Green tea is the second most produced and consumed tea around the world accounting for only about ten percent. We offer green teas from four continents and fourteen countries - the primary green tea producing countries of China and Japan and other producers of green tea including South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Malawi, Rwanda, Australia and the Americas. What classifies a tea as green is that its leaves have not been allowed to oxidize during processing; in fact, they undergo a step to prevent any oxidation from occurring either by steaming or pan-firing. Oxidation of the leaves, or lack thereof, is a main factor that influences the primary characteristics of the tea, which include color of the dry leaf and infusion, body of the infusion, and boldness of taste. These typical characteristics in a green tea tend to be light color and body, and mild fresh taste; however, you will notice that the aroma and taste characteristics will differ in the close to fifty origin green teas that we have available.
Yellow tea (huang cha) is a very rare, unique, labor-intensive tea that has been produced solely in China for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. Due to increased demand, it is also being produced in Vietnam and Kenya. Some classify yellow tea as a green tea; however, it truly is a distinct type of tea that undergoes a distinguishing processing step called Men Huang (Sealing Yellow). After withering, a slight and slow steaming warms the leaves so that they will undergo an as-yet-to-be-identified chemical process when they go through the men huang step. During men huang, the leaves are piled and wrapped up in a basket with damp cloth or spread out and covered with damp cloth and allowed to rest from four to seventy-two hours. There is debate as to whether or not the leaves undergo slight oxidation. The men huang process yellows the leaves and yields an infusion with a mellow taste and aroma that lacks the astringency, and minimizes the vegetal and grassy characteristics of green tea. Yellow teas are usually named after the mountain that is located near where they are produced. We offer yellow tea from two provinces in China.