Also known as Yong Xi Jade Fire, Yong Xi Huo Qing originated in the Yong Xi town in Anhui Province, China. Although similar in appearance to Gunpowder styles of Chinese green tea, Yong Xi Huo Qing typically uses higher quality leaves than gunpowder teas. Traditionally, the leaves of the Yong Xi Huo Qing are charcoal fired during processing, giving a slightly smokey character to the aroma.
Thank you to Yanfei at Anhui Tea Import and Export Co. for providing this sample of Yong Xi Huo Qing. Yanfei is another young and passionate student of tea. I always enjoy seeing the lovely photos of her tea experiments on Instagram.
The sample packet has been opened, and a fresh, herbacious, and lightly smokey aroma is escaping into the air. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a dark forest green to nearly black color. There is a polished, shiny look to the leaves. The leaves are tightly rolled in to a elliptical semi-ball shape, not quite the round pellets found in gunpowder teas. Leaves appear to be large fragments and whole leaves. Pluck is difficult to determine but based on the size of the semi-balls, I assume a two leaf and bud pluck. The aroma is sweet, slightly herbacious and smokey.
Five grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname teapot. Purified spring water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for one minute on the first infusion, thirty seconds on the second infusion, and one minute on the third infusion.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a light, pale jade green color, perfectly clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of fresh grass, flowers, and a light smokey hint. The body is light-medium, with a soft, almost creamy texture. The taste is very refreshing, with notes of fresh grass and flowers. A mild astringency provides a nice compliment. The aftertaste is refreshingly grassy, with a pleasant floral bouquet essence persisting on the breathe for an extended period.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a slightly darker shade of light, pale jade green color. The aroma remains very refreshing, with scents of fresh grass and flowers. The body remains light-medium. The taste has lost no quality whatsoever. This second infusion smells and tastes as fresh and enjoyable as the first infusion. The flowery essence on the breathe also remains strong and persistent. Excellent second infusion.
The third infusion produced a liquor that was the same light, pale jade green color as the first infusion. The aroma still remains refreshing with scents of fresh grass and flowers. The aroma smells as good as the first infusion. The taste is very slightly lighter, but still a very high quality, refreshing infusion. The notes of fresh grass and flowers are still dominant and enjoyable. I am impressed with the quality of this third infusion.
The infused leaves have a very fresh, bright green to fresh forest green color. There are very few large fragments, as most of the leaves are either unbroken and still attached to the stem, or detached but whole. The pluck is two leaves and a generous bud. These are beautiful leaves and buds. The aroma is very refreshing, with scents of fresh dew-covered grass and flowers. Excellent!
I am very impressed with every aspect of the Yong Xi Huo Qing green tea from Anhui Tea Import and Export Co. Any fan of Gunpowder green tea should experience this tea, as it retains many of the popular characteristics of Gunpowder tea, but also provides the fresh, clean, and more refined character that comes with higher quality leaves. This is truly a green tea that needs no help in smelling and tasting great. This tea provides an uplifting, energizing, and refreshing feeling that is hard to match.
Thank you again to Yanfei at Anhui Tea Import and Export Co. Cheers!