When you think of Chinese tea, what names come to mind? Probably the world-famous kinds like West Lake Longjing, Tie Guan Yin, or Kee Mun. Today we’d like to introduce you to a Chinese tea of which we bet not even the most avid tea fans have heard of: Chinese Yellow Sun.
Chinese Yellow Sun – as you can guess from its name – falls into the category of yellow tea. A tea kind that can be very hard to identify when comparing it to black, green and oolong tea. Chinese Yellow Sun is extra rare, as it’s only made in southern China. This is why you won’t be able to find it in most markets. If you’re lucky though, you’ll find it at a high-quality store in your neighborhood.
Most tea kinds can be distinguished by their degree of oxidation. However, this is not the case for yellow tea. In fact, it’s a variety of green tea, as the production process is similar. But there’s a catch: there’s one more step added of encasing and steaming. This is often referred to as Men Huang (translation: sealed yellowing), which allows the moist, softened leaves to oxidize at a slow rate and re-absorb their own aromatics. This step also results into the leaves turning slightly yellow during the drying process, removing the characteristic grassy smell that we know of green tea, and turning them into the perfect base for a mellow tasting tea.
Compared to other tea kinds, the rarity of Chinese Yellow Sun makes that it hasn’t been studied that much. However, we can tell you about a recent research into yellow tea. This suggests that it has many remarkable health benefits. Because of the “sealed yellowing” procedure that we talked about before, the chemical components of yellow tea are different in quantity, compared to other tea varieties. It has been found to be exceptionally high in polyphenols, which do a great deal to improve your health. Polyphenols are bioactive substances that act as antioxidants in the body, and efficient guards of your heart. Therefore, Yellow Sun tea can protect us against cardiovascular disease, and support the antioxidant defense of the endothelial cells, which boosts heart health even more. Moreover, research shows that a polyphenol-rich diet can reduce the metabolism of fat in the liver—thereby helping treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Brew it at home
Brewing your own cup of Yellow Sun tea is simple. Just follow the same steps as you would do for preparing green tea. Make sure the water is around 85°C-90°C. Preheat a teapot by pouring hot water in and out a couple of times, before pouring in all the water. Then put one teaspoon of tea leaves (around 3-4 grams) into your teapot and steep for about 2 minutes. Afterwards, you’re all set to fully enjoy your silky, tasty and aromatic cup of Yellow Sun!
And a special tip to close off: Real yellow tea leaves are known for the fact that they can keep standing while steeping. Curious to see? Switch up your teapot for a glass to discover it for yourself!