What Is Huang Pian?


In this episode we discuss huang pian, the ugly "yellow leaves" that are usually sorted out of raw pu'er. I discuss why these leaves form, how they are different from regular leaves, and we taste a sample that I find a bit disgusting.

What Is Huang Pian?

Huan Pian are the ugly leaves that often get sorted out of raw pu’er. They may be too large, too brittle, too discolored, too flat and so on. They also taste different, however, so it’s not just aesthetics.


Why Do They Form?

Huang Pian are typically the more mature leaves, further down on the stalk (perhaps the 3rd of 4th leaf away from the bud). They are often less supple than the buds and first few leaves, and don’t take as well to rolling or massaging. So, they end up looking a bit gnarly. These more mature leaves may also have a higher heavy metal content, which can sometimes be noticed in the taste as well.