What is yellow tea and Benefits You Must Know [Update]

Yellow tea is one of those hidden gems in the world of tea – a bit elusive, subtly different, but packed with surprising health benefits. 

Imagine stepping off the beaten path of the typical Green and Black teas and finding a world filled with intriguing flavors and health-enhancing properties. That’s what our journey into Yellow tea feels like.

So, join me as we unravel the captivating yellow tea benefits and side effects. It’s going to be quite the adventure, I promise!

Quotes of tea with You

“Tea is tea, nothing can compete my tea”
– Irfa Adam

What is yellow tea?

Yellow tea (as huángchá), named after the unique yellow color it takes on during processing, is one of the six traditional types of tea. It is made from the processed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. This special tea hails primarily from China, where it has been cultivated and enjoyed for centuries.

Yellow tea

So what sets yellow tea apart from the crowd? It lies in its intricate processing technique. While it’s somewhat similar to green tea in that both are lightly oxidized, yellow tea undergoes an additional “smothering” phase, giving it a slightly longer oxidation period. 

During this phase, the leaves take on their characteristic yellow color and develop their unique flavor, often described as richer and more mellow than green tea yet not as bold as black tea.

Why is Yellow Tea So Rare?

The rarity of yellow tea boils down to its meticulous and time-consuming production process.

You see, yellow tea undergoes an additional ‘smothering’ or ‘men human step, a carefully managed stage where the tea leaves can oxidize slightly longer.

The tea master’s remarkable talent and perseverance are required for this process, which gives yellow tea its distinctive flavor and appearance.

Yellow tea is a rare and valuable item in the tea industry because of its intricacy and the length of time necessary for this procedure, which results in less yellow tea being produced than green or black tea. That’s quite the treasure, isn’t it?

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Health benefits of yellow tea

The polyphenols in yellow tea battle the stress of oxidative damage and defend you from heart disease and cancer. Other specific polyphenols can also facilitate improved blood sugar control and may have a role in diabetes. These are the most significant components of yellow tea; they are also why you should consume it daily.

Health Benefit Summary
Anticancer Effects
Rich in compounds fighting oxidation and inflammation, potentially reducing cancer risk.
Weight Loss
Extracts from yellow tea can aid weight loss, control appetite, and reduce obesity risk.
Diabetes Treatment
Yellow tea’s polyphenols, especially EGCG, may help manage blood glucose levels and prevent complications.
Heart Health
Polyphenols and flavanols protect against cardiovascular issues and manage cholesterol, benefiting the heart.
Digestive Health
Polyphenols in yellow tea can alleviate gastrointestinal issues and promote healing of digestive injuries.
Mental Health
Antioxidants in yellow tea enhance brain function, improving alertness and mental reflexes.
Appetite Enhancement
Yellow tea stimulates appetite and boosts energy levels, especially during stressful periods.
Liver Health
Polyphenols in yellow tea show promise in managing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Skin Health
Yellow tea’s polyphenols offer photoprotection, combat UV-induced skin damage, and fight oxidative stress.

Its potential anticancer effects

Yellow tea is brimming with bioactive compounds with a special knack for fighting off oxidation and inflammation, which are often associated with an increased risk of cancer.

One study that caught my eye comes from Dr. Yogeshwar Shukla from the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research. His research, published in the Tea and Cancer Chemoprevention Journal, sheds some compelling facts.

The study highlights the anti-carcinogenic benefits of some yellow tea components, including flavonol, epigallocatechin, and other polyphenolic chemicals. They therefore have the potential to drastically lower our chance of getting cancer as we age. With their superhuman abilities, these antioxidants fight off dangerous free radicals that may injure cells and cause cancer. Yet more justification for loving yellow tea.

Yellow tea benefits weight loss

Studies show that extracts from yellow tea (and green tea) could help put the brakes on weight gain and trim down that body mass index. Even more, these extracts might give you that extra push towards feeling satisfied and energized during meals, especially for those battling obesity.

Yellow tea benefits weight loss

And the goodness of yellow tea doesn’t stop there! Another interesting study showed that a higher intake of polyphenols, like those found in yellow tea types, could be linked to lower body weight and reduced obesity in our older folks. This polyphenol power could also lessen the risk of heart disease in the elderly. So, yellow tea is the perfect brew to keep us healthy at any age!

Yellow tea health benefits for diabetes treatment

Yellow tea can help ease bowel disorders and balance your digestive rhythm thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that supplementing with yellow tea could alleviate some associated symptoms.

Now, the show’s star regarding these beneficial effects is, once again, the polyphenols found in yellow tea. Particularly a type of polyphenol called catechins, one known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) stands out among the rest.

Researchers found that this catechin might be a potent ally in the struggle against obesity and metabolic syndrome in mice, our furry companions.

But these polyphenols’ advantages don’t end there. They may also assist in regulating or even preventing diabetes-related problems. They can also help manage blood glucose levels.

Health benefits of yellow tea for heart 

Yellow tea, rich in polyphenols and flavanols, offers dual benefits for heart health by shielding against cardiovascular diseases and managing cholesterol levels.

Like most tea varieties, yellow tea is rich in polyphenols. These powerhouse compounds do wonders for our health, especially our heart health. They provide a protective shield against cardiovascular diseases and enhance the antioxidant defense of the endothelial cells – these are the cells lining our blood vessels.

But that’s not all. Polyphenols in yellow tea also flex their anti-inflammatory muscles, potentially warding off inflammation-related heart issues like coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction.

And there’s another set of compounds you should know about in yellow tea – flavanols. These little heroes help manage our cholesterol levels, particularly in reducing the so-called “bad” cholesterol. So with every sip of yellow tea, you enjoy a delightful brew and drink for heart health. Pretty amazing.

Promotes Digestive Health

Ever had a troubled tummy? Yellow tea might be just what you need!

Yellow tea, which is high in polyphenols, has been recommended as a treatment for a variety of gastrointestinal problems. Whether it’s inflammatory bowel illness, a quick attack of severe diarrhea, the lingering discomfort of peptic ulcers, or even malignancies in the digestive system, yellow tea’s potent ingredients may provide some relief.

The antioxidants in yellow tea don’t just sit around either – they jump into action to help heal gastric injuries caused by inflammation.

Yellow tea health benefits for mental health

There’s another reason to love the antioxidants in yellow tea: they’re fantastic for your brain! A cup of antioxidant-rich yellow tea could help your brain function more smoothly. You might notice feeling more alert, aware and even an uptick in your mental reflexes.

Yellow tea health benefits to enhance appetite

Ever find yourself too stressed and busy to feel hungry? Yellow tea is the solution you need. It’s a hot favorite among busy professionals who grapple with appetite loss from long, stressful work hours. A single cup of yellow tea can stimulate your appetite and give your energy levels a much-needed lift. So next time you feel run down, why not brew some yellow tea?

Yellow tea benefits for liver health

Did you know yellow tea might be a shield against fatty liver formation?

That’s right!

Research points to a diet rich in polyphenols, like those found in yellow tea, as a promising new route for managing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Want more proof? Well, some fascinating rodent studies have shown us that polyphenols might have the ability to dial down fat metabolism in the liver. What does this mean for us? These powerful compounds could play a significant role in treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. So, there’s more to a cup of yellow tea than meets the eye!

Yellow tea benefits for skin

Polyphenols in yellow tea are your skin’s new best friend, especially regarding the signs of aging.

Yellow tea benefits for skin

Polyphenols sourced from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the very plant that gives us yellow tea, are thought to offer protection against photoaging, the premature skin aging due to sun exposure.

And there’s more: in several animal studies, these tea polyphenols have shown the potential to stop UV-induced skin damage. Their photoprotective properties – specifically those from the Camellia sinensis leaves – earn them a limelight spot.

But wait, there’s another anti-aging superhero in yellow tea – its ability to fight oxidative stress, a big player in skin aging.

It’s no wonder yellow tea. It is soaring in popularity each day. Its rich polyphenol content and the impressive list of benefits we’ve discussed make it a brew you can’t miss.

Yellow Tea Side Effects

Pay attention to the potential risks of drinking yellow tea, for which I have consulted some official information.

May Lead to Iron Deficiency Anemia

Besides, the yellow tea health benefits, I’ve found it could be better to sip on the right after a big meal. Wait for about an hour before you enjoy your brew. Why, you ask? Well, yellow tea leaves contain something called tannic acid.

This substance can mingle with the iron in your body and create a complex that’s not easily absorbed, potentially causing iron deficiency anemia. Also, the tannin in yellow tea can act as an astringent, possibly slowing down your digestive tract and worsening constipation.

Could Contribute to Insomnia

Here’s another tip: avoid drinking too much yellow tea at night. The caffeine it contains can perk up your spirit and stimulate your nerves, which might mess with your sleep quality, amplify insomnia symptoms, increase liver pressure, and stimulate the release of gastric juice.

It might interfere with Calcium Absorption

Did you know yellow tea contains oxalic acid? If you drink too much and this acid builds up in your body, it can be hard to break down. This could upset your body’s pH balance and overall health.

If oxalic acid meets calcium and zinc in your body, it can produce calcium and zinc oxalate, which could mean your body absorbs less calcium. So, like with everything, enjoy your yellow tea in moderation!

Some more information about yellow tea

In this section, I will share some interesting facts about white tea. Let’s start!

History of yellow tea

The history of yellow tea can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and it’s steeped in quite an illustrious past. In the days of yore, it was a tribute tea, often associated with the higher echelons of society.

Yellow is no ordinary hue in the rich tapestry of Chinese color symbolism. It’s considered the color of emperors, symbolizing authority, prosperity, and power. The connection of yellow with gold further imbues it with an air of nobility and wealth.

On my visit to the China National Tea Museum, I learned about the regions where yellow tea is meticulously crafted. Notably, it hails from 4 primary regions in China: Hunan, Sichuan, Zhejiang, and Anhui.

  1. In Hunan, they produce Jun Shan Yin Zhen, a type of yellow tea revered for its unique needle-like shape. It’s often recognized as the most famous yellow tea, particularly due to its historical popularity among Chinese emperors. It’s also home to Jun Shan Island, where the exquisite Jun Shan Yin Zhen, one of China’s top yellow teas, is born.
  2. Sichuan province is known for Meng Ding Huang Ya. Grown on Mount Meng, this yellow tea is celebrated for its early harvest, often plucked just after the Spring Festival. Another noteworthy yellow tea, alongside Tibetan Zhuan Zang, is a distinctive dark tea.
  3. Zhejiang offers the Huo Shan Huang Ya variety. Originating from Anhui province, this version of yellow tea is appreciated for its vibrant yellow-green leaves that brew a light, pleasant cup. And here known for its green teas like Dragon Well and Gunpowder.
  4. Finally, the famed Huo Shan Huang Ya is produced in Anhui province, a yellow tea that shares the spotlight with renowned green teas like Huangshan Mao Feng and Taiping Huo Kui.

Each of these varieties is prepared with a special process that involves ‘smothering’ the tea leaves. This unique step in the production process allows the leaves to be yellow, giving the best yellow tea benefits in flavor.

How to make yellow tea?

Pluck Wilt Pan-fry/SteamMen HuangDry.

It begins with plucking young tea buds wilted under the sun. The leaves are then pan-fried or steamed to halt oxidation, similar to green tea. Here’s where yellow tea takes a detour: the leaves are wrapped in cloth and allowed to ‘yellow’ in a process called “Men Huang”. Finally, they’re dried and ready for your cup.

Types of Yellow Tea

In “The Book of Tea” that I have read, it is clearly stated: There are 3 main types of yellow tea:

  • Jun Shan Yin Zhen (bud tea)
  • Huo Shan Huang Ya (Small and large leaf tea)
  • Meng Ding Huang Ya (bud tea) tea).

Jun Shan Yin Zhen

One of the most esteemed yellow teas, Jun Shan Yin Zhen hails from Jun Shan Island in Hunan Province, China. This exquisite tea is characterized by its delicate, silver needle-like appearance. Its flavor profile boasts a gentle sweetness and a smooth, refreshing taste. Jun Shan Yin Zhen is truly a treasure among yellow teas.

Huo Shan Huang Ya

Huo Shan Huang Ya hails from Anhui Province in China, boasting striking yellow-green leaves that yield a gentle and mildly floral infusion. This particular yellow tea is esteemed for its delicate sweetness and traces of chestnut notes. Renowned for both its exquisite visual appeal and intricate flavor profile, Huo Shan Huang Ya is a favored selection among tea connoisseurs.

Meng Ding Huang Ya

Hailing from the breathtaking Meng Mountain in Sichuan Province, Meng Ding Huang Ya is a renowned yellow tea with a long-standing history. Its name translates to “Yellow Buds of Mount Meng,” and it is cherished for its delicate aroma, smooth texture, and notes of orchid. This tea offers a unique and memorable experience.

Each type of yellow tea showcases its distinct characteristics, ranging from the appearance of the leaves to the flavors and aromas they yield. Exploring the different types of yellow tea is an exciting journey that allows you to discover the nuances and complexities within this fascinating tea category.


The flavor profile of yellow tea is often described as delicate and refreshing, with hints of floral notes that gently dance on the taste buds. This tea embodies elegance and sophistication, leaving a pleasant and lingering aftertaste. With each sip, yellow tea invites you to experience a harmonious fusion of flavors that delights the senses.

Yellow Tea Caffeine

According to a 2009 study, a gram of yellow tea from buds contains approximately 32 mg of caffeine. Based on a typical 2-gram serving, a cup of yellow tea would provide around 64 mg of caffeine. It’s worth noting that this is less caffeine than the roughly 160 mg in a cup of coffee. Additionally, yellow tea made from leaf material would contain even less caffeine than the amount indicated by the study.

The caffeine in Yellow Tea levels varies depending on the leaf maturity, with the buds containing the highest amount and the first leaves having slightly less caffeine than the buds.

It’s important to recognize that the caffeine in tea interacts differently with our bodies compared to caffeine in coffee. Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which regulates the absorption rate of caffeine in our system. 

The special blend of L-theanine and caffeine in tea enhances alertness and relaxation. L-theanine specifically aids in reducing anxiety caused by stress, which could be why monks have traditionally incorporated tea into their meditation practices to attain extended states of mindfulness.

How to brew yellow tea

how to make Yellow tea

Tools and Materials

You’ll need a few essential tools and materials to embark on your yellow tea brewing adventure and fully use the benefits.

  • For the Western brewing method, gather your favorite infuser and a teacup.
  • If you prefer the gongfu brewing method, invest in a Gaiwan tea set, which includes a Gaiwan, serving pitcher, filter, and teacups.

For more health benefits of yellow tea, make sure to have hot water heated to 190°F for both brewing methods.

Steps to Brew Yellow Tea

For Western Brewing:

  1. Portion 3 grams of yellow tea for every 12 fl oz of water.
  2. Place the tea leaves in your infuser and add hot water at 190°F.
  3. Allow the tea to steep for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the infuser and pour the brewed yellow tea into your teacup.
  5. Savor the flavors and enjoy your cup of yellow tea!

For Gongfu Brewing:

  1. Pre-warm your Gaiwan tea set by rinsing it with hot water.
  2. Measure 3-5 grams of yellow tea and add it to the Gaiwan.
  3. Pour hot water at 190°F into the Gaiwan, covering the tea leaves. Place the lid on top.
  4. Let the tea steep for 30-90 seconds, adjusting the steeping time based on your desired flavor.
  5. Decant the brewed tea into a serving pitcher using a filter.
  6. Pour the tea into teacups and relish in the aroma and taste of your yellow tea.

Part 3: Notes

  • Remember that you can re-steep yellow tea multiple times. For Western brewing, you can steep up to 3 times, while gongfu brewing allows for up to 5 times.
  • Increase the steeping time by 15-30 seconds for each subsequent infusion when re-steeping.
  • Feel free to experiment with tea-to-water ratios and steeping times to find your preferred flavor profile.

To gain full yellow tea health benefits, brewing yellow tea at home is a delightful journey that allows you to experience its unique flavors and aromas. Whether you choose the Western or Gongfu method, each cup of yellow tea is a moment to savor and enjoy.

How to store yellow tea properly?

To store yellow tea properly, I’ve discovered a few key tips:

  • Seal it airtight: Store yellow tea in a sealed container to prevent exposure to air, moisture, and odors.
  • Keep it cool and dark: Store the tea in a cool, dark place away from heat and sunlight to maintain its freshness.
  • Avoid strong odors: Keep yellow tea away from strong-smelling substances to preserve its unique flavors.
  • Consume within recommended timeframe: Enjoy yellow tea within six to twelve months for the best flavors.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure your yellow tea stays fresh and flavorful for longer.

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Are there benefits of yellow tea for weight loss?

A: Yes, yellow tea can aid in weight loss. It’s rich in catechins and polyphenols are known to boost metabolism and aid in fat burning, thereby assisting in weight management. It’s a low-calorie beverage that’s a great addition to any weight loss plan.

What is Volcanic Yellow Tea?

Volcanic Yellow Tea is a special variant of yellow tea, first introduced as part of our Jeju Tea Tasting Set. Its unique flavor profile results from careful craftsmanship by Mr. Lee from Jeju Island. The tea has a distinctive taste, blending familiar green tea hints with creamy, nutty notes.

How is yellow tea different from green tea?

Yellow tea differs from green tea primarily in the processing method. Yellow tea’s unique ‘menhuang’ process allows it to undergo a mild fermentation, giving it a distinctive taste, richer aroma, and different health benefits than green tea.

Can I drink yellow tea before bed?

Yellow tea can be consumed before bed in moderation. Although it contains caffeine, its content is relatively lower than other types of tea, making it a suitable evening beverage for many.

Are there yellow tea health benefits for pregnant women?

Pregnant women can safely consume yellow tea but should be mindful of its caffeine content. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider when introducing new foods or drinks during pregnancy.

How often should I drink yellow tea?

Drinking yellow tea 1-2 times a day can be beneficial. However, the frequency can vary based on individual health conditions and caffeine tolerance. Always listen to your body and consult with a healthcare provider if necessary.

Is yellow tea good for digestion?

Yes, yellow tea can improve digestion. Its warm, soothing properties can stimulate digestive enzymes and promote healthy gut function.

Can yellow tea help with anxiety?

While there’s no direct evidence that yellow tea can treat anxiety, its mild caffeine content and soothing qualities might help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

How should I brew yellow tea for maximum health benefits?

Yellow tea should be steeped in hot water (70-80°C or 158-176°F) for about 1-3 minutes to extract maximum health benefits. Over brewing might lead to a bitter taste and lower nutrient content.

Is yellow tea better than green tea?

Whether yellow tea is better than green tea largely depends on personal preferences. Yellow tea is noted for its complex flavor profile and mellow taste, and it undergoes a unique fermentation process, unlike green tea. Both have beneficial antioxidants, though they offer slightly different health benefits.

When should you drink yellow tea?

Yellow tea can be enjoyed at any time of the day. However, given its moderate caffeine content, it’s often favored in the morning or early afternoon. As always, individual caffeine tolerance should guide consumption.

Can I drink yellow Lipton tea every day?

Yes, you can drink yellow Lipton tea every day. It provides a good source of antioxidants and can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. However, consider the caffeine content if you are sensitive to it.

Is yellow tea the same as green tea?

Yellow tea is not the same as green tea. The key difference lies in the processing. Yellow tea undergoes a unique ‘men hung’ or ‘yellowing’ process that gives it a distinctive taste and different health benefits from green tea.

How do you drink yellow tea?

Yellow tea is best enjoyed plain to appreciate its nuanced flavor fully. Just steep the leaves in hot water (70-80°C or 158-176°F) for 1-3 minutes, strain, and sip. Over-brewing might lead to a bitter taste and lower nutrient content.

What is Chinese yellow tea?

Chinese yellow tea is a traditional type of tea originating from China, processed uniquely, resulting in a ‘yellowing’ of the leaves and the infused liquor. This method imparts a more mellow and complex flavor than green tea and offers distinct health benefits.

What is the difference between yellow and white tea?

The primary difference between yellow and white tea lies in their processing. Yellow tea undergoes a longer oxidation process known as ‘menhuang’, which imparts a yellowish color and unique flavor profile. On the other hand, white tea is minimally processed, preserving its natural taste.

Can I drink yellow tea before bed?

Yellow tea can be consumed before bed in moderation due to its lower caffeine content than other teas. However, individual responses to caffeine may vary, so it’s best to monitor your reaction to ensure it doesn’t disrupt your sleep.