Saturday, August 8, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #32 - Meng Ding Huang Ya
For only the second time this year (I think), I had to go outside my normal favorite tea vendors (Harney, Upton) to find a tea on my list. I was afraid I was going to be ordering from China again when I discovered a vendor in Tucson, Arizona which had Meng Ding Huang Ya in stock. Great service, and my tea tastings continue apace!
Category: Yellow Tea
Purveyor: Seven Cups
Dry leaf appearance: Very similar to last week's tea, this Meng Ding Huang Ya looked very much like Silver Needles.
Wet leaf appearance: Again, this tea reminded me of French cut green beans. One interesting observation: When I poured off the steeped tea, these tea leaves seemed much drier than they usually are. Did I simply drain them more than usual? I don't think so.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 175 degrees, 3 minutes.
Scent: The dry tea smelled like a strong green tea. The steeped tea smelled *exactly* like freshly steamed asparagus.
Color: Pale yellow.
Flavor: At first sip I thought perhaps this was going to be like some of those white teas that don't have that much flavor. But second and third sips and the tea's personality really changed! Not only did I get a nice mouth feel with this, but I also detected that rich, almost brothy taste I've enjoyed before. Never give up after only one sip!
Additional notes: Michael Harney didn't write a whole lot about this tea, perhaps owing to the "mystery" of yellow tea production I mentioned last week. He did say this was a "more astringent, slightly more vegetal yellow tea," but I didn't detect any astringency at all.
Next week's tea: Huo Shan Huang Ya