Chinese Tea – The Ultimate Guide
Chinese tea dates back several centuries and continues to be a popular beverage consumed all over the globe. The popularity comes from the many different varieties of Chinese teas that are available and the health benefits that have been attributed to the drink.
In fact, Ancient Chinese scriptures point to the number of benefits that come from the use of Chinese tea. These teas originate in China but now tea leaves are grown and processed in many different locations globally. However, the processes have not changed.
The way in which tea leaves are dried and the amount of exposure they receive to sunlight and moisture determines the type of tea. Many of them are produced from the same tea plant – Camellia Senensis. Others are mixtures that contain some tea leaves along with other plant and flower varieties.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
- 1 Table of Contents
- 2 Gongfu Tea Ceremony
- 3 Facts & Information About Chinese Tea
- 4 The Different Types of Chinese Tea
- 4.1 Chinese Green Tea
- 4.2 Chinese Black Tea
- 4.3 Chinese Herbal Tea
- 4.4 Chinese Red Tea
- 4.5 Chinese Oolong Tea (Wu Long Tea)
- 4.6 Chinese Flower Tea
- 4.7 Chinese White Tea
- 4.8 Chinese Fermented Tea/Dark Tea
- 4.9 Chinese Yellow Tea
- 4.10 Chinese Scented Tea
- 5 Health Benefits From Chinese Tea
- 6 Conclusion
Gongfu Tea Ceremony
Gongfu Cha, a popular Chinese tea ceremony, is also known as Kung fu tea ceremony. Gongfu cha translates to “making tea with skill.” The tea ceremony uses a number of different items, including a brewing vessel, teapot, small cups, a Gaiwan (which is a lidded bowl without a handle), and a brewing tray, as well as other teaware items such as a tea towel, knife, spoon, strainer, kettle, tongs, and more.
For a more in-depth look at the Gongfu tea ceremony, click here.
Facts & Information About Chinese Tea
- Chinese tea was ‘invented’ by accident. Several centuries ago tea leaves happened to fall into someone’s drink. The taste produced from this was enjoyed and the rest is history!
- Tea was not always known as a common beverage. In Ancient times the drink was actually used as a means to keep people awake and alert. In modern times we find it as a relaxing drink.
- Although we have listed several different types of Chinese teas, there are in fact just five different primary tea groups: black, green, white, oolong and post-fermented.
- A 3,200 year old tree in the Yunnan Province of China continues to be the main source of one of the most ancient tea recipes in the world. It is also an expensive tea recipe.
- An expensive cup of tea, which will cost you $200 a cup, comes from the Sichuan Province of China. It uses Panda waste to fertilize the tea leaves and is known as Panda Tea.
The Different Types of Chinese Tea
Below is a detailed breakdown of the various types of Chinese tea, along with some reviews of each type of tea to help make your choice a little easier.
And for other great tea tips, make sure that you check out these articles on Best Loose Leaf Tea Storage Ideas and The Top Tea Accessories, as well as our guides on Indian teas, Korean teas & Japanese teas.
Chinese Green Tea
This tea is a variety that has not been processed with the same withering and oxidation exposure of black or oolong teas. Chinese green tea comes from Camellia Senensis plant leaves and originated in China although the production and processing has spread to other Asian countries.
Tealyra Premium Dragon Well Green Tea – Organic
This Long Jing Dragon Well tea is not only all-natural, but it has a number of other very interesting distinctions. For example, it is one of China’s most famous teas and has actually been voted one of China’s top teas. As for the taste, it is described as having a distinctive flavor. It is a fine green tea that has a medium body, a pure clean aroma, a golden jade hue, and a delicate fragrance. Long Jing Dragon Well tea is pan-roasted in the Zhejiang Province and comes without fillers.
Organic Dragon Well Chinese Green Tea
This is an organic Dragon Well tea that contains a smooth, toasted flavor. It is described as being on the mellow side with a bittersweet after note that is both fresh and tippy. The scent is also fresh, clean and vibrant. The nutty, mellow taste will linger on your palate and is the product of leaves that are olive-toned in color and you may also pick up a hint of sweetness. If you are looking for a pleasant cup of tea that gives your mouth and taste buds a thrill, this organic Dragon Well classic is your best choice. It also comes with a 100% money back guarantee.
China Green Tea Special Gunpowder 1kg
This is a green tea from China that is guaranteed to satisfy your tea craving. Unlike a typical gunpowder tea, which is tiny rolled up balls of tea leaves, this is a mixture of leaf parts and powder. The combination produces a rich flavor when steeped. It is easily a strong green tea that is suitable for everyday enjoyment. For a good quality cup of tea, this special Gunpowder variety is well worth checking out and trying.
Chinese Black Tea
This is a type of tea that has been oxidized longer than green, white and oolong tea. The flavor of black tea is typically stronger than teas that are processed with less oxidation. Chinese black tea varieties will also retain their flavor for many years.
Numi Organic Chinese Breakfast Loose Leaf Black Tea
Produced in the Yunnan Mountains of China, this black tea has a balanced, full-bodied flavor with flowery orange notes. It is considered smooth and is blended only with 100% real fruit, flowers and spices and contains no artificial flavors. This Numi Organic tea is also USDA certified, non-GMO verified and ethically sourced with fair trade certified and fair labour verified ingredients. You could say this black tea is also a green (eco-friendly) tea. It is tasty and has a pleasant aroma that matches the delicious taste.
Tealyra Organic Yunnan Golden Special – Loose Leaf Black Tea
What makes this Tealyra Special Organic tea so unique is that it is a high altitude tea. It is cultivated in a cool climate and harvested between late March and mid-April. The leaves are bright gold and resemble tobacco leaves at first glance. They produce an organic black tea with a bright copper color which contains a strong buttery with malt flavor. It finishes with a slight cinnamon after note.
Chinese Herbal Tea
Also known as tisanes, herbal teas are not true teas as are black, green, yellow, white or oolong teas. Instead, they are made from infusions or decoctions of a mixture of herbs, spices and additional plant products in hot water. They are typically caffeine-free.
Gynostemma Tea Antioxidant Adaptogenic Caffeine Free
This happens to be a Chinese herbal tea with some special health benefits attached. Your metabolism is triggered through the compounds found in the whole leaves and that can contribute to weight loss. You can also improve your immune system health thanks to the incredibly high concentration of antioxidants found in this tea. This tea is 100% organic gynostemma pentahyllum leaf which is naturally sweet. It also brews a bright green tea that is tasty. This product comes complete with a no questions asked money back guarantee.
Triple Leaf Caffeine Free Herbal Tea
Described by the manufacturer as a ‘revitalizing tea’ this triple leaf tea is a special type of tea. It is said to be the right combination of herbs to help you push toxins through your body. When you are able to remove toxins, your body responds by fighting off illness and disease. This variety pack contains 20 bags of ‘Detox’ and 20 bags of ‘Super Slim’ tea. Each is made up of Non-GMO verified herbs and with White Mulberry Leaf in the Super Slim choice.
Chinese Red Tea
The leaves of a family of plants native to South Africa are used to produce an herbal tea known as rooibos, or Chinese red tea. It is distinct in that the leaves are considerably darker in color than most other teas. It has a flowery or earthy flavor that resembles hibiscus tea or yerba mate.
MeiMei Fine Teas Keemun Gongfu Chinese Loose Leaf Red Tea
Produced in the Anhui Province of China, this is one of the world’s most famous high fragrant black teas. It is actually a rooibos tea that has a taste that is described as being floral, creamy, caramel and well-rounded with assorted fruity sweet notes. You should pick up plum, cherry, wildflower, and rich yam notes. It is truly an interesting red tea that is packaged and sold as a black tea.
Chinese Oolong Tea (Wu Long Tea)
This is one of the most popular types of teas and is traditionally semi-oxidized. The process includes withering the plant in the sun and oxidation prior to curling and twisting the leaves. The oxidation level depends on the specific variety but can range from 8 to 85%. Tie Guan Yin oolong tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin.
Tie Guan Yin Tea – Monkey Picked Chinese Oolong Tea
Imported from China, this Chinese oolong tea features rolled tightly balled leaves. When steeping, the leaves unfurl to produce a clear, clean and refreshing tea. The tea is jade green in color and offers a taste that is light and naturally sweet. The aroma is earthy. This package will result in a fair amount of tea with one ounce of the leaves producing about 18 cups of tea.
Golden Moon – Organic Oolong Loose Leaf Tea
Grown on an organic friendly farm in the higher altitudes of China’s Fujian Province, this oolong tea is known to be a detox and weight loss tea. The leaves are harvested at their peak freshness and are 100% USDA certified organic. Each tin of Black Dragon oolong tea is gluten free, vegan and produced in an eco-friendly manner. The tea itself features a full flavor and fresh aroma and come complete with a full 90-day 100% money back guarantee.
Premium Chinese Slimming WuLong Tea
Promoted as a great option for weight management and disease fighting, this antioxidant-rich oolong tea is 100% pure and all-natural. There is no blending, no additives, no preservatives and no pesticides. In fact, the manufacturer states this wulong tea has been scientifically proven to melt away belly fat, reverse aging and prevent disease. The package comes in a 2,000mg size in an individually wrapped tea bag.
Chinese Flower Tea
Also known as blooming tea, this is a variety that involves the bundling of dried tea leaves around one or more dried flowers. Once bound together into a bulb, they are left to dry. The bundle gently opens when steeped in water resembling the blooming of a flower.
Chrysanthemum Tea – Tai Ju – Chinese Herbal Flower Tea
This Chinese flower tea is imported from China and features high quality, clean and fresh whole Chrysanthemum flowers. There are no loose pedals to be found. The tea is delicate with a sweet, refreshing taste and a slightly floral aroma. This tea will produce a lot with one ounce resulting in about 20 cups of steeped tea.
Red Rose Decaffeinated Herbal Flower Chinese Tea
This is a product that is imported from China and features high quality, clean and fresh whole red rose flowers and no loose pedals. The tea that is produced is described as tasty with a light flowery aroma and sweet taste. A one ounce measurement of the tea will produce about 12 cups of steeped tea.
11 Tea – Tea Sampler
For the person who has everything and you can’t decide what tea to give them, this sampler is perfect. It contains a total of eleven different types of loose leaf tea each individually packaged in small tins. The assortment includes Red Rose, Lemon Grass, Mint, Hibiscus, Saffron, Jasmine, Lavender, Peach Flower, Chrysanthemum, Chamomile and Linden Flower. Imported from China, so you know that the tea leaves are top quality.
Chinese White Tea
While there exists no clear definition of white tea, it generally consists of young tea leaves or leaves that have had little in the way of processing done to them. White teas are not oxidized or rolled which results in a light flavor compared to black or green teas.
Republic of Tea Emperors Gourmet White Tea
Grown in the mountains of China’s Fujian Province, this high altitude tea is rich in antioxidants which make it good for your health. The buds are hand-plucked just two days of the year which makes this a rare white tea. Once steeped, this tea produces a complex and sweet taste that is unmatched by any other tea. This product is non-GMO, gluten-free and sugar-free.
Chinese Fermented Tea/Dark Tea
The process of microbial fermentation produces this dark tea variety. The endo-oxidation from exposure to humidity and oxygen as well as exo-oxidation can take several months or many years. The best-known of these teas is Pu-Erh and Anhua dark.
Prince of Peace Premium Pu-Erh Tea Bags
Known as the most famous of the fermented teas from China, Pu-erh has been a popular choice for those seeking assistance with combating various health conditions. The compounds found in this tea make it useful in fighting cholesterol levels, as a body detoxifier, assists in dealing with digestive issues, helps with weight loss, fights stress and promotes relaxation for better sleep. You can’t say this tea doesn’t have more going for it than just taste alone.
Baisha River Organic Tea Fu Tea Anhua Dark Tea
This tea comes from the Anhua county of China’s Hunan Province and is the second best known of the Chinese fermented tea varieties. It features a pure aroma that is not sharp or bitter but pleasant. The tea itself steeps into a bright red color and offers a mellow taste. As this is a fermented tea, it has a long shelf life and you can extend that by storing it in a cool, dark location to reduce exposure to light and heat.
Chinese Yellow Tea
The process of producing yellow tea has made it the most rare and expensive of the tea varieties available. It goes through a process much like green tea only there is an added step. It involves encasing and steaming. The tea is oxidized slower and this gives it a mellow taste.
Tealyra Huang Cha Chinese Yellow Loose Leaf Tea
Organically grown, this rare tea features dark colored leaves that produce a yellow tea. Grown in China, once steeped this antioxidant rich drink has a pleasant floral scent of chrysanthemum and a faint hint of jasmine. The flavor of the tea is smooth with a rich, buttery feel. The sweet taste finishes with a hint of flower.
Chinese Scented Tea
The blending of different teas together to create a well-balanced flavor is essentially the process behind scented teas. The goal is to match a particular taste with each blend created in order to maintain a specific flavor. Blends may use leaves from various regions to accomplish this.
Tealyra Imperial Jasmine Dragon Pearls – Loose Leaf Green Tea
A high quality, organic Chinese Jasmine tea with a great taste and aroma. This Jasmine tea features a tasty, sweet flavor with hints of flower throughout. The sweetness of Jasmine not only dominates the scent of the package, it also hovers in the scent of the steeped tea leaving your kitchen or diningroom smelling nice and fresh. As Jasmine is a natural antidepressant, drinking this tea can improve your mood.
BestLeafTea Organic Osmanthus Dragon Well Long Jing
Selected from the HangZhou Province of China, this Osmanthus Long Jing Dragon Well tea is USDA certified organic. As a scented tea, when steeped it produces a sweet and strong aroma. The green tea is sweet with the flowery flavor of osmanthus. The manufacturer refers to this as the “newly famous scented tea” as it is something that has been embraced by longtime tea drinkers as well as a new generation of younger tea fans.
Taylors of Harrogate Lapsang Souchong Black Tea
Created in the high altitude mountains of China, this Lapsang Souchong tea features leaves that are dried on bamboo over smoking pine wood fires. This happens to be one of the oldest tea making methods in the world and the results are amazing. The tea leaves carry with them a unique, deep and rich smoky flavor. The steeped tea contains a dark, smoky blend of flavors.
Health Benefits From Chinese Tea
There has been a lot of documented proof that indicate your body and mind can be improved through the use of Chinese tea. It is far more than just a tasty beverage for many who consume it.
However, the effectiveness of these properties is often hard to quantify, but the list of reported health benefits includes the following:
Chinese tea has been clinically proven to reduce hypertension when consumed regularly. Combined with a healthy diet and light exercise, you can see how this can impact your health.
White tea in particular is known to be beneficial in improving your night vision. It is also one of many varieties of Chinese tea that can remedy the condition known as dry eyes.
Tooth Decay/Oral Hygiene
Oolong teas are believed to be effective in reducing the risk associated with dental issues including tooth decay. Combined with a proper oral hygiene routine, you can have healthy teeth.
The various compounds found within different types of Chinese tea can reduce your overall cholesterol level.
Chinese teas are known to be of a unique benefit to individuals who have experienced radiation therapy. They can have a positive effect on the damage done from exposure to radiation.
If you have a weakened immune system that causes you to get sick whenever a virus surfaces, Chinese tea can be your best defense. Many contain Vitamin C and high concentrations of antioxidants.
As most Chinese tea contains some caffeine, there are also other compounds found in various types that can increase your energy. This in turn keeps you alert and focused when working.
There is a lot more to tea grown in China than meets the eye. In addition to good taste, pleasant aroma and quality product, some of these teas also have health benefits. Hopefully this guide has helped you to better understand the important role Chinese tea can play in your life.
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