White Tea

A coy relative of its more boisterous black and green cousins, white tea is the least processed form of the camellia sinensis tea plant, resulting in the pale hues that give this tea its name.

Steeped in lore from the beginning, white tea has been attributed many a rejuvenating quality and enjoys a particularly ceremonious harvest. In fact, during the 5th and 6th centuries, virgins were employed to collect the tender leaves with golden scissors, collecting them in golden bowls. This most precious of teas was presented as a tribute to the emperor, whose regal lips were the first to touch this vestal libation.

The harvesting process may look somewhat different these days, but the delicate treatment remains: After being plucked, the leaves and buds are left to wither lightly in the sun before being gently heat-processed to halt oxidation.

The characteristic flavor notes of white teas – light, floral and with hints of fruit or smoke – reflect their subtle pedigree.

Yellow Tea

Yellow is the rare Chinese tea so precious it was once served to the emperors, and perhaps not coincidentally, yellow was also the imperial color in China. A complex and laborious production process makes this the rarest of all teas, which traditionally rarely left the borders of its home country.

Nestled between white and green teas on the oxidation spectrum, this golden child begins its journey down the processing path similarly to green tea. Along the way, however, come two unique steps: The damp leaves are wrapped tightly in order to promote vigorous withering, followed by a more prolonged drying phase. The result is not only that all-important yellowish hue, but also a distinct aroma and a mellower, riper flavor.