Meng Ding Huang Ya Yellow Tea from Canton Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yellow

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Product Information:

Only the valuable, tender young leaf buds picked from high up on the cool misty peak of Mount Meng can be considered true Meng Ding Huang Ya. It is made in the original mountainous area where tea cultivation dates back more than 2,000 years and is a very famous tea. It was once made as an Imperial Tribute Tea during the Tang Dynasty (meaning it was only made for the Emperor and his Court) and is still hugely sought after.

Meng Ding Huang Ya has yellowish green leaves with a fresh, raw nutty aroma. Because the leaves come from the cooler, higher level of the mountain, the buds have a less even, thinner appearance. Once they are infused, they become plump and soft and settle upright at the bottom of the vessel. Brew in a glass pot to appreciate this unusual quality.

The liquor is bright yellow with a smooth, fresh taste that offers a sweet, nutty flavour with a hint of citrus.

Taster’s Review:

I love Yellow Tea.  It is my favorite type of tea leaf.  In fact, I love it so much that I bought a Yixing tea mug just for my yellow tea.  At the time of this writing, I own three Yixing mugs:  one for yellow tea, one for jasmine tea, and one for Ali Shan Oolong.

But let’s get back to the tea that is in the mug that sits before me… this Meng Ding Huang Ya from Canton Tea is excellent.  I steeped this tea in my gaiwan; I am sipping the combination of the first four infusions from my Yixing mug.  A superior quality yellow tea such as this one submits to many infusions, I will get another full mug out of these leaves – a total of eight infusions.

The flavor is so amazing.  There is a sweet, nutty flavor.  Not a toasty nut taste, but more of a creamy nut taste – like the flavor of blanched nuts.  There are notes of flower that weave in and out of the sip, as well as a hint of sweet, tangy citrus that rests upon the palate in the finish. I also taste a note of melon that arrives at the start of the sip and melds nicely with the nutty note previously mentioned.

There is a slight bitterness that hits the palate about mid-sip.  This bitterness is a savory one.  It is as if it is part of the nutty flavor which starts out sweet and ends with a hint of bitter.  This note enhances the overall experience by cutting through some of the sweeter tones and adding dimension to the taste.

A soft mouthfeel coats the palate – it’s almost cushion-y soft!  The barely-there note of astringency cleans this softness away in the finish so that you want to take another sip just to experience the mouthfeel.  It’s like the palate glides along the surface of a cloud – it’s that kind of heavenly experience.

This yellow tea from Canton Tea Co. is a perfect example of why I love yellow teas so much.  It’s absolutely exquisite … perfectly divine!

1999 Vietnamese Cooked Loose Puerh from Canton Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Product Description:

An excellent loose cooked puerh made by a small artisan producer on China’s Yunnan/Vietnam border. The large twisted leaves are bright golden brown and release a clean, satisfying liquor with a good balance of wood and fruit notes.

Taster’s Review:

This is an incredibly smooth Puerh!

There is a strong earthy undertone to this tea, but it doesn’t smell as strong as it tastes, which is the opposite from my past Puerh tasting experiences.  Usually, the smell is much more earthy than the taste.

As I continue to taste, a very pleasant sweetness presents itself.  It is caramel-like in flavor, and is harmonious with the earthy flavor.  I also taste oak and apple.  This puerh has a lot of complexity, and isn’t as heavy in taste as I thought it would be, although the liquor is quite thick to the palate and reminds me a bit of the mouthfeel I’d experience with a green Oolong.  There are even buttery notes to this – browned butter – although it lacks the vegetative taste of a green Oolong.

This is a really enjoyable Puerh.  I do think my palate has finally developed a taste for this stuff!  Puerh is still not something I’d imagine myself wanting to sip on a daily basis, but I do quite enjoy it on occasion.

Cheers!

Pouchong from Canton Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong  (somewhere between a green and an Oolong)

Company Description:

Other names: Baozhong Tea, Baochong, Bao Zhong Tea

For the second year running, our exclusive Pouchong from Taiwan took a gold award at the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards.

This is one of our favourite teas and completely exclusive to Canton Tea Co. Grown high on the slopes of WenShan, Taipei county, by farmer Xu and his family, this award-winning Pouchong is incredibly light and refreshing with smooth floral notes and a sweet apricot finish. The locals call it a green tea, but it is actually a very lightly oxidised oolong. The big twisted leaves produce a bright yellow/green liquor that is creamy soft and delicious.

Farmer Xu’s comments
“Every year we enter our Pouchong in the big tea competition Every year we win the top prizes!”

2009 Great Taste Awards: Two Gold Stars and 2010 Great Taste Awards: One Gold Star

Taster’s Review:

This is an extremely tasty Pouchong variety.  It has a light-to-medium body with a creamy texture (or mouthfeel) to it that is similar to the texture of whole milk.

The aroma of the tea is faintly vegetative with hints of floral notes.  The notes of vegetable and flower translate to the brewed cup – with stronger floral flavors than the vegetative notes which linger in the background.  There is even the slightest hint of a buttery flavor, not strong, but it is complementary to the vegetal note.

Particularly nice is the aftertaste – this tea imparts a delightful fruit-like taste on the tongue… the company description suggests it’s a sweet apricot flavor and I’m inclined to agree, it is quite apricot-y.

Overall the flavor of this cup is delicate, but extraordinary.  I recommend brewing it in a gaiwan to extract the most you can out of these leaves, and they’re ready for quite a few infusions – I managed seven infusions from the same measurement of leaves in my gaiwan!

This is a tea that I’d recommend to fans of green tea as well as fans of Oolong tea, because it exhibits characteristics of both of these types of tea.  It is a truly remarkable tea and worthy of a try!

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