Tea is one of the essential parts of Chinese people's lives. The custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China and green tea is the most popular type of tea there.
It has been proven that the day assumption of green tea have many health effects including reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, loose weigh and anti-aging.
Here are eight high-quality teas with a high reputation in China. Most of the teas are named after their original producing areas.
1. West Lake Dragon Well Tea (西湖龙井Xī hú Lóngjǐng)
- Producing area: West Lake area in Hangzhou
Dragon Well tea, also known as Longjing tea, is the most famous green tea in China and is renowned around the world. It enjoys a high reputation for the sake of its gentle flavor and pleasing aroma.
There are various types of Dragon Well tea in China, but the authentic Dragon Well tea is the one where the tea is grown within the West Lake area in Hangzhou. Shi Feng(Lion Peak), Longjing, Wuyun Mountain, Hupao and Meijiawu are recognized as the five finest producing regions.
2. Biluochun (碧螺春 Bìluóchūn)
- Producing area: Dongting Mountain, Suzhou
The name Biluochun literally means "Green Snail Spring". It is cropped during the spring equinox and "grain rain" period (according to the 24 solar terms), and it has a curled shape resembling a snail. It has a strong aroma and fruity taste.
3. Huangshan Maofeng Tea (黄山毛峰 Huángshān Máofēng)
- Producing area: Huizhou City, Anhui
Huangshan Maofeng tea (literally meaning "Yellow Mountain Fur Peak") originates from the Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province. It has been famous since the Guangxu Emperor's reign during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and it's picked in the early spring. It has peak-shaped leaves with ivory-tinted hairs, and its golden tea is slightly sweet and fragrant with a lingering aftertaste.
4. Taiping Houkui Tea (太平猴魁, Tàipíng Hóukuí)
- Producing area: Yellow Mountain, Anhui
Taiping houkui literally means "monkey leader" in Taiping Prefecture (now the Huangshan area). It has a straight shape just like a bamboo leaf which is rare among tea and its leaves are larger than other types.
5. Lu'an Melon Seed Tea (六安瓜片Lù'ān Guāpiàn )
- Producing area: Lu'an City, Anhui
Lu'an Melon Seed tea was a type of tribute tea for the imperial family during the Qing Dynasty. The Guangxu Emperor (1871-1908) and Empress Dowager Cixi were very fond of it.
Lu'an Melon Seed tea also has a very high nutritional value. It was widely used to prevent sunstroke by the Chinese during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
6. Xinyang Maojian Tea (信阳毛尖 Xìnyáng Máojiān)
- Producing area: Xinyang City, Henan Province
Maojian (毛尖"hairy tips") is a special type of tea. "Hairy" refers to the "tiny fuzz in cup" when it's brewed, while "tips" refers to the shape of the sharp, full, and young tea leaves.
Compared to other types of tea, Xinyang Maojian leaves are relatively small, being well-known since the late Qing Dynasty, with a green color, white hairs, and a thin and firmly rolled appearance with both ends in a pointed shape.
7. Lushan Yunwu Tea (庐山云雾 Lúshān Yúnwù Chá)
- Producing area: Lushan, JiuJiang City, Jiangxi Province
Listed as a tribute tea in the Song Dynasty(960-1279), Yunwu ("cloud mist") tea is grown on Lushan Mountain, Jiangxi Province. It is famous all over China owing to its origin on Lushan Mountain, and it's characterized by its tender leaves, jade green luster, clear tea and sweet flavor.
8. Nanjing Rain Flower Tea (南京雨花茶 Nánjīng Yǔ Huā Chá )
- Producing area: Yuhuatai District, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province
Nanjing Rain Flower Tea is a special type of green tea, which was named after the area it's grown in: Yuhua tai, Nanjing City. It is also known in Chinese as Yu Hua Cha which is a local product of Nanjing.
Nanjing Rain Flower tea leaves are processed with great care and have a delicate appearance with a pine needle shape. It has a light, smooth, and sweet flowery taste and has received a high reputation in Southeast Asia so that people consider it to be the perfect gift.
Infusion of Green Tea
According to the Chinese tea ceremony tradition, green tea should be infused three times, and each infusion has its own points for attention.
- The water used should be 80°C (176°F) to 85°C (185°F).
- Infuse for 2-3 minutes each time.
- Consume the tea (all three infusions) within 30 minutes.
The First Infusion of Green Tea — Fresh and Fragrant
Attention should be paid to the leaves dancing in the boiling water during the first infusion of tea. Drink it slowly in small sips to taste its fresh and fragrant flavor.
The Second Infusion of Green Tea — Strongest Taste
When two thirds of the first infusion is consumed, add the second infusion to the fair cup. (You'll need one vessel for brewing, one vessel for distributing –the fair cup, and cups for drinking.).
The second infusion of tea has a much stronger flavor and a lingering fragrance, which makes you feel fresh and joyous, and you're supposed to concentrate your attention on its flavor.
The Third Infusion of Green Tea — a Lighter Tea to Finish
When half of the second infusion of tea is left, add the third infusion to the fair cup.
The tea is typically light in color and possibly inspired in flavor by the third infusion. Some Chinese add sugar to the third infusion of tea to boost the flavor.
Green Tea's Benefit
It has not been proven that daily consumption of green tea has any health benefits, though it is statistically associated with lessened risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death from any cause. However, this may be linked more with the less-stressed lifestyle and increased water consumption of habitual green tea drinkers, compared to non-green-tea-drinkers, than the tea itself.
Green tea makes up over 50% of China's tea market share. In TCM it has a high medicinal value and is, therefore, used as both a beverage and a medicine in China.
Take a Tea Culture Experience Tour with China Highlights
We have designed a tour specially for tea fans to experience tea culture at Meijiawu Tea Plantation.1-Day Dragon Well Tea Culture Tour.
What You Will Experience in this Tour:
- Step into a tea plantation at Meijiawu Village and pick tea leaves by hand.
- Learn from a local tea specialist the process of stir-frying tea and the art of making tea.
- Visit the China National Tea Museum to glean a general idea of Chinese tea classification and history.
- Sample a local tea snacks banquet.
Or just tell us your interests and requirements and we will help you to create your own tea culture tour.