Yellow tea is one of China’s rarest, most valued and expensive variety of specialty tea, it is said to total less than half of one percent (>.5%) of the total tea production in China! It is prepared in a similar way to green tea, though a step allowing for slight oxidation occurs when the leaves are covered with a special “mat” before slowly drying. This step removes the green, strong grassy flavor that green tea is famous for and gives yellow tea its distinct golden yellowish hue and well-rounded flavor.
Said to be Mao Zedong’s favorite tea, it is believed that the Chinese started producing yellow tea during the 17th century for emperors and people of high rank. Today in China, yellow tea is generally reserved for gift giving, and widely consumed during the Chinese festival when the families worship and honor their deceased relatives.
Yellow tea is highly aromatic and can have a similar aroma to black tea, deep, oxidized and highly floral. When infused, the leaves release a mellow flavor; floral, buttery, sweet and rich, its flavor profile lies somewhere between a white (with very low acidity) and a green tea.
We love yellow tea’s aromatic floral, and smooth flavor- when you have an opportunity to try its complex and unique infusion we suggest that you try it for yourself, no need to wait for a special occasion! Jun Shan Yin Zhen, and Huo Shan Huang Ya are two famous yellow teas.
Health Benefits of Yellow Tea
Studies have shown that because of the little oxidation that yellow tea undergoes, many of its antioxidants are at incredibly high levels. Yellow tea has particularly high levels of catechin polyphenols – the most important; EGCG, a powerful antioxidant linked to inhibiting cancer and heart disease. Yellow tea is also known to be especially low in caffeine so it is a wonderful option for the tea lover who is sensitive to caffeine.
We suggest following the specific suggestions on your bag of tea, but here are some guidelines.
1-1.5 tsp of loose tea for every 8oz of water. 185F/85C for 2 minutes.