Tea


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby JRS22 » Dec 15th, '10, 20:06

I took a tea inventory today and I have 4 yellow teas:

    Huo Shan Huang Ya
    Jun Shan Yin Zhen
    Pre-qing Ming Mengding Mountain Snow Buds
    Pre-Qing Ming Huo Shan Yellow Sprouting

I'm finding them boring. I've been brewing them in a gaiwan with temperatures ranging from 160F up to 175F, usually for 2 minutes. Does anyone out there have any brewing suggestions? Any more experiments and I'll use up my supply before I find each tea's sweet spot (assuming it exists).
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby edkrueger » Dec 17th, '10, 14:12

Try hotter water.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby JRS22 » Dec 17th, '10, 23:10

edkrueger wrote:Try hotter water.


I'm so accustomed to green tea that I always assume if I'm not happy with a tea that it will be improved by brewing at a lower temperature. I took your advice, went in the other direction, and brewed the Jun Shan Yin Zhen at 190 degrees for 2 minutes. The flavors of the tea were more intense and distinguishable. I still may end up not liking yellow tea, but now at least I feel as if I'm getting an idea of how it tastes.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby Chip » Dec 17th, '10, 23:24

Very interesting ... 4ish years ago is when I last had Yellow tea, and was pretty bored with it. Maybe I was brewing it too cool.

Still, I am not running out and buying any. :mrgreen:
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby AdamMY » Dec 17th, '10, 23:27

I have had only one yellow tea and it had absolutely fascinated me. I will not say I was entirely fond of it, but it was amazing how the tea tasted amazingly like a batch of cooked peas.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby Alex » Dec 19th, '10, 10:16

Use loads and do really short steeps. I usually fill the gaiwan about 2/3rds or 1/2 full and go for flash infusions. Seems to get more fresh sweetness out which seems to get lost in longer infusions. like 10 seconds ish as a starter.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby Drax » Dec 20th, '10, 22:20

Hmmm, I remembering reading some interesting advice for yellow tea. Somebody said you should leave some liquid in the pot (or whatever you're brewing with), say about 10%, as a 'starter' (that's not the right word, though). And you keep doing that as you brew more cups. I did that with a yellow I got from, I think Jing Tea, and it was nice.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby JRS22 » Dec 21st, '10, 00:25

I tried the higher temperature, 190 degrees, and it improved my results with the Jun Shan Yin Zhen. I'll try this idea next - in my smallest gaiwan.

Zensuji wrote:Use loads and do really short steeps. I usually fill the gaiwan about 2/3rds or 1/2 full and go for flash infusions. Seems to get more fresh sweetness out which seems to get lost in longer infusions. like 10 seconds ish as a starter.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby Marco » Dec 21st, '10, 13:07

Drax wrote:Hmmm, I remembering reading some interesting advice for yellow tea. Somebody said you should leave some liquid in the pot (or whatever you're brewing with), say about 10%, as a 'starter' (that's not the right word, though). And you keep doing that as you brew more cups. I did that with a yellow I got from, I think Jing Tea, and it was nice.


Thank you for the idea - I will try this :)

I have one yellow tea. In the beginning I didn't like it at all. It was far to weak in taste and boring.
But brewing with higher temperature and slightly longer steeping time improved it a lot. Now I like it from time to time.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby chrl42 » Dec 27th, '10, 08:08

Yellow teas like Jun Shan Yin Zhen is a real rare stock even in China, over 95% in China is regarded as imitations. Not to degrade your choice, please don't get it confused :)
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby JRS22 » Dec 27th, '10, 10:04

We've had that discussion here before about the problem with imitations. I chose to buy from Teaspring, which has this to say about their Jun Shan Yin Zhen:

"In recent years, it is getting increasingly difficult to obtain authentic Jun Shan Yin Zhen. Processing this yellow tea requires great skill and effort. Hence many tea masters prefer to use the green tea processing methods instead as not only is it easier, but the finished product have a much better appearance. These teas are often sold as Jun Shan Yin Zhen even though they are technically known as Jun Shan Qing Zhen. To ensure its authenticity, a number code is included with each can of Jun Shan Yin Zhen (printed on the foil bag). This code is provided by Jun Shan Tea Co Ltd, the company who now owns all the tea harvest from Jun Shan Island, and can be verified at their website."
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby Oni » Jan 19th, '11, 02:59

I had teasprings top cha wang grade Jun Shan Yin Zhen and I was very dissapointed with it, I assume it must have been a fake too, there is Hojo and Dragon teahouse left for me to try out.
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Re: Disappointed by Yellow Tea

Postby JRS22 » Jan 19th, '11, 10:23

I just went to the Hojo web page and he claims that there are up to 10 different grades. It seems to me that Teaspring could be selling authentic tea that is of the lower grades. What struck me about the Teaspring item list for tea to qualify as cha wan was that there was nothing about taste on the list. Picking standards don't guarantee the best tea if taste isn't part of the standard.

I bought 3 yellow teas from Teaspring this year and the other 2 actually taste better than the Jun Shan Yin Zhen. I look forward to hearing about your experience with Hojo yellow tea.
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