Huo Shan Huang Ya
A year ago I had some amazing Que She (Bird’s Tongue) tea that I stretched about as far as possible because I knew I could not get anymore of that particular tea and it was breathtaking. Very fresh yellow-green little tongues that brewed a nice pale liquor with a slightly sweet, vegetal, and delicately thick/slippery feel. I have grown into more of the delicate and pale greens for some unknown reason lately, breaking away from my more standard Bancha, Sencha, and Gyokuro.
I took a walk today downtown Pittsburgh just to break up the monotony of my day, and swung by a little coffee roaster shop to see what teas they had and to find if they had any single brew coffee in teabags for those rare times when I want a quick cup at my desk. I struck out on the coffee, but found a new tea in their lineup of loose teas. It said Huo Mountain Yellow Sprouting Organic. As soon as I saw and smelled it, it brought back the feeling of that fabled Que She. It was dryer looking, wispier, and a bit darker green… but I went with my senses and bought some anyhow. I couldn’t wait to slog the 6 blocks through the oppressive heat/humidity to get back to my desk and my Gaiwan to see how close it truly was.
I couldn’t have got it any more right! This tea brewed up into an almost perfect match of my prized Bird’s Tongue of yore. Pale, vegetal, slightly milky/thick feel… maybe not as delicate as the Bird’s Tongue but very close. I’m a happy man, and this afternoon could stretch on for as long as it wants since it is just more time to enjoy a few more gaiwans of this yellow tea.