The rarest of all types of Chinese Tea, Yellow tea is relatively unknown and very difficult to find. It is believed that the tea was first produced during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Originally made just for locals, the teas have slowly faded into obscurity and now all but three varieties are lost. Only Jun Shan Yin Zhen (Silver Needle), which is different than the White Tea variety, Meng Ding Huang Ya, and Mo Gan Huang Ya still exist. The other verities processing methods have been lost. The reason for this is that the teas are very difficult to produce, and were not sold outside of their processing regions. Green Tea is far more profitable and easier to produce, so farmers switched to Green Teas. Yellow Tea is very lightly oxidized, similar to White Tea. The idea behind the tea was to remove the "grassy" smell of Green Tea while retaining the health benefits. The tea is much easier on the stomach than other teas. In recent years, people have become intrigued by the rarity of the tea and have started trying to acquire it. Because of this, the supply has increased to meet rising demand.
Similar to White Tea, Yellow Tea is harvested early in the spring when the leaves are still in their bud form. This leaves a very small window in which the tea can be picked. The buds have high levels of antioxidants and the processing technique allow the tea to have a higher level of antioxidants than most types of tea. The buds are then fried to stop oxidation and then the leaves are wrapped in a special paper and stored in wooden boxes. Periodically the tea is refried and rewrapped in paper. The process takes around three days. The leaves are then slowly roasted. Due to the limited harvesting time and complicated processing, it is easy to see why this tea has had a hard time surviving. It is simply easier to produce Green Teas, and the economy of the regions where this tea is produced is fairly poor, so Green Tea is the obvious choice for most Tea farmers.
Purchasing Yellow Tea
Due to the rarity of the tea, there is little available for purchase, especially outside of China. Another problem is that many people are passing off Green Tea as Yellow Tea and due to people's limited exposure, it is had to tell the difference. If you find a shop that deals in Yellow Tea, be sure that they are a reputable dealer and that they deal only with the tea farms that produce the tea. The same goes for online stores.
Storing Yellow Tea
The tea should be stored similar to Green and White Teas. The tea has a shelf life of only 18 months, so proper storage is a must. The tea when received should come in a vacuum sealed bag to keep air out. If you are going to keep the tea for a while before opening the bag, the bag should be stored in the refrigerator. When you are ready to open the bag, let it warm to room temperature before opening the bag to keep the leaves from forming condensation. Once you have opened the bag it should be stored in an airtight container with as little air as possible in it. A good suggestion is to keep it in an odor-free bag that the air has been squeezed out of. Although not the most attractive container, the bag is a great way to store tea. Many people put the bag into a more attractive container for storage. The tea should then be stored in a cool dry place with no strong odors. Tea absorbs odors, so it is imperative that it is stored in a container without any aroma in an aroma free area.
Enjoying the Tea
Many people who try this tea for the first time find it a little thing. The teas tastes are subtle. It is important, when drinking the tea, that you focus your attention on the tea. Many times in our fast paced lives, this is difficult, but that is what makes tea such a wonderful escape. Even if for a few moments, tea can slow down your world, let problems disappear and act as an amazing stress reliever. When drinking tea, stop and focus on the tea. This tea's complex, yet subtle flavors will swirl around your mouth.
Types of Yellow Tea
There are only three types of Yellow Tea which have survived. Here we will teach you more about each individual variety, their history, culture, and processing areas. Click the link below to learn more about these wonderful, yet rare teas.
Click here to learn more about the Varieties of YellowTea
How to Brew YellowTea
Like all varieties of Chinese Tea, there are several ways to brew Yellow Tea. There are quick and easy ways for people on the go, and more elegant and beautiful ways to brew for people with more time. No matter which way you brew, there are things which must be taken into consideration, such as tools used, water temperature, and brewing time.
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YellowTea Health Benefits
The benefits of this tea have only recently been discovered by modern scientific research, although it has been known to the Chinese for centuries. Tea is a wonderful way to improve your health and YellowTea does not have any of the grassiness that Green Tea has and is easier on the stomach.
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YellowTea for Sale
We do our best to offer Yellow Teas, but due to their rarity, the teas are often hard to find and usually a bit pricy. We do our best to keep a stock of the tea. If you do not see any of the tea in our tea shop, feel free to send us an email and we will put you on a waiting list and notify you when the tea comes in. We deal only with the producers, so we can guarantee that all of our Yellow Teas are genuine.
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