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My tasting notes: Jun Shan Yin Zhen yellow tea

My tasting notes: Jun Shan Yin Zhen yellow tea

Milan is well known for being Italy’s fashion and design capital, for its opera house La Scala and for its saffron risotto. Little did I know that I would find a less widely known Chinese tea there.

Braving the merciless afternoon heat, I made my way to Chà Tea Atelier, a specialty tea shop and tea room, where owner Gabriella Lombardi and I chatted over a cup of tea. Gabriella, who is the author of the book “Tea Sommelier”, travels to Asia every year and directly sources her teas. It was fun to hear her talk about China and the cultural aspects that made a lasting impression. 

Chà Tea Atelier offers a wide selection of high-quality unflavored teas. I picked Jun Shan Yin Zhen yellow tea because it was missing from my tea collection and I’ve heard it’s hard to find outside of China. Yellow tea is processed like a green tea but with an additional step to encourage oxidation (the leaves are wrapped in paper or cloth) and is lightly oxidized like a white tea. Jun Shan Yin Zhen is a distant relative of Baihao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle white tea), so I compared the two out of curiosity and you can definitely see some similarities. Don’t miss my photos from my trip to Milan at the end of this post :-)

Yin Zhen yellow tea (top/left) and Yin Zhen white tea (bottom/right)

Tea Name: Jun Shan Yin Zhen
Origin: Jun Shan, Hunan, China
Ingredients: yellow tea
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Leaves/Water Ratio: 5 grams tea leaves to 5 oz / 150 ml water
Water Temperature: 176 F / 80 C
Steep Time: 40 seconds / 4-5 steeps

dry leaves: tightly closed spear-shaped buds together with one leaf and one bud, 1 inch (2-3 cm) long, grey and moss green with yellowish hues
wet leaves: vibrant moss green
liquor: pale yellow with ever so slightly pink hues

dry leaves: sweet hay, notes of dried chamomile flowers and honey
wet leaves: sweet, notes of maple syrup, slightly floral and vegetal
liquor: notes of honeysuckle and dried herbs

liquor: notes of eucalyptus and chestnut honey, sweet and aromatic

MOUTH FEEL: smooth and silky, refreshing and slightly tannic as it cools

FOOD PAIRING: I paired it with my lunch of warm quinoa salad with spinach and green lentils. It's a delicate tea so I would avoid spicy food.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I was surprised, it's a delicate tea yet its subtle notes will surprise you!

Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion. I was not asked nor paid to mention or review products, services or businesses that appear in this blog post. 

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