Yellow tea (Chinese: 黃茶; pinyin: huángchá) usually implies a special tea processed similarly to green tea and traditional yellow tea areas produce yellow teas using small leaf green tea bushes.
Whereas green teas are quickly dried after firing, yellow teas are piled and partially fermented after firing and prior to the final drying process. By this process, the yellow tea loses the vegetal, "grassy","sharp" aftertaste which is often associated with green tea.
The unique yellow tea pile fermentation process converts tea polyphenols into complex tea polyphenols known as “theaflavins,” which yield a yellow pigment in the leaf, creating a golden infusion color.
The other object in making yellow tea besides to remove the grassy smell of green tea is to maintain the health qualities of green tea. Yellow teas are famous for their smooth, savory, sweet unique fruity and fermented aromas. Meanwhile it has similar antioxidant health benefits to green tea but with a smoother palate. Means it is easier on the stomach than green tea.
Many tea drinkers especially for many who drink green tea mainly for the health benefits but don't like the taste of green tea often prefer the yellow teas. As the health benefits are the same, but the subtle,sweet and fresh taste of yellow tea is easier to get used to and enjoy.
Like most techniques for making tea, there are arguments over the exact beginnings of the yellow tea style. Few in number, the elusive yellow teas have always developed in isolated instances in areas that were already famous for producing green tea, like Huo Shan in Anhui or Meng Ding Shan in Sichuan.
Although there is a long history in these regions of producing green tea, it’s speculated that yellow tea only began to be produced in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Yellow teas are made for the appreciation of locals and have never had a broad market presence.
Growing out of an elaboration of green tea techniques, the process of making proper yellow tea is tedious, time consuming and difficult to control.
It is easier for the tea farmers to simply make green tea, which is perceived as more marketable. While not as prestigious (or expensive) as white tea, yellow tea today very rare, even in China..