Last Updated on 05/09/2021 by Desmond
Many famous teas you heard are from Anhui, China, such as Huangshan Maofeng and Keemun Black Tea. If you have enough tea understanding, you should know a subtype called Yellow Tea, which is rare. Without surprise, Anhui also producing it – the Huoshan Huangya tea.
What Is Huoshan Huangya Tea
Huoshan Huangya, just as its name implies, it is a kind of Yellow Bud Tea that originated in the Huoshan country, Anhui. Huoshan is located in Liuan city, here also is the producing region of famous green tea Lu’an Gua Pian. It has produced high-quality teas since Tang Dynasty, and most of the harvest will be taken as tributes for the royal.
As we know, true teas are classified by their fermenting ways. Although yellow tea processing was invented in Ming Dynasty, the Huoshan Huangya name has been recorded since Tang; Because its tea trees’ buds are yellow. Due to historical changes, the tea tree types cultivated in the local plantations are different now, and they used the real yellow tea processing method. So, saying strictly from the definition, now the Huoshan Huangya tea is different from the record in ancient books.
After the founding of New China, Huoshan Huangya tea ever out of production for a long time. At that time, the government decided to process most of the source leaves into black tea for export trade and increase the foreign exchange earnings. Keemun Black Tea was birth under this situation. Later, green tea re-popular, the Huoshan tea plantations started to produce green tea again. The minority and hard-produced yellow tea has never been in the plan.
But Huoshan Huangya hasn’t been forgotten by people. After 20 years of development, the tea planting scale and yield in Huoshan keep increasing, and it satisfied the green and black tea requirement of both home and abroad. The local tea masters suggested producing Huoshan Huangya tea again, for taking the past glory back. After a small-scale trial planting and get the recognition of the government, Huoshan Huangya returned in 1973.
Huoshan Huangya tea plantations are primary in Jinji Mountain, Jinzhu Ping, and Wumijian; among them, Jinji Mountain produces the most high-quality and famous teas. Even though the altitude here is low(500-800m,) the climate is mild and abundant in rains. Many tall bamboos growing here, shielding the sun for the tea trees; it is essential for the Huoshan Huangya tea, which is made from tender buds.
The source leaves of Huoshan Huangya are mainly from the Jinji type Camellia Sinensis, which belongs to the shrub, large-leaf type. It got a high reproductive capacity feature, and the buds are fat and full of fuzz. The ancient mother tree is called the Jinji God Tea Tree; it still alive and protected by the fences. The ones which are taking part in the production are its clones.
The Huoshan Huangya tea yield has reached over 1000 tons pre-year so far. Except for domestic consumption also export abroad like Germany and America. It is regarded as the main force of yellow tea company with Junshan Yinzhen and Mengding Huangya. But face the narrow market, Huoshan Huangya is turning to green tea inevitably, just like the Weishan Maojian.
Just like the other yellow teas, the challenging processing of Huoshan Huangya always impedes its development. Source leaves will be though 7 steps into the final product:
Picking. The picking standard of Huoshan Huangya tea is relatively loose. According to the different harvest times and standards, Huoshan Huangya can cover Yellow Bud Tea, Yellow Small Tea, and Yellow Large Tea at the same time. And according to the leaves’ quality, it will be classified into 4 grades, from the top to the fourth. Just like the other teas, the spring-flush always the best. After picking, leaves will be placed hours for removing the vegetal smell and water on the surface, and then they will be start processed in a day.
Fixation. During the Huoshan Huangya processing, fixating and shaping are carried on together, so there is no rolling step. Tea masters put the leaves in a 120-130℃ pan for apace frying. It’s a freehand way operation. Tea masters got their own unique technique, making leaves into a bird tongue shape by hold, grab, and shake.
First Roasting. After fixation, tea masters low down the pan temperature a bit, stir the leaves gently for a primary drying purpose.
Sealing Yellow. Sealing yellow is the most particular and essential step in yellow tea processing. Huoshan Huangya sealing yellow different from the others. It doesn’t need to be wrapped, and it’s similar to the piling of dark tea. Leaves will be piling on a sieve and fermenting naturally. Typically, Huoshan Huangya will be sealing yellow last 24-48 hours. Leaves will turn yellow slowly by the heat and dampness and form a unique flavor.
Re-roasting. After sealing yellow successfully, tea masters will take the second roasting to the leaves. Making them 90% dry and can be break by a finger pinch.
Screening. Screening the Huoshan Huangya rough tea, remove the low-quality leaves and stems. Grading according to the quality and make the appearance uniform.
Drying. Take the final drying to the leaves until they can be pinch into powder by fingers.
Huoshan Huangya Tea Flavor
The dried Huoshan Huangya leaves look yellow-green, flat, long, and thin, just like the bird’s tongue, which got a light orchid floral. Due to the low-degree processing, many white fuzzes(Hao) are still retained on the leaves.
Brewing it with a glass cup simply, the closed leaf will extend slowly, and the water turns yellow. Get close and have a smell; there is a roasted chestnuts-like aroma, with a slight orchid scent. The sealing yellow (braise) degree decides which fragrance takes the more significant part.
Have a sip, a robust roasted chestnut aroma will fill your oral. Huoshan Huangya tastes similar to green tea, but due to it has been though sealing yellow, it will be more mellow and smooth. It still with a bit of astringency, but the “return-sweet” effect will come soon and bring a slight sweetness. Feeling it deeper, there is also a bit of sweet corn taste.
To the Huoshan Huangya made from tender buds, typically, I recommend finishing consuming it ASAP. It’s better not be stored more than 1 year. During the storage, 3 points should be paid attention to:
Dryness. We’ve mentioned that Huoshan Huangya will be roasted too dry during processing, and it means it is very easy to damp. Before the storage, you should check its dryness first, pick a good airtightness container, and then put it in a dry enough place. And it would be best if you made sure that there is no other smell around; the leaves may absorb it and affect the flavor.
Keep in the dark. Huoshan Huangya tea has only been a slight fermentation, and long time sunshine will lead to a photochemical reaction, makes it lose the color and flavor. Please do not choose a glass container, and make sure to store it in a dark place.
Low temperature. Yellow tea still keeps fermenting slowly during storage, and a high temperature will speed up the process. It needs to avoid, but for the first point reason, never put it in a fridge.
Related Reading: Choose the best tea storage container for loose leaf tea.
How To Make Huoshan Huangya Tea
A 300ml glass cup may be the best choice for brewing Huoshan Huangya tea.
- Pre-heat the cup;
- Add 95℃ water in till the 2/5, then put 5-8g leaves in;
- Steep for 5 seconds, waiting for the leaves to extend completely;
- Continue to fill water in till to the 7/10, then steep for about 30 seconds;
- When only 1/5 infusion left in the cup, refill it and extend the steeping time according to the concentration;
- Huoshan Huangya tea is not resistant to brew. Typically, it will lose all the flavor after 3 brews;