Types of Authentic Chinese Tea [Complete List 2020]


Pour Chinese Tea

 

As its original producer and cultivator, it’s no surprise that the art of tea is embedded in China’s culture and history. In China, teas aren’t just simple beverages you drink when you’re thirsty. Teas are also central to their spiritual relaxation, and the process of drinking teas also has its own set of etiquettes and related ethics. Additionally, teas have health benefits you definitely wouldn’t want to miss.

Know More About Your Favorite Chinese Tea

Nowadays, the consumption of tea is spread throughout the world, with most countries having their own variation and unique preparation processes. Still, nothing beats traditional Chinese teas, and fortunately, there are many places you can look. 

Before you go tea-shopping, it’s best to know what tea you should go for. Below, we’ve got a summary of the things you need to know about your Chinese tea options

 

Green Tea

 

Chinese Green Tea

Chinese Green Tea is one of the most common and most consumed teas over the world. The Chinese Green Tea is a type of unfermented tea that doesn’t undergo the usual oxidation and withering process used when making other types of teas. 

Flavor Profile

Chinese Green Tea usually have a sweet and light flavor, coupled with a toasty taste you get from most naturally-brewed teas. Its color often goes from yellow-green to green and is known for its strong and long-lasting fragrance.   

Birthplace

The Chinese Green Tea originated all the way back in 2737 B.C. during the reign of Chinese Emperor Shennong. During one of his trips to a far-flung region, he accidentally drank water boiled with a tea leaf in it, and he found the flavor to be fresh and sweet. The historical moment also marked the discovery of teas.

How to Brew

  1. First, warm the pot with hot water 
  2. Once the pot is warm, you may add a new batch of hot water and fill a third of the teapot. 
  3. Every 50ml of water poured, add 1 gram of tea leaves. 
  4. Make sure that the hot water you add is around 80⁰C. 
  5. You should let the tea infuse for about 2-3 minutes and decant completely. 

Health Benefits

Green tea has been found to boost mental alertness due to its caffeine content. The US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health also states that although there is limited studies available, evidence points to the claim that green teas provide beneficial effects on blood pressure and cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.


Tea Examples

The most premium and well-known type of Chinese Green Tea is the Dragon Well (Longjing) tea. Other types of Chinese Green Teas include Biluochun from Dongting Mountain, Suzhou, Huangshan Maofeng Tea from Huizhou City, Anhui, and Taiping Houkui Tea from Yellow Mountain, Anhui.

Oolong Tea

 

Chinese Oolong Tea

It’s neither green nor black; Oolong is a tea category on its own. The term ‘Oolong’ originated from ‘Wulong,’ a Chinese term used to describe a tea. Oolong tea combines the best parts of green teas and dark teas, making it flavorful as well as beneficial from a health perspective. It’s usually described as dark green tea, and its color - being blacker or greener - can vary depending on its oxidation. 

Flavor Profile

Since Oolong tea is semi-oxidized, the flavor can change depending on the technique of the tea master. However, it is mostly known from its sweet, floral to grassy, and toasty taste. Its color varies from green, brown, to gold. 

Birthplace

There are at least three theories regarding the birthplace of Oolong tea. 

In one of the theories, it was said that poems written during the Qing Dynasty indicate that Oolong tea first existed in the Wuyi Mountains region. Another theory indicates that Oolong tea originated from the Anxi tea plant and was discovered by a man named ‘Sulong’ or ‘Wulong.’ The third theory, on the other hand, claims that a man called Wu Long accidentally discovered the tea when a deer distracted him that made him forget the tea he had picked up. When he returned, the tea had already begun oxidization.

How to Brew

Get cold filtered water. Spring water is best but it’s not required! 

  1. First, warm the pot with hot water. Clay pot is best but it’s not required!
  2. Every 250ml of water poured, add 2-3 grams of tea leaves. 
  3. Depending on your Oolong tea, the hot water you add should be between 85⁰C to 95⁰C. 
  4. You should let the tea infuse for about 2-3 minutes and decant completely. 

Health Benefits

Oolong teas contain fluoride, potassium, manganese, sodium, magnesium, niacin, and caffeine, along with antioxidants. Due to the existing nutrients in Oolong tea, it has a set of wonderful health benefits. Some of these are diabetes prevention (thanks to its antioxidants!) and improvement of the heart’s health. A study showed that Oolong consumption can help reduce the risk of dyslipidemia, which is a condition that indicates increased levels of cholesterol. 

Tea Examples

Examples of Oolong tea are Tie Guan Yin known for its delicate and fruity infusion, Formosa with its fresh and sweet taste, and Pouchong with its rougher but still sweet flavor.

White Tea

 

Chinese White Tea

White tea is known for its use of young and minimally-processed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Of all Chinese teas, White Tea is probably one of the most pure and delicate, having been made from unopened buds and only through drying (no other processes involved!). White tea uses immature leaves of plants that are grown at high elevation of up to 6,500 feet above sea level. 

Flavor Profile

White tea is sweet, with a light taste you often have with floral and fruity blends. Once brewed, white tea will have pale yellow to light orange color. 

Birthplace

White Tea was initially produced in Imperial China during the Song Dynasty. Today, it is mostly harvested in China’s Fujian province.

How to Brew

Brewing white tea is a bit complicated because of the leaves’ delicacy. Using the traditional gai wan is best but any teapot would do too! White tea can generally be brewed up to 8-10 times. 

  1. First, boil hot water and discard it after. 
  2. Every 100ml of water poured, add 2 grams of tea leaves. 
  3. Make sure that the hot water you add is between 70⁰C and 85⁰C. 
  4. The steeping time ranges between 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your variety of white tea. 

Health Benefits

White tea is beneficial for your health, especially since it is one of the least processed types of teas. The preparation method for White Tea also makes antioxidants stay in the brew. It also helps people lose weight due to its EGCG levels, and lower the risk of Insulin resistance due polyphenols’ existence. A study by the U.S. National Institute of Health also found that white tea is beneficial to one’s oral health.

Tea Examples

The varieties of White Tea include the rare Silver Needle, Moonlight White Tea, White Peony, Tribute Eyebrow, among others. 

Yellow Tea

 

Chinese yellow tea

Yellow Tea is a type of lightly-fermented tea that you can usually find only in China. It is prepared similar to green tea but the slight oxidation gives the yellow tea its distinct color and taste. Yellow Tea is rare and expensive due to its silky taste and the unique process that it goes through. 

Flavor Profile

The Yellow Tea has a liquor-like color and has a sweet, floral, and bright taste. Its flavor and smell is just right and leans more towards the fruity kind. 

Birthplace

Yellow Tea originates from the provinces of Hunan, Sichuan, and Zhejiang in China. Most of the supply of yellow tea leaves in the world can only be found in the mountains of these provinces. 

How to Brew

  1. First, preheat your teacup with hot water, and then discard the water.
  2. Every 250ml of water poured, add 4.2 grams of tea leaves. 
  3. Make sure that the hot water you add is between 75⁰C and 85⁰C. 
  4. The steeping time is 3 minutes. 

Health Benefits

The Yellow Tea’s antioxidants and polyphenols help fight carcinogenic elements, which lessens the risk of cancer. And since yellow tea helps control sugar levels, it can also aid people who are suffering from diabetes. Yellow teas were also found to help lower the risk of strokes, increases your appetite, and lowers cholesterol levels in the body. 

Moreover, a study found that compared to the other types of teas, yellow tea is more potent in providing protection against liver injuries.

Tea Examples

Although there are numerous types of Yellow Teas, some have been lost to history. Now, only a few remain. These are Jun Shan Yin Zhen from Hunan, Meng Ding Huang Ya from Meng Ding Shan in Sichuan, and Meng Ding Huang Ya from Meng Ding Shan in Sichuan. 

Black Tea

 

Chinese Black tea

Black Tea is perhaps the strongest in flavor among our list of Chinese teas, and this is due to it being more oxidized. Like the other teas, it’s also made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis.

Flavor Profile

The Black Tea has a stronger and heavier flavor compared to more delicate teas like White Tea and Green Tea. It has a prominent scent and is usually seen in a reddish color.

Birthplace

The first Black Tea (Lapsang Souchong) originated from Wuyi Mountain in Fujian province. It was around 1590, during the late Ming Dynasty. ‘Lapsang’ refers to the mountainous area where the tea leaves called ‘Souchong’ were found.

How to Brew

  1. First, preheat your teacup with hot water, and then discard the water.
  2. Every 150 ml to 250ml of water poured, add 3 to 5 grams of tea leaves. 
  3. Make sure that the hot water you add is between 90⁰C and 95⁰C. 
  4. The steeping time is 2 to 3 minutes. 

Health Benefits

Like other teas, Black Tea is also rich in antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of numerous diseases. Flavonoids are also found in Black Tea, which provides enormous benefits to the heart. Additionally, black tea has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol and the polyphenols contained in Black Tea help improve your gut health and reduce your risk of cancer. 

Tea Examples

Some of the most prominent examples of Black Teas are Keemun Black Tea, Xiao Zhong Black Tea, Gongfu Black Tea, Yunnan Dianhong Black Tea, Assam Black Tea, Broken Black Tea, and Ninghong Black Tea. 

Dark Tea / Pu-erh Tea

 

Chinese Puerh Tea

Dark Tea is perhaps one of Western China’s best-hidden secrets, also known as Hei Cha. What’s unique about dark tea is that it undergoes post-fermentation, which means that after the standard process, the tea leaves are sprinkled with water and piled together to allow microbes to ferment it. Unlike other types of tea, it tastes better as it ages.

Pu-erh Tea is a subcategory of dark tea but distinctly darker in color and smoother in taste.

Flavor Profile

The Dark Tea has a strong, unique, and earthy flavor that mellows out and improves with age. Like Black Tea, Dark Tea usually has a reddish color and a strong aroma.

Birthplace

Records in Chinese history show that Dark Tea was first produced around 1524 in Anhua in Hunan Province during the Ming Dynasty.

Dark Teas can mostly be found in Yunnan, Sichuan, and Guangxi in China. It was said that this tea was sold on the borders to China’s western minorities and was then referred to as Bian Xiao Cha or Border-Sale Tea. 

How to Brew

Fill the pot with 500ml of water, and cook it to a boil. Put 10-15 grams of tea into the water and slow cook for 2 minutes. Once you filter out the residue, you can drink the dark tea. 

  1. First, preheat your teacup with hot water, and then discard the water.
  2. Every 100ml of water poured, add 6 grams of tea leaves. 
  3. Make sure that the hot water you add is around 100⁰C. 
  4. The steeping time is 2 minutes. 

Health Benefits

Dark Tea helps with metabolism due to its polysaccharide compound. Like other teas, it also has anti-aging and anti-cancer properties due to the presence of antioxidants. 

Pu-erh Tea is found to have cholesterol-lowering properties, as well as antiobesity effects.

Tea Examples

Some examples of Dark Tea are Liu Bao Tea from Cangwu county, Guangxi province, Hunan Dark Tea, and Sichuan Dark Tea, and Pu-erh Tea from Yunnan province. Some Pu-erh tea includes Shou Pu-erh and Sheng Pu-erh.

Floral Tea

 

Chinese Floral Tea

Also sometimes called flowering tea or blooming tea, these are perhaps some of the most famous types of teas in the world. The buds, petals, or flowers of the plants are picked, dried, and processed in order to produce these floral teas. 

Flavor Profile

The flavor profile of floral teas differs depending on which flower is used. Most floral teas, however, are tart and fruity, with a sweet but subtle scent and light-to-dark color.

Birthplace

Floral or Flowering Teas originated from the Yunnan province in China.

How to Brew

  1. First, preheat your teacup with hot water, and then discard the water.
  2. Every 250ml of water poured, add 2.3 grams of flower. 
  3. Make sure that the hot water you add is around 90⁰C. 
  4. The steeping time is 3 to 5 minutes. 

Health Benefits

Due to the presence of antioxidants, Floral teas can aid in anti-aging and lessen the risk for diseases such as cancer and bodily inflammation. Rose tea offers relief to dysmenorrhea among teenagers. Jasmine tea, which is basically based on green tea, has antibacterial properties that prevent tooth decay, while Marigold or Calendula boasts of anti-inflammatory, antitumor properties and helps fight cancer cells. Chamomile tea reduces pain caused by menstrual cramps, helps reduce anxiety and improves sleep

Tea Examples

The most common Floral Teas are Jasmine, Lily, Lavender, Chrysanthemum, Magnolia, Rose, Chamomile and Honeysuckle Tea.

Know Your Teas with Borntea

Chinese tea can range from strong to delicate, which means that you can definitely find the perfect traditional tea when you look at the right places. Here at BornTea, we offer high-quality teas with a premium taste you will never want to miss out on. 

Contact us today to know more about how you can get your favourite authentic Chinese tea!

 

 


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