Monday, January 9, 2012

Yellow Tea by EnJie Song

So you've heard of green tea, black tea, and even white tea, but have you actually heard of yellow tea? Although it is one of the lesser known varietyof tea, yellow tea is slowly making a name for itself outside of China to the rest of the world. Here are some of the reasons why you should get to know yellow tea, and why it can very well be one of the idea beverages for you, both in terms of taste and health benefits.

Yellow tea is a rare kind of tea, with only a selected number of tea masters being able to truly master the art of production. It is processed in the same manner as green tea is, only with a deliberately extended drying phase. The process involved the damp tea leaves being left to dry until it turns to its yellow color. Because it undergoes this special process, the yellow tea tends to lose the raw "green" taste that green tea is usually associated with. Yellow tea has a more subtle, sweet taste, compared to green tea. The smell associated with yellow tea is mild, flowery and refreshing, some confused with certain black teas.

Similar to green teas, yellow tea is usually harvested in the early part of the spring season. The leaves of the yellow tea are thus young and tender. Some tea experts believe that since the leaves of the yellow tea are harvested early, they may contain more of the healthy antioxidants that tea is known for. A 2009 study made in Croatia actually attempted to determine this. According to the research, among 5 different kinds of teas, yellow tea does have the most antioxidant capacity.

Whether yellow tea has more or the same amount of antioxidants as other categories of teas, the health benefits of tea drinking are almost undisputable: reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure by lowering the blood cholesterol level; weight reduction; cancer prevention; anti-inflammatory effects such as preventing dental caries and reducing the degree if arthritis and enhancing body immune system, just to name a few.

Another benefit that has been attributed to yellow tea is its ability to protect the liver. A recent study conducted in Japan compared 6 different teas, and discovered that yellow tea may actually be able to contain liver toxicity induced by harmful chemicals. Yellow tea is also believed to have the ability to reduce body heat, thus making it a good choice of tea in the summer season.

Tea drinking has long been associated with longevity, mental alertness and peace of mind in Chinese culture. If you're looking for a flavorful and healthy drink that doesn't have the strong taste of certain other teas but with all the benefits health-wise, then the delicate yellow tea may just be the perfect brew for you.