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China Tea ep. 30 – Yellow Tea | Sunday Tea Book | Sip-a-long – Da Ye Qing

Yellow Tea

Yellow tea was discovered by accident during the pan-fired green tea process. People noticed that the tea leaves become yellow due to delayed or lack of sufficient kill green, shaping, or drying and it eventually became a new category, yellow tea. The characteristics of yellow tea are yellow leaves and yellow liquor. The aroma fills up the mouth with just a sip.

Sneak Peak

Yellow tea, depending on the tenderness and the sizes of buds and leaves, can be categorized as huang ya cha, huang xiao cha, huang da cha. Hunan Province is the main production region of yellow tea. Junshan in Yueyang and Weishan in Ningxiang are two tea regions. These two mountains are known for producing the top Hunan yellow teas. Yellow tea is very expansive, easily over a thousand (yuan) per 500g.


Da Ye Qing


Dry Leaf: Butter cookies, sweet, hints of fresh straw
Liquor Colour: Light yellow-gold
Liquor Aroma: Gentle meadow grasses and flowers
Flavor: Hints of butter cookie and meadowy freshness
Mouthfeel: Clean and bright
Gaiwan Lid: Field of hay, light floral
Other: Refreshing, gentle crispness

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The process of yellow tea and green tea is similar. The difference is that yellow tea has a yellowing step (men huang, 闷黄). This step gives yellow tea the features of yellow liquor yellow leaves, and it’s less cool property than green tea.


Yellow tea has bright, greenish yellow liquor.


Yellow tea has a rich, refreshing, brisk taste with full-bodied aroma.

Basic types of Yellow Tea

Huang Ya Cha (黄芽茶) – Junshan Yin Zhen, Mengding Huang Ya, Huoshan Huang Ya, etc.

Huang Da Cha (黄大茶) – Guangdong Da Ye Qing, Huoshan Huang Da Cha, etc.

Huang Xiao Cha (黄小茶) – Beigang Mao Jian, Luyuan Mao Jian, Wenzhou Huang Tang, Weishan Mao Jian, etc.


Premium yellow tea

Dry leaves: golden, yellowish green, tender yellow, with fuzz.

Liquor: greenish yellow, bright

Brewed leaves: tender yellow, uniform

Low quality yellow tea

Dry leaves: dull, no fuzz.

Liquor: greenish yellow, not bright

Brewed leaves: dull.

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