Yellow teas are considered the rarest among the teas. Historically, it was reserved as the imperial tribute tea for emperors as yellow was the imperial color. Over time, many people forgot about this extremely rare tea and the method to create yellow tea was lost in time for a while. Fortunately, in the 1970s the method was rediscovered by scholars, and in many ways the first part of the processing mimics that of green tea.
The leaves are first roasted to prevent oxidation. Following this step, they are covered and left in a moist room so that it can reabsorb its flavors. This “steaming” process removes some of the vegetal and grassy notes of the tea and transforms its flavor closer to that of white teas. These yellow teas carry some of the freshness of green teas, and possess the softness of white teas. The general flavor profile of yellow tea is usually a subtle fruit-like sweetness.