01 May 2008

Yellow Tea

No, it's not a joke.

There really is a rare, Chinese tea called "yellow tea," and it's absolutely delicious. It's between a green and white tea, in terms of processing, and the taste is smooth, clean with a slight hint of smoke and mystery, like the first European you met when you were a little kid.

The leaves are harvested in the early spring and undergo a gentle steaming, which differentiates yellow tea from the typical green-tea process and produces a sweeter, lusher brew (just imagine what you'd be like after a day in a sauna- no doubt, glowing and far more pleasant to be around). I'd definitely recommend it for green-tea avoiders, or anyone looking for a smooth but full flavor.

The type I found at Ito En is called Hou Shan Yellow Buds, and at $15 an ounce, it's not for every day. Once you taste it, however, you'll see it's well worth the price.

The pale golden color you see in the photo belies its rich taste and sweet fragrance. And yes, you can get right back in bed after you make yourself a cup.

Finally, yellow does happen to be my favorite color, and statisically, it's the rarest one for people to pick as theirs. (I'm not a mathematician, but I do play one on TV.) Whenever I come across a fellow yellow, they're in my life for good. Luckily for my misanthropic nature, however, that doesn't happen often.


Penelope said...

They've been times in my life when I too was a yellow. But now I'm a green.

christine said...

Good to know what kind of tea to bring over when I come visit... provided you brew it properly for me.

Teep said...

I am blue add yellow to that and you get a penelope.

tea p

robnonymous said...

i actually stumbled upon a tea shop yesterday in cinci. i might have to drive back up to see if they have this in stock. sounds interesting.

ana dane said...

There is actually a "blue" tea that I just stumbled across myself yesterday. Have to do some more research, but maybe if we mix that with today's brew, it would be...penelote.

L'enfant Oliverrible said...

I've read it's customary to make jokes when drinking this tea, and in many provinces the steaming cup is often chased with a Coke. Can you verify?

Anonymous said...

Another yellow affecionado was Dr. T

Darby Li-Po said...

there's also purple and, of course, red tea. i think its all a bit of marketing b/c the processing that "white", "oolong", and "green" entail don't allow for any other category, as far as i can tell.
also, my favorite color is brown so we should hang out.