Yellow Tea

Discover yellow tea and find out why this highly sought after tea is considered the rarest of them all.

Yellow tea is the rarest category of tea which dates back to the Qing Dynasty, where the finest teas were offered to Emperors as a tribute. It’s multi-faceted and time consuming production conversed in the resulting complex taste and smooth character, makes this tea highly sought after.

Yellow tea is a lightly oxidised tea that sits between green and white levels of oxidation. It is traditionally made with leaf buds picked in early spring. Once the buds are picked and transported to the tea processing factory, the withering stage is stopped with heat, a process termed “fixation” also seen in green tea production. From here small batches of tea are wrapped in special cloth and left to cool down. In intervals, the tea bundles are opened, the leaves heated or “fixed” and wrapped up to cool again. This stage named “post-oxidation” is unique to yellow tea and can take 3 to 4 days to reach the desired level of oxidation. Once reached, the bundles are opened and “fixed” for the final time before being left to dry in the final stage of production.

World of Tea

Such complex and entirely manual production makes a truly remarkable tea for tea enthusiasts. Making up less than 1% of the worldwide yield of tea, it is very seldomly seen outside of China. A “rare” factor that comes with a consequence, today there are many teas that claim to be a yellow tea due to market demand. The cost is a dying artform caused by a loss of recognizability and traditional skills necessary in producing this rare tea. A tea worthy of support through sharing between fine tea aficionados.

Leizu's Golden Silk

A rare yellow tea with a luxurious character and a silky-smooth texture from Yunnan, China.

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P & T has with great expertise sourced this rare yellow tea from Yunnan, China. Leizu’s Golden Silk has a mellow taste and luxurious texture that indulges our desire for beauty. Much alike nature’s gracious gift of silk, discovered by empress Leizu, the wife of the Yellow emperor, while she was enjoying her midday tea.

Yellow emperor and empress Leizu (image source: Alex Rounds)

Empress Leizu (image source)