Tea Categories


What are the top 10 ?

I believe the answer is subjective like People magazine’s 50 “Most Beautiful People”.

Through several thousands years, the varieties and processing methods of Chinese tea have undergone tremendous change from one dynasty to another. The use of some splendid ancient teas declines or even becomes extinct as new teas emerge in every era.

Each new tea excels the last one, similar to how the waves that are behind in the Yangtze River drive on those in front. Every variety of tea has its own rise and fall in history.

First, we should know that the same fresh green leaves, as new material, will turn into totally different processed tea. Modern tea can be divides into six major categories dew to the diverse processing methods, as in the following chart.

The 7th category is scented tea.  It is a unique variety of tea, which doesn’t belong to any of the six major tea categories.

It has a reprocessing process, during which, ready-made green tea, black tea, Oolong of the six major teas will be blended with fresh flowers. The Tea leaves will slowly absorb the scent of flowers (see the picture here) in stillness. After a while, the farmers screen out the flower residue and dry the leaves, and the scented tea will be obtained.


The six tea categories :

1-Green tea

Xu Fu Long Ya

Features : Non fermented
Typical names :
Tunlu, Xihu Longjing, Bi Luo Chun, Huang Shan Maofeng, Pingshui Zhu Cha (Pearl-shaped Tea), Taipin Houkui, Lushan Yunwu, Guzhu Zisun (purple Bamboo Shoot), Xinyang, Maojian.

Remarks : Chinese green teas have the richest choices.

Green tea : The majority of the famous teas in China are green teas. They contain more nutrients and chlorophyll compared with other teas due to the absence of fermentation during processing.

Based on the production method, green teas include the fired ones such as Zongjing and Bi Luo Chun, and steamed ones were popular in China before the Ming Dynasty. Now days there is Yulu of Japan that have a fresh jade-green color.

Chinese Green tea is light and refreshing. Well known for its many health benefits, Chinese Green tea helps to prevent cancer, lowers cholesterol & blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, prevents cavities, reduces stress and regulates aging.

2-Black tea

Features : Fully fermented
Typical names :
Qimen Black Tea (Keemun), Yunnan Black Tea, Zhengshan Xiaozhong.

This type is actually called red tea in Chinese. Full-fermentation causes the red liquor in the cup.

Tastes thick and robust. Tea connoisseurs appreciate Chinese Black tea as a beverage with various purifying qualities. Chinese Black tea blends easily with other flavors to create a rich and exquisite taste. Regular consumption of Chinese Black tea can reduce risk of stroke.

3-Yellow tea

Features : Stacked
Typical names :
Junshan Yinzhen, Mengding Huangya (Yellow bud).

The production is similar to that of green tea, however, it is stacked so that its liquor appears yellow. Famous kinds are Junshan Yinzhen and Megding Yellow Bud.

4-White tea

Features : Steamed
Typical names :
Baihao Yinzhen, White Peony, Shoumei.

Remarks : More of them are from Fujian Province in China.

White tea : It is steamed to retain its taste and scent of sunshine. Typical types are Baihao Yinzhen or White Peong.

Chinese White & Yellow teas are light and delicately smooth. They are the least processed tea, undergoing just steaming and drying, leaving it close to its natural state. Recent studies have shown that these teas contains more cancer-fighting antioxidants than any other teas.

5-Oolong tea

Features : Semi-fermented

Typical names :

Anai Tie Guan Yin (Tieh Kwan Yin), Huang Jingui.

Remarks : More of them are from the South of the Fujian Province in China.

Da Hong Pao (Red Robe), Tie Luchan, Bai Jiguan, Shui Jingui, Shuixian, Rougui

Remarks : More of them are from the North of the Fujian Province in China.

Fenghuand Dancong.

Remarks : Grow in Guangdong Province of China.

Baihao Oolong, Donding Oolong.

Remarks : Grow in Taiwan (Formose).

Oolong tea : This unique Chinese tea variety, also known as semi-fermented possesses distinctive characteristics featured by both the fermentation of black tea and non-fermentation of green tea. The tea leaves are red at edge and green in the center after brewing.

Flowery sweet aroma combined with a pleasantly sweet aftertaste, Chinese Oolong tea never ceases to lose its appeal no matter how often you drink it. Chinese Oolong tea increases your body energy, promotes metabolism, controls obesity and helps to regulate aging.

6-Dark tea

Feng Huang Tuo Cha
Features : Compressed
Typical names : Pu’er Tea, Other tea bricks and Bowl tea.

These leaves are compressed into shapes of bricks, cakes, and bowls, for long-distance transportation and storage.

Dark tea

Pu’er & Dark tea are renowned for its medicinal qualities. Unlike other teas, Pu’er’s & Dark Tea quality and taste improves with age. It’s taste is often described as earthy but some very well aged Pu’er produce cups of incredibly smooth and wonderfully complex beverage.

7-Reprocessing tea

Eight Treasures Tea No 1

Features : Scented tea

Typical products :

Jasmine tea, Rose tea, Osmantus tea.

Remarks : Flowers-scented.

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