6 Major Types of Chinese Tea
China is one of the places where tea originated. Chinese tea, known as ‘cha (茶)’, is the most popular beverage in China. Chinese tea is classified in many ways, like quality, method of preparation or place of production. Generally, there are 6 types of Chinese tea: green, white, black, yellow, oolong and post-fermented tea.
1. Chinese White Tea
White tea, indigenous to Fuijan Province, is one of the most lightly oxidized teas. It is lighter in color than other types of tea with a subtle and delicate flavor. The white tea leaves are plucked when they are still young and immature with white hairs on the unopened buds. That’s why white tea has the whitish appearance. And white tea takes short processing time, which keeps a high amount of antioxidants that are beneficial to people’s health. So, it is said that white tea is the healthiest tea for people.
Famous Chinese White Tea: White Fur Silver Needle
2. Chinese Green Tea
Chinese green tea is the oldest and most popular type of tea which is mainly produced in the provinces of Jiangxi, Anhui, and Zhejiang. It is made from the young buds and leaves of the tea plant. Like white tea, green tea also undergoes minimal oxidation during process, which keeps more antioxidant properties. So, green tea also helps to strengthen your health, which according to recent research can help reduce the risk of stomach disorders, osteoporosis, headaches and diarrhea and slow down the aging process.
Famous Chinese Green Tea: West Lake Dragon Well, Dongting Green Snail Spring, Yellow Mountain Fur Peak, Liuan Melon Seed, Taiping Houkui, Xinyang Fur Tip
3. Chinese Yellow Tea
Yellow tea is properly the rarest of all the teas, accounting for maybe less than half a percent of the total tea production in China. Yellow tea is used to be an imperial tribute tea, which meant it was reserved only for the Emperors. The reason for that is yellow used to be the color of the Emperors in ancient China. Yellow tea is made in a very similar way to green tea. The difference lies in the fact that the tea leaves are steamed to heat in a moist environment.
Famous Yellow Tea: Mount Jun Silver Needle
4. Chinese Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is semi-oxidized tea, which means the leaf has been oxidized anywhere between 50% up to about 88.5%. So you get a wide variety of flavors. There are 28 high quality oolong teas grown in China alone, each with its own characteristics. With wide variations in flavor and type, it will be an unforgettable experience to search for a favorite. By the way, Oolong tea is mainly produced in Fujian province.
Famous Chinese Oolong Tea: Wuyi Big Red Robe, Anxi Iron Goddess
5. Chinese Black Tea
Black tea in China is called red tea, because the color of the liquor is actually red. It is the second largest category of Chinese tea, behind the green tea. The black tea undergoes complete fermentation, creating unique flavors. It goes through a process that includes withering, rolling, fermentation and drying. During these processes, it produces many beneficial compounds, like flavonoids and Polyphenols, etc. So, it has a stronger flavor and, generally speaking, has many more healthy benefits.
Famous Chinese Black Tea: Qimen Red
6. Chinese Post-fermented Tea
Chinese Post-fermented tea, also known as dark tea, undergoes microbial fermentation, from several months to many years. Unlike most Chinese teas whose taste and aroma fade with age, post-fermented tea tastes good with years added. And aged tea is rare and extremely valuable. The most famous post-fermented tea is Puerh tea, came from Yunnan Province in the southwest of China.
Famous Chinese Post-fermented tea: Yunnan Puerh
To know more detail about the different types of Chinese tea, you can watch the video below:
Besides the above mentioned 6 types of Chinese tea, there are also other kinds of Chinese tea, like scented tea and blossoming tea. After knowing the types of Chinese tea, do you want to know how to brew tea? You can refer to the article “How to Brew tea” to seek help.