Yellow tea (黄茶, Huáng Chá) is one of the six main types of Chinese tea and it is a kind of slightly fermented tea.
The processing technology of yellow tea is similar to that of green tea. Only a process called “Yellowing” is added to promote the oxidation of polyphenols, chlorophyll, and other substances.
Although there is one more process, the appearance, fragrance, and taste of yellow tea are quite different from that of green tea.
Table of Contents
- History of Chinese Yellow Tea
- Characteristics of Chinese Yellow Tea
- Types of Chinese Yellow Tea
- Benefits of Chinese Yellow Tea
- How to Make Chinese Yellow Tea
History of Chinese Yellow Tea
Before the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the name “yellow tea” had already appeared. But at that time, the yellow tea was different from today’s yellow tea. It was made from the leaves that were natural yellow, not fermented yellow.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the processing technology of yellow tea was formally formed around 1567-1572, so yellow tea has a history of more than 400 years.
Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) is the peak period of yellow tea. The new technology of processing yellow tea has been widely spread, and many kinds of yellow tea were created in different places.
In the early 20th century, with the outbreak of war, the production of yellow tea gradually decreased and many processing technologies of yellow tea were losing.
In the middle and late 20th century, with the support of the government, many historical famous yellow tea gradually reappeared through the efforts of the tea experts and experienced tea farmers.
Characteristics of Chinese Yellow Tea
The biggest characteristics of yellow tea are yellow tea leaves and yellow tea liquid.
Yellowing is an important process to form the characteristics of yellow tea. The quality of yellow tea is also determined by the degree and mastery of yellowing.
Yellowing is just a process of fermentation. In this process, some substances such as polyphenols and chlorophyll in the leaves are oxidized, which makes the tea leaves turn yellow and forms a yellow color.
Compared with green tea, the taste of yellow tea is less bitter and more mellow.
Types of Chinese Yellow Tea
According to the raw materials, yellow tea can be classified into three main types:
Huang Ya Cha
Huang Ya Cha literally called Yellow Bud tea is made from 100% of buds or one bud with one leaf. The buds and leaves are very tender. This is the best-quality yellow tea.
Famous Huang Ya Cha:
- Junshan Yinzhen – it is the most famous Chinese yellow tea and has the best quality. It is native to the Yueyang City of Hunan Province.
- Huoshan Huangya – it is native to the Huoshan County in Anhui Province and is a national geographic indication product of China.
- Meng Ding Huang Ya – It is native to the Mengding Mountain in Sichuan Province. In ancient times, it was a tribute tea.
Huang Xiao Cha
Huang Xiao Cha literally called Yellow Small tea is made from one bud with 2-3 leaves. Its buds and leaves are tender but not so tender as that of Huang Ya Cha.
Huang Xiao Cha:
- Beigang Maojian – it is native to the Yueyang City of Hunan Province.
- Luyuan Maojian – it is native to the Luyuan Temple in Hubei Province.
- Weijiang Maojian – it is native to the Ningxiang County of Hunan Province.
- Wenzhou Huangtang – it is native to the Wenzhou City of Zhejiang Province.
Huang Da Cha
Huang Da Cha literally called Yellow Big tea is made from one bud with 2-5 leaves and the size of the leaves is bigger than that of the two types above. The shape of Huang Da Cha is thick and strong. The color of the tea liquid is dark yellow or brown. It tastes strong mellow.
Huang Da Cha:
- Guangdong DA Ye Qing – it is native to the Guangdong Province and is a specialty of this province.
- Hai Ma Gong Cha – it is native to the Hai Ma Gong Village in Guizhou Province.
Benefits of Chinese Yellow Tea
Yellow tea is rich in amino acids, trace elements, vitamins, fatty acids, and other beneficial ingredients.
Yellow tea retains more than 85% of the natural substances in the fresh leaves, and these substances have special effects of anti-cancer, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Benefits of yellow tea:
- Clear heat
- Weight loss
- Help digestion
- Nourish stomach
- Increase appetite
How to Make Chinese Yellow Tea
- Tea set: glass cup or porcelain cup.
- The ratio of tea leaves to water: 1:60-80. For example, 3g of yellow tea leaves require 180-240ml of water.
- The temperature of the water: 80℃-85℃.