The Chinese have been brewing high-quality teas since the early days of civilization. From green teas to black teas, from oolong teas to pu-erh teas, the Chinese sure do know how to make a tasty tea. The ancient Chinese have mastered cultivating these tea loves and perfected the art of brewing it. Centuries of Chinese tradition and experience have birthed dozens of favorites within the Chinese tea category. In this article, we will explore our personal favorite teas that the Chinese have to offer. Some grassy, some nutty, some floral, some roasted, there is sure to be a tea that tickles your fancy.
Famous Chinese Tea 1- White Teas
Known traditionally as Pai Mu Tan, this white tea was harvested by the Chinese in the Fujian Province for many years. This one comes to life when utilizing on tea bud along with two small leaves, which births a full-body taste. This tea brings floral aromas to the table along with a hint of orchid. The color of this tea is a pale yellow hue.
Baihao Yinzhen also known as White Hair Silver Needle, is a white tea produced in Fujian Province in China. Amongst white teas, this is the most expensive variety and the most prized, as only top buds (leaf shoots) are used to produce the tea. Genuine Silver Needles are made from cultivars of the Da Bai (Large White) tea tree family. There are other productions that look similar with downy leaf shoots but most are green teas, and as green teas, they taste differently and have a different biochemical potency than the genuine white tea Silver Needle. It is commonly included among China’s famous teas.
A genuine Silver Needle is a white tea. As such, it is only lightly oxidized. The most sought-after productions are from the first flushes, which generally take place between late March to early April when the year’s first new buds “flush”. For the production of Silver Needle, only the leaf shoots, i.e. the leaf buds before opening, are plucked. Unlike the plucking of green tea, the ideal time and weather for plucking white tea is a sunny morning when the sun is high enough to have dried any remaining moisture on the buds.
Famous Chinese Tea 2- Green Teas
Sometimes called Longjing tea, Longjing tea leaves are grown and harvested in the Longing Village (where it gets its name) in the Zhejiang Province. This strain of tea is grown uniquely on a total of five climates of mountain tops in the West Lake region (also known as Xihu).
Dragon well tea is interesting to prepare, as it is traditionally prepared by way of pan-roasting. Pan-roasting tea results in a specific nutty flavor with hints of toasting that are out of this world. Like many teas, dragon well tea is offered in many different grades of quality. As expected, the highest grade of dragon well tea is the most expensive. A high-grade dragon well tea is one of the most sought-after strains of green tea in all of China and is among the priciest Chinese teas available today.
Longjing tea boasts health benefits such as having a large concentration of essential amino acids, such as L-theanine and other disease-fighting antioxidants. Antioxidants include but are not limited to, catechins and polyphenols.
This Chinese green tea, called Biluochun, is grown and harvested in the Dongting Mountain range. It can also be found growing in the Zhejiang and Sichuan regions. If you can’t tell by this point in the article, the Zhejiang region is known for having a climate that grows some of the best and tastiest teas in the world.
Biluochun tea has the nuttiest, earthiest, and most robust tastes of all of green teas. This tea in particular is rolled into tightly wrapped pearls, which dance as they open in a pot of boiling water. The outward appearance of the pearl resembles a seashell that you would find on the beach. The unique shape of the Biluochun makes it a popular choice.
Known by some as the Yellow Mountain Fur Peak tea, Huang Shan Maofeng is grown and harvested in the fitting climate of the Anhui Region in China. The prepared tea contains only two small leaves and one bud. To achieve this, the tea leaf is harvested in early spring while the plant is still immature. Little white hairs or furs on this tea leaf are comparable to that of the Silver Needle white tea. You may recognize this green tea from the Qinming Festival in China. The Huang Shan Maofeng tea offers a more mild taste alongside a sweet side and a small hint of orchid.
More simply referred to as Yu Maofeng tea, this is another green tea that is grown and harvested in Xinyang, the Henan Region of China. Xinyang maojian tea is amongst the most famous teas in all of China. The taste has a pungent and long-lasting aftertaste and is bitterer than the rest of the green teas. As with some of the other green teas on this list, small and immature leaves are harvested, which results in silver-colored hairs on the leaf. The smell of this tea is floral that will refresh your nasal passages.
Famous Chinese Tea 3- Yellow Tea
Yellow teas such as the Junshan Yinzhen tea, grown and harvested in the Hunan region, are actually quite similar to Bai Hao Yinzhen teas. The Junshan Yinzhen tea is also floral but offers a fruity smell that is quite delicate without much body. The color of this tea is pale and shines like the sun. Junshan Yinzhen tea is one of the highest quality and most sought-after teas in all of China.
Famous Chinese Tea 4- Oolong Tea
Da Hong Pao is known as one of the priciest Chinese teas available on the market. This tea is categorized as a Wuyi rock tea, which is (you guessed it right) grown and harvested in the Wuyi Mountain range. Da Hong Pao tea is sometimes referred to as the Big Red Robe tea. Like a fine wine, age makes this tea much tastier. The priciest tea leaves from this plant can sometimes be as old as 1,000 years old. The mineral-rich rocks in the surrounding environment provide this tea with flavors that aren’t tasted in any other tea, which makes it so expensive. Da Hong Pao is passed around the upper-class citizens and is saved for special events, which include dining with political visitors. If you’ve ever heard of the Gongfu tea ceremony, this is the tea that is used in that tradition.
Which is probably the coolest name on the tea market, this tea is referred to as the Iron Goddess of Mercy Tea. It’s a full and rich oolong tea. The Tieguanyin tea leaves can also be made into red tea, black tea, or even green tea. The oolong tea is robust in taste and will last in your mouth long after you swallow. Small sips of this tea will do more than enough to please your taste buds. Tieguanyin is surprisingly floral with a sweet lingering aftertaste. It’s grown and harvested in a place called Anxi in the Fujian region. The tea leaf itself used in brewing Tieguanyin comes from the Camellia sinensis tea plant.
Famous Chinese Tea 5- Black Tea
The British tend to be large consumers of Keemum Black Tea. Queen Elizabeth is often seen sipping on this variety. If English royalty approves of this tea, then I’m sure you will as well. With a stony and fruity taste, this tea also boasts an unsweetened chocolate taste with a malty body which some say also has a smoky aroma. The caffeine content is not for the faint of heart, as it is comparable to a bold cup of coffee.
Lapsang Souchong is one of the most distinct Chinese teas. It is a smoked tea that smells and tastes just like a roaring campfire. The tea leaves are roasted over open pine fires, which impart a rich, smoky flavor and aroma to each leaf. The tea is cultivated on Mount Wuyi in the Fujian Province and is made using large, coarse tea leaves from the lower stalks of the tea plant.
Famous Chinese Tea 6- Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are not closely associated with Chinese teas, but China is known for producing some equally high-quality herbal blends as well. The infamous Jasmine Tea is floral and sweet, but also nice and mild. It’s a very drinkable tea that can be enjoyed throughout the day. Jasmine Tea is grown and harvested in the Yunnan Region but is also farmed as far as the Anhui region.
Sip High-Quality Tea With These Delicious Chinese Teas
Centuries of cultivating tea leaves have given the Chinese the experience that they need to claim the title of the best tea in the world. From ancient blends to modern twists, the Chinese make a tea that is an envy of the rest of the modern world. Regardless of your flavor preference, the Chinese are likely to brew a variety of tea that you love. From herbal blends like Jasmine Green Tea to the bold taste of pu-erh tea, China offers a plethora of teas that you’re sure to love and adore.
The Chinese have boasted about the health benefits of teas for many centuries and even included it in traditional medicines. Science supports that tea contains elevated levels of catechins, polyphenols, vitamins, and other antioxidants. Tea is a great way to wean yourself off of those carbonated and sugary drinks that can negatively impact your health. A simple cup of tea in the morning can get you motivated for the day ahead of you, or relax you for a good night’s sleep.
We highly recommend that you purchase a tea sampler set to help you discover which tea variety is right for you. You can go to TEASBAY.COM to order any type of tea introduced upon, also the vendor provides a free sample for trial. We wish you the best of luck on your tea journey and hope that this article helped!