Yellow Tea

Yellow Tea 黄茶 Huang Cha

The process of yellow tea production is similar to the green tea’s. The plucked leaves are exposed to wither for a somewhat longer time than those used for green tea, so that they lose part of their moisture. They are then fired or heated either in a wok or with hot air. Then the still quite moist leaf material is piled up, wrapped into paper and packed for the so-called “close and stuffy yellowing” process (Men Huang in Chinese), during which a spontaneous fermentation takes place. In a controlled, moist and warm environment, the tea has to be unpacked, moved and restacked over and over again during the yellowing process in order not to perish. Nowadays, most yellow teas are “yellowed” only for a really short time, i.e. produced in a similar way to the green teas’. At the end of the procedure, the leaf material is dried in a wok, with hot air and/or on charcoal. Besides aromas similar to those of green teas, yellow teas have a typical, slightly smoky, but also a mellow and sweet note. The infusion is variably strong depending on every individual kind.