Yellow tea (huángchá)is a rare variety of loose leaf tea, with the least amount of production and with very few regions producing it.
Yellow Tea is a step up from green tea, made through the process of micro-oxidation. The technique involves the wok fry process – very much similar to green tea production, but for a shorter duration at a reduced temperature. The tea leaf, being only partially dried, traps the moisture inside, which allows it to oxidize the tea to various degrees – “yellowing” the leaves and reducing the astringency and grassy taste.
Being by far the rarest in China’s six tea categories, Huángchá, however, is an essential part of China’s long-lived tea tradition. Due to its rich history (taking roots since the early Qing Dynasty) and admiration, it's one of the best documented and studied loose leaf teas. Despite its rarity and low availability, yellow tea is frequently featured among China’s ‘Ten Famous Teas’ list and regarded as a tribute tea.