Saturday Morning Tea

yellowteadry111508

On this rainy, misty morning, I am sipping the rarest variety of all teas, a yellow tea. Called Jun Shan Yin Zhen, its name translates to “Silver Needles of Jun Shan Mountain”. Jun Shan is actually an island located in Dong Ting lake in China’s Hunan province. The climate and soil on this small island, along with the special processing of the tea, create a unique aroma and flavor.

guywan111508For steeping the yellow tea leaves, I chose my gaiwan, a lidded teabowl popular for enjoying the delicate aroma and taste of white, green and yellow teas. After steeping, the leaves are left in the bowl and the lid is used for sweeping them out of the way for ease of sipping.

yellowteasteeping111508I like the wide opening of this little bowl so I can watch the leaves as they infuse. I used 165 degree F water and steeped for 3 minutes. The aroma is delicate and soft with wisps of fruitiness. The taste is sweet and smooth with a hint of fruit.

The flavor is closer to a white tea than a green tea because there isn’t any vegetal quality to it.

yellowteawet111508The leaves are plucked in the early spring. To stop oxidation, they are quickly fried in small batches and then wrapped in a very thin old yellow paper while still moist. They dry naturally for several hours and then this process is repeated several times. This way of processing the tea leaves was first developed during the Tang dynasty, over 1300 years ago. Because this tea is created by such a tedious hand process, only small lots are made. I am honored to experience such a rare treat, created so artistically. The liquor lives up to its name with its delicate golden color.

yellowteabowl111508This morning I was tagged by Autumn to list 8 random things about myself. Since I’ve done this a couple of times already, I direct you to these posts if you’d like to read random things about me, here and here.

Next Saturday I will be displaying and selling my jewelry at the 14th annual Arts and Crafts show at the Middlesex Community College in Bedford, MA, from 10am-4pm. If you happen to be in the area, I’d love for you to stop by and say hello. As I’ll be leaving for the show that day before the sun comes up, my tea review will be postponed to the following day, next Sunday.

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10 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. Gorgeous photographs. I always love examining the tea leaves after I’ve had my tea.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. artandtea says:

    Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments, Lainie! My pleasure… 🙂

  3. Frivolitea says:

    Lovely photos. And I wish I lived close enough to attend your craft show!

  4. Jamie Lees says:

    This tea is so pretty. It looks like little silver fish. Although fish tea doesn’t sound that great does it!? lol. Photos are beautiful, very inspiring.

  5. artandtea says:

    Thanks Lynn, me too!

  6. artandtea says:

    Thanks Jamie! Some yellow tea leaves are compared to a sparrow’s tongue so your description follows the tradition of comparing the leaf shape to something in the animal world. I think they also look like thick eyebrows. 🙂

  7. Steph W says:

    I have that blue rice china pattern, tho I don’t have a gaiwan! Lovely.
    I am wishing you wonderful sales!

  8. artandtea says:

    Thanks so much, Steph!

  9. LB says:

    Good luck with your show! I will be out of town, otherwise would try to stop by! 😀

  10. artandtea says:

    Thank you so much, LB! 🙂

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