A day in China is simply not complete without tea. It is an indispensable part of life for Chinese people, and appears in almost every major event in a Chinese person's life, for instance, birth celebrations, weddings, funerals, and even every major holiday. Tea plant is native to China. It is believed that Tea was first discovered over 2,000 years ago and its popularity has grown continuously. Today, it can be found across the globe.
Tea once played an important role in the economic development of China - the ancient Tea Horse Road bore the witness. In recent years Chinese tea has been discovered to have many medicinal properties and is prescribed by many doctors throughout the world as an antioxidant, a possible cancer preventative, and a wonderful way to lose weight. When you take a China tour, never miss the chance to sip a cup of tea. This amazing beverage is a delicious and fantastic way for you to discover part of China's ancient living culture.
Chinese Tea Types
Green Tea: Green tea is not fermented. Once picked the tea leaves are left in the sun to dry before being fried at a temperature of more than one hundred degrees to stop oxidation. Examples of green tea include the famous Dragon Well Tea of China's Hangzhou, and the Biluochun tea from China's Jiangsu Province. Green tea maintains its natural taste and has a pure and fresh fragrance. Green tea is normally brewed in clear glass cups so that the drinker can watch the tea leaves float and sink, and unfold in front of them.
Red Tea (Black Tea): Chinese Red Tea and Black Tea are the same tea. British black tea originated from Chinese Red Tea. Red Tea is heavily fermented. Its name is derived from the red color of the tea liquid and the leaves after they have been brewed. Red Tea is soothing to the taste and is wonderfully fragrant. Two famous examples of red tea are the Yixing Red Tea from Yixing County in China's Jiangsu Province and the Dian Red Tea from Yunnan Province.
Dark Tea: Dark Tea is unique among teas because it improves with age like a fine wine. As the tea's leaves age they become increasingly dark which gives Dark Tea its name. Dark Tea is also often called compressed tea because it is commonly compressed into bricks, cakes, bowls, or mushrooms to ease in transport. The most famous of all Dark Teas is Puer tea. Puer tea is reputed to be able to reduce blood pressure and help in losing weight. Dark Teas are rich and full-bodied tea with a pleasant aroma and beautiful liquid.
Oolong Tea: Oolong Tea is partly fermented. Its processing is in the middle between the freshness of Green Tea and the dark richness of Red Tea. Oolong's leaves are green in the middle and red on the edges. The production methods for Oolong Tea are very complicated and time-consuming but are worth the effort. Oolong Tea has a fresh rich taste and some of the better examples aroma and taste hint of orchids. There are two famous types of Oolong Tea: Tie Guanyin (Iron Goddess) Tea and Gaoshan Oolong. Both teas are fresh and full of flavor.
Yellow Tea: A fairly rare variety of tea, Yellow Tea is very difficult to find. Its name derives from the yellow liquid produced when brewing. The tea lacks much of the “grassiness” found in Green Tea and is light with a wonderful aroma. Two famous varieties of Yellow tea are Yellow Silver Needle Tea from Hunan Province and Yellow Bud Tea from Anhui Province. Both teas are very difficult to find but definitely worth the effort.
White Tea: White Tea is an uncured and unoxidized tea. Only young buds are used in the production of White Tea which results in very low caffeine content. White Tea is one of the rarest varieties of tea in China and can rarely be found outside of the country. Mainly produced in China's Fujian Province, White Tea's production methods are slow and time-consuming. Silver Needle and White Peony Teas belong to this group.