Yellow tea processing varies considerably by region. The goal of a yellow tea is to minimise the grassy flavour that is a common characteristic of green teas. Small amounts of green leaf are quickly roasted, then the hot leaf is smothered by wrapping it in cloth or paper, which allows it to cure in its own steam. It’s either left in the paper until it is dry or it is removed and rolled into needles and then dried. Some regions allow slight oxidisation. The leaves themselves often look very yellow and produce a golden yellow liquor characterised by a dominant fruity, flowery aroma. Chemically, Yellow Tea differs from Green Tea as the smothering process degrades green chlorophyll into yellow brown pheophorbide, a breakdown product with anti-tumor properties.
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