Yellow tea, like green tea, has a wide variety of uses. Here’s what you need to know about this rare type of tea.
Yellow tea is a relatively expensive tea variety primarily found in China. It possesses numerous health benefits and is closely related to green tea. Finding this foreign tea in the United States isn’t an easy task. It is generally available in select tea shops.
In this article, we’ll show you how the tea is produced, what health effects it offers and how to best prepare it yourself.
What is Yellow Tea?
Similar to green tea, yellow tea owes its name to its yellow hue. The production process is also very similar to that of green tea.
- First, freshly plucked tea leaves are left to wither.
- The leaves are then wrapped in a special cloth and carefully heated in a pan for three days. This allows it to oxidize easily. This step, known as “yellow sealing,” eliminates the somewhat grassy and pungent taste common in green tea.
- In the final step, the tea is then roasted.
Yellow tea’s lengthy and complex production process helps explain why the number of Chinese tea producers still familiar with its recipe is dwindling. Nowadays, most Chinese tea producers produce mainly green tea, which is far easier to make and thus more economically viable. In 2019, China exported nearly 6,476 metric tons of green tea to the United States.
Yellow Tea: Preparation and Health Benefits
You can prepare your yellow tea just as you would green tea.
- It’s best to let the water cool down to around 175-185°F before pouring. This leaves the tea more aromatic since fewer substances are destroyed or evaporated.
- Let your tea steep for 30 seconds.
- You can also infuse it up to four to five times to enjoy its full spectrum of aromas.
This blend of tea is particularly healthy. Scientific studies suggest that it possesses the following health benefits:
- Yellow tea is an antioxidant and helps protect the body from free radicals.
- It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and thus prevents the development of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
- The tea may also help prevent the development of cancer. However, this is uncertain as the studies on this topic are partly contradictory. For example, the authors of this meta-analysis could not establish a connection between tea consumption and the five most common types of cancer.
- In another study, Chinese researchers found that yellow tea has the second highest content of polyphenols and antioxidants after green tea. These account for a large part of the health effects of tea.
The studies suggest that yellow and green teas have a greater effect on health than black tea.
What to Consider When Buying Yellow Tea
Yellow tea is relatively rare and thus expensive: It was long reserved exclusively for the Chinese emperor. You, too, should probably reserve it for special occasions. While we find green tea in all kinds of products, such as cakes, shampoo, or bath salts, yellow tea is not a product for the mass market.
Only buy yellow tea from a tea merchant you trust. It’s not exactly uncommon for particular high-end expensive teas produced in China to be counterfeited. So better avoid unknown online marketplaces.
Another aspect to consider is the length of the journey from its place of origin. Lengthy transportation routes are reflected in the price tag as well as in the cost to the environment. This is yet another reason to only enjoy yellow tea on special occasions.
One last case for mindful tea consumption: It’s quite unlikely you’ll find an organic or fair-trade certified option for this elusive tea. Thus there’s little way of knowing whether those involved in its production received a fair wage or if the ingredients were sustainably sourced.
This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Gelber Tee: Wirkung und Anwendung des seltenen Teesunderlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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