Yun in teas

What is Yun

green tea cupThe direct translation of Yun (韻) to English is rhyme. It is however definitely not talking about music in teas.

Yun is used describe certain sensations in teas, different from aroma or flavor. Following are some classic tea Yuns:

  • High mountain Yun (高山韻)
  • Wildness Yun (山野韵) 
  • Rock Yun (岩韻) 
  • Honey Yun (蜜韻) 
  • Aged Yun (陈韵) 
  • Yun of Elegance (雅韵) 
  • Rock sugar Yun (冰糖韵)

Where do Yuns exist

Not all teas have all above Yuns. High mountain Yun (高山韻) is to describe the pure, elegant and refreshing sensation existing in teas grown in high altitude mountains, such as green teas, Taiwan high mountain Oolong, certain white teas and Pu-erh teas; Rock Yun (岩韻) is a unique Yun associated with premium Wu Yi rock teas (a sub-category Oolong grown in the rocky mountains of the Wuyi area), dry, floral and refreshing; Aged Yun (陈韵) is to describe the woody/earthy/medicinal sensation developed with time, unique to the aged teas, such as Pu-erh, aged white teas or Hei Cha; Honey Yun (蜜韻) is typically found in high grade Oolong, white teas and Pu-erh teas.

Final note, when Yuns are used to describe the different sensations in teas, they are pleasant, elegant, refreshing, lingering and soothing. Eg, I would not call the sensation of walking into a herbal clinic ‘aged Yun’.