I don't typically make New Year's resolutions, but this year I probably should have resolved to buy less tea. I have more than I know what to do with, so I've foisted it off friends, family, and even random strangers (aka my husband's coworkers.) I know this sounds like a #firstworldproblem but when you live in a tiny house, any sort of addiction that takes up space you don't really have can quickly become a problem. So, when I was doing my best to resist melting my credit card during another great tea sale and stumbled across a new-to-me tea I just had to try, you know I did the mature adult thing and put it on my wishlist for later, right?
Yeah... you know me too well.
I used the sale at Mandala Tea as an excuse to stock up on Smart Soak Tea Stain Dissolver and proceeded to pick up samples of their new Water Heater Cleaner Descaler (which I'll be reviewing soon) as well as their Yellow Buds - Huo Shan Huang Ya—a yellow tea from the An Hui Province in China.
If you aren't familiar with yellow tea, don't worry, it's actually quite difficult to come by—Mandala Tea is one of only a small handful of vendors I've seen stock it—but if you enjoy light-flavored teas you may want to seek some out. The appearance reminds me a lot of Dragonwell (Longjing) green tea, with its long rolled leaf, but the flavor is light and tastes slightly of sweet corn. It reminds me somewhat of cornsilk tea, which is popular in Korea and some parts of the United States.
Because this tea is so lightly flavored, water quality plays a larger than normal roll in the final flavor of the tea. We've been having hard water issues the past few months, so my first cup tasted flat and mineral-like. If you have not-so-great tasting water then I definitely recommend using filtered or bottled water when steeping this tea, it makes all the difference in the world.
Would I order this again? Yes! The delicate flavor of this tea is perfect for those times when I don't want the flavors in my tea to clash with the food I'm eating.
Yellow tea is a rare variant on green tea, in which the yellowing process mellows out the bitterness that is sometimes present in green tea. Light green tea flavor with a hint of chestnut.
Our Yellow Buds were picked Spring 2015 in the An Hui Province which receives pure air and water that feeds these tea bushes. The quality and purity can be experienced in each steeping of this fine tea.
Where to Purchase: Mandala Tea
Suggested Brewing Tips
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon per 8oz serving
Water Temp: 160 - 175°F
Steep Time: 30 seconds - 1 minute. Add 30 seconds for each subsequent infusion up to 3 minutes.