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Yellow teas

Yellow teas

White teas, yellow teas, green teas, red teas, black teas... all come from the same and unique plant! Until the discoveries made by Robert Fortune in the second half of the 19th century, the different colours of teas were believed to correspond to different species of trees. But all teas indeed come from the same plant. It is the processing that makes the different and determine the "colour" of tea : white (the less processed teas), yellow, green, blue-green, red, black... The colour generally refers to the liquor resulting from the brewing of the leaves, rather than to the actual leaves. Yellow teas are still little known from the customers. The literal translation of the name seem to refer to a green tea that has badly aged. But, on the contrary, it is also said that the name is linked to the fact that yellow was reserved solely to the Emperor's, to whom the best teas, whatever their colour, were given and therefore qualified as "yellow". In that case, yellow teas may have originally been high quality products, coming from all parts of China. Today, the name of yellow tea is only given to teas from specific areas; they are close to green teas, but the leaves are piled and exposed to a humid heat, in order to develop a slight oxidation, stopped by a drying process. This method, which is said to have been discovered by accident, when a green tea turned yellow because of a failed drying, gives yellow teas their silver colour, sometimes with a golden shimmer, and their specific taste. Les thés jaunes sont une spécialité chinoise de la Province du Si Chuan, du Hunan.