Tea: 2023 Huoshan Huangya (霍山黄芽)
Type: Yellow Tea, Light Yellowing, Dry Fermentation
Harvest: Pre-Qingming 2023
Region: Dahuaping Town, Huoshan County, China
Producer: Old Rao
Tasting Notes: Taro Aroma; Almond, Dairy, Grassy.
This is basically a standard Chinese baked green tea with a uniquely sweet, taro aroma. The producer, a former mayor of Jinjishan who insists we call him "Old Rao," would be the first to tell you that this yellow tea is unorthodox. He knew personally one of the two professors who helped revive yellow tea production in Huoshan while he was mayor in the late 1980's. For him yellow tea should be something approaching the 2021 Orthodox Yellow Tea produced by the Huifeng Company. The leaves should be dark and the aroma similar to sweet taro.
This light yellow tea is something Rao has created to satisfy the local green-oriented market. Dry fermentation, letting the tea it sit in a warm pile for a day, requires infinitely less labor than the traditional "three smother three bake" wet yellowing. It looks like a high quality hongqing green tea, tastes like one too, but still has the taro aroma which Rao thinks is essential. The careful pick and unblemished pine needle shape make it perhaps the best looking of any of our yellows. It is exactly what it is supposed to be, a green tea lover's yellow tea.