Mo Gan Yellow Tea holds such a unique space in the world of tea. Great green and white teas usually stand out for the clean, direct quality of their flavor. They have a relatively light body. However, their flavors are not shy. They seem to walk right up, say hello, and walk on by. They never over-stay their welcome. If anything, the best seem to leave us wishing they’d stay a little longer.
Everybody’s heard of green tea and black tea. But yellow tea usually surprises our guests and customers. Most of the tea lovers on this side of the world have never tasted yellow tea, or even heard of it. And it’s always difficult to describe something that people have never heard of!
Once plucked, tea leaves immediately begin to oxidize (albeit very slowly). Sometimes we encourage this oxidation, as in the case of oolong or black teas. By rolling the leaves, we burst the veins and extract their oils and juices. These accelerate the oxidation. Once the leaves reach the degree of dark, sticky oxidation that we are aiming for, we roast the leaves, and caramelize all of the oils released during bruising. Because of this oxidation and caramelization, oolong teas and black teas tend to offer another layer of flavor that sits somewhere between fruity sweetness and thick maltiness.
Most Chinese green teas, on the other hand, are quickly tossed on a big hot wok after plucking. The enzymes that allow the tea to oxidize are de-natured at about 155*F. The leaves are still wet, though. At this point, it’s almost like wilted spinach. After they’ve been fixed, the leaves are shaped, which usually entails either rolling the leaves or pressing the leaves. In either case, we’re applying pressure to break down the cell walls within. Finally, the teamaker dries the leaves once shaping is finished.
This final step, drying, is where we’ll focus. The drying of yellow tea is really what differentiates it from green tea. After fixing and shaping, there are many different methods of drying green teas. Sun-drying, charcoal-roasting, and electric ovens are all practiced. Yellow tea, however, goes from shaping into small bundles that are traditionally wrapped in paper. Tea makers carefully suspend these bundles of wet tea over charcoal on bamboo drums. They then gently rotate the tea over the next ten hours. As a comparison, even the slowest-dried green teas are dried for about three hours.
The resulting flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel are refreshing and light, yet substantial and creamy. Because it is an unoxidized tea, you can expect a time-release of about two hours for this tea’s caffeine. If you’re looking for something light and refreshing, but with a little more substance and body than a green tea, Mo Gan Yellow Tea is a great option!
Mrs. Wang Xianzhen and her family make our Mo Gan Yellow Tea. Her mother taught her to make yellow tea, and she keeps the tradition alive by teaching her daughters and grand daughters. Lineage holders represent a very special group in the world of tea lovers. People that were born into the river of tea and spend their entire lives deepening it leave such an important impact on future tea lovers. A teamaker who’s grandmother made the same tea brings a different depth to each sip taken. It’s almost like, the decades that have past have re-affirmed the validity, the deliciousness, and the value of these teas.
We hope you enjoy this unique expression of 茶.