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Yellow Tea - the "new" Green Tea for Health Benefits?

Updated on May 7, 2012

Copyright 2011 - Kris Heeter

Step aside green tea, there's a "new" tea in town.

That's right, Yellow Tea is hitting the streets and gaining popularity...

Research suggests that it packs a healthy punch that may just match up to or be better than green tea.

Antioxidants? It hasn't been completely flushed out yet but yellow tea may have more cancer-fighting power than green tea. Yellow tea may also be better at fighting liver toxicity.

Let's take a look...

Have you tried yellow tea?

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Of the six predominant teas of china - which do you prefer?

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Yellow Tea's History

Over two thirds of the world's population drink tea. Major tea producing countries include China, Japan and Indonesia. Although, tea as a commodity is becoming quite popular in other countries as well.

There are six major tea classifications from China: black, green, oolong, pu-euh, white, and yellow. These six all come from the plant Camellia sinensis.

Yellow tea has been around for centuries, but is considered to be a rare tea because of it's more complex methods of harvest and preparation. And, it's relatively "new" to Westerners.

Leaves for yellow tea are harvested when they are young - earlier than for green tea. Yellow tea is then oxidized (or fermented) for a longer period than green tea. It is not completely oxidized like oolong or black tea. The lighter color in the tea leaves comes from a slower drying phase.

Is Yellow Tea Healthier Than Green Tea?

The jury is still out on this but there are indications that yellow tea is just as healthy, if not more, than green tea.

Green tea has always been touted for its antioxidant and cancer-fighting abilities. A long history of scientific research backs many of the health claims. The antioxidant levels of yellow tea, however, have not yet been extensively studied. It has been hypothesized that yellow tea will have similar if not higher antioxidant levels due to the early harvest and slower drying phase. White tea is also thought to have higher antioxidant levels but, again, the studies on this are not extensive yet.

Phenolic compounds in the tea leaves are the antioxidants. There are several different phenolic compounds, one in particular, epogallocatechin (egcg), has been attributed to beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the digestive system. Antioxidants in tea have also been implicated in lowering blood sugar levels, particularly with respect to diabetes, and in improving mental health.

Yellow tea has been recently noted, in a 2007 scientific study, to have higher capabilities of suppressing liver toxicity more efficiently than green, white, black, oolong, and pu-erh teas.

Finding Yellow Tea

Finding yellow tea here in the United States is a little challenging - it's not something that you will easily find in a main grocery store. Some specialty stores may carry it and there are some online sources - for example:

Additional References

Hashimoto et al. Yellow tea is more potent than other types of tea in suppressing liver toxicity induced by carbon tetrachloride in rats. Phytother Res. 2007 Jul;21(7):668-70.

Kuroda and Hara. Antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic activity of tea polyphenols. Mutat Res. 1999 Jan;436(1):69-97.

National Cancer Institute. Tea and Cancer Prevention: Strengths and Limits of the Evidence -


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    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      Great info and well written. I drunk green and white tea, but not yellow yet. Want to try.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      @mary615 - thanks for stopping by. The yellow tea is really hard to find in the U.S. (at least based on my experience). Some of our extensive markets that carry specialty food do not even have it. I'm tempted to try one of our Asian markets to see if they by chance have it!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      Very interesting Hub. I never tried yellow tea, only green tea. I'm willing to try it, though. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Chefni profile image

      Chefni 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Kris, :)

      This is very informative. As I am religious green tea drinker, I find this new information very exciting. I will definitely go and purchase some yellow tea for myself to see the difference :)

      Thank you again :)

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      @Pammela99 - thanks for stopping by. I, too, drink many varieties of green tea. I'm on the look out for yellow tea too. I need to try our specialty store in town:)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I drink green tea daily in several varieties and I am going to look for yellow tea to try it out. Thanks.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I haven't even heard of yellow tea! I'll have to keep my eye out for it.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      Kathleen - you are welcome:) It's great to hear you've switched to green tea - there are so many great health benefits!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I have been so proud of myself for changing from regular sweetened tea (which we drink by the gallon in the south in the summer) to green tea. It is lighter and more refreshing - and so good for you! Now I'm learning there is something even better. What would I do without my hubber friends who keep me informed? Thanks!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      Peggy - Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find it. I wish we had a tea store like that around here:)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Will look for yellow tea the next time I visit The Path of Tea in Houston where they carry over 100 varieties of organic teas from around the world. Thanks for this information. Up, useful and interesting votes!

    • ImChemist profile image

      ImChemist 6 years ago

      Im one of green tea fans , your hub is very useful .thank you

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Hello Kris ~ very interesting and useful. I love green tea and also have white tea for the taste and health benefits. We have also tried to grow some Camellia sinensis. I will happily share this with my husband. Blessings, Debby

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      Thanks for a great hub!

      Yellow tea sounds wonderful and I can't wait to try it out, and start adding it to my tea collection.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 6 years ago from Indiana

      @ShellyMcRae, @Gypsy Rose Lee, @anglnwu and @AliciaC - thanks for stopping by!

      AliciaC - I'm going to be on the look out for it too. I'm curious to see what it tastes like. I believe it should be a bit milder than green tea

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Interesting information, Kris. I've never heard of yellow tea before. I'll look for it when I go to a health food store or a specialty grocer. I'm interested in discovering what it tastes like.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      I love green of all kinds. Yellow is not as well-known but it may be the next new star. Nice information and rated up.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks for the great info.

      Will check if we have yellow tea here in Riga. I know we have green tea. Hope you have great holidays.

    • Shelly McRae profile image

      Shelly McRae 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Nice hub. Good info on what is likely to be the new trend in tea. Thanks for sharing.