Mengding Mountain Snow Buds
Sichuan Province, China
1st Harvesting Season
(end of February - mid-March)
- Yellow tea
- Sichuan Province, China
- Pan-fired and ‘smothered’ during men huang (the ‘sealing yellow’ step)
- Sword-shaped bud pluck ('sparrow-tongue' style)
- Brisk , mineral-stone flavor
- Fresh, high-elevation crisp aroma
- Delicate pale jade colored liquor
Use 2 teaspoons (2-3 grams) per 6 oz of water
Steep 2-3 infusions at 2 minutes each.
Water temperature should be 160°F-170°F
This is a very elegant tea. The overall taste sensation of this tea is mineral-stone crisp & clean with an underlying layer of sweetness. Mengding Mountain Snow Buds has a cool and bracing quality that affirms its high altitude environment - terroir - and expresses the chilly early spring weather during which time the tea bushes flush with tender new buds.
This batch of Huang Ya is exceptionally fragrant, stunningly delicious and full of life. The shape of this tea is precise and plump and one of the most beautiful of Chinese teas. Because this tea is so special, we sell out of it every year. We recommend not waiting too long to place your order.
Huang Ya is a glorious springtime phenomenon. This tea ia made of ‘first-of-the-season’ compact, tender, juicy buds brimming with the vigor of tea bushes that are beginning their annual growth cycle. Yellow teas are increasingly uncommon in China because few tea makers specialize in making them today. The extra work involved in making yellow tea makes it more labor-intensive than that for manufacturing green tea and the market for these teas is judged to be dwindling. We are thrilled to have this tea so that our tea enthusiast customers can experience it before the day arrives when it may no longer be made.
Huang Ya production is small and the season begins early in Sichuan province. Tea pluckers gather delicate, sword-shaped buds and carefully place them into small silk bags (rather than traditional woven bamboo tea plucking baskets) to avoid any damage to the buds. Two workers picking in this manner for one full day will gather only one kilo of fresh buds.
In the tea factory, during the processing for yellow tea the fresh buds are removed from the heat while they are moist and warm. They are covered with a cloth in a smothering step ( men huan or 'sealing yellow'). This step allows the leaf to re-absorb its own aromatics and to 'breathe'. This step allows the buds to develop a greater level of sweetness and fragrance than green tea has. When the tea is finished, the color of the buds have a yellowish color cast rather than the rich green-green color of most green teas.
Mengding Mountain is located on the Tibetan Plateau in NW Sichuan Province. It is considered by tea historians to be the birthplace of cultivated tea in China. Mengding Mountain is situated northwest of Mt Emei, one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism.
When we visited a Huang Ya tea garden and tea factory on one of our spring tea buying trips there was fresh snow on the tea garden from an overnight storm the night we arrived. What an experience to walk past the garden's scolding 'guard' monkeys onto a famous tea mountain in the fog, ice, and snow!