If you plan on travelling to China or just want to know a little more about Chinese culture and daily life, you should learn the basics of Chinese tea. An understanding of Chinese tea will help you make friends with the locals, enjoy one of China’s more refined and relaxing past times and enable you to impress your friends and family.
Classes and Types of Chinese Tea
Green Tea – The most common and the most natural and least treated type of tea. Green tea is dried by heat and there is no fermentation. The most common types of green tea are Monkey King (no joke), Dragon Well and Green Snow.
Black Tea – The leaves are withered (dried), fermented for a long time then roasted. By the end of this process, the leaves are completely oxidized and black. The taste is pleasant with a mild aroma and a lot of caffeine, the most caffeinated of Chinese teas. Common types of black tea are Pu’er, Old Green Leaf and Edge tea.
Red Tea – A fermented tea that is mild in flavour and not very popular. The main types of red tea are Kung Fu Red and Yung De Red Tea.
Oolong Tea – Oolong tea is half fermented then fried, rolled and roasted. The flavour is normally strong and not a good choice for tea beginners such as foreign tourists. It is the most popular tea for Kung Fu tea that you’ll read about below. Popular Oolong teas are Iron Guanyin, Big Red Robe and Water Fairy.
Flower Tea – Made from dried flowers with minimal processing. Often uses green or red tea as a base then mixed with scented flowers. Flower tea is more popular in northern Chinese cities such as Beijing. The main types are Jasmine and Chrysanthemum that you may know about and Dragon Ball.
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