In many countries around the world, it is common to see black tea and green tea everywhere you go. But there is much more to the tea world than just its two famous kinds. And today, we are talking about the prestigious yellow tea, considered one of the rarest teas in the world. Renowned for its silky and unique taste, people have been raving about this tea in recent years. So let’s dig down deeper to find out more about its origin, how it is made, health benefits, and so much more.
What is yellow tea?
Yellow tea, or called huángchá in Chinese, is a rare and lightly fermented type of tea. It grows in the mountainous areas of Zhejiang, Sichuan, and Hunan in China.
It has a small number of varieties with limited production. The three most famous ones are Mo Gan Huang Ya from Zhejiang, Meng Ding Huang Ya from Sichuan, and Jun Shan Yin Zhen from Hunan. The last one, Jun Shan Yin Zhen, is often considered as the best yellow tea. High officials in China love the tea for a long time and often choose it as a diplomatic gift to several countries.
The discovery of this tea dated back centuries ago, but it gains popularity only in recent years. It is easy to understand since yellow tea production is very limited. The luxurious tea is not easy to find outside China. It has a unique, full-bodied flavor with fruity and floral notes. Tea drinkers enjoy the pleasant sweetness and clean taste that it offers.
How is yellow tea made?
Yellow tea processing is quite similar to that of green tea. People hand-pluck young tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant in specific areas in China. They then go through the process of withering and fixing. The crucial step that sets yellow tea apart from green tea production is “men huan,” which means sealing yellow. It involves covering warm tea leaves with a damp cloth, so the oxidization starts at a slower rate throughout the steaming process.
The production is time consuming and requires skillful hands. But the result is well worth the time and effort. Yellow tea is unique in having a mellow, full-bodied flavor, and yellowish tinge. It also holds a lot of health benefits for the human body.
For people who wonder about the caffeine content of it, eight fl. oz cup (237 ml) of brewed yellow tea contains 33 milligrams of caffeine. Yellow tea caffeine is not high compared with other types of tea include green tea, oolong tea, black tea and other caffeine-contained beverages. The tea buds can carry higher caffeine. However, processing and steeping methods also alter the its caffeine content.
What is yellow tea taste like?
Yellow tea is famous for having a smooth, silky taste with a delicate aroma. The tea also carries floral and fruity notes, with a pleasant light sweet flavor. Sip after sip of yellow tea tantalize our taste buds with different characters, but all in all, a marvelous unique sensation.
It also has a slight toastiness or smokiness taste that makes it more complex. Flowering trees surround some tea gardens that produce top-grade yellow tea. That somehow explains the natural, pleasing floral aroma of this tea.
According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, yellow tea health benefits range from promoting heart health, digestive health, control cholesterol to purging cancerous cells.
Like other types of teas, it is high in antioxidants. In fact, it has much more antioxidants than green tea or black tea. It is incredible in delaying the aging process, act as natural antioxidants for the human body. Polyphenols found in yellow tea can help protect our skin from photo-aging (NCBI). It also displays anti-inflammatory properties that promote heart health. A rich Polyphenols diet can also lessen the metabolism of fat in the liver.
Yellow tea contains caffeine, which promotes mental alertness. It can help us feel more awake. But like coffee and other drink that has caffeine, excess consumption can lead to anxiety, insomnia, or stomach discomfort. So be cautious if you are sensitive to caffeine or want to limit its daily intake.
Selling price and where to buy
Yellow tea price varies depending on the quality, origin, and different tea classes. Jun Shan Yin Zhen hailed as the King of yellow tea is from tea gardens in Junshan Island, Hunan Province. It retails for around $56 per 100 grams. Top grade Jun Shan Yin Zhen has a price tag of $90 per 100 grams at Tao Tea Leaf.
Due to its rarity, it is not readily available in your local supermarket. Its production is minimal, mostly consume or buy as a gift by local people and tea lovers in China. For people in other countries, they can try to place orders at a tea shop or find them on some websites. Order online gives you the freedom to learn about different varieties, read about its origin and taste profile before deciding which one to buy.
However, be aware that a lot of online tea shops sell poor quality tea. Some tea advertised as yellow tea are produced using green tea techniques. The price usually is much lower compared with the original and high-grade one.
You also can buy it on Amazon. With the customer review available, it will be safer to shop it on Amazon. You can check out what are previous buyers’ thought about the products which will help you in making buying decision.