8 classes of Chinese tea

8 classes of Chinese tea

There are many different stories with different versions about how in ancient times people discovered tea. According to most popular legend Chinese Emperor Shennong discovered when tea leave accidentaly dropped in the boiling water. Tea have a strong roots in Chinese culture and history. Along with firewood, rice, soy sauce, vinegar, oil and salt tea is considered to be one of the seven necessities of Chinese life.

Chinese tea is usually made of tea plants, Camellia Sinensis, and it is boiled around 83-90 degree water. Hot water helps to better observe scent and taste from the leaves. Tea can be consumed anytime of the day with meals or alone, usually without sugar. Chinese tea is well known for its beneficial effect to human health.

Camellia sinensis)

Chinese tea is a beverage made from the leaves of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) and boiled water. Tea leaves are processed using traditional Chinese methods. Chinese people drinks tea throughout the day including during meals as a substitute for plain water, for health or for simple pleasure.

Green tea

It is the most natural tea class.

Green tea leaves are picked and immediately sent to be dried or steamed to prevent fermentation whereas black tea and other types are left to ferment after they are picked

Green tea leaves are send to be dried with a heat. Such fast heating procedure prevents fermentation. It is the strongest tea and thus believed to be rich in medical value and has low caffeine. As all teas that are made of Camellia Sinesis, green tea is very healthy and can prevent many ailments. However if you are doing active sports, you should not consume more than one cup of green tea per day.

There exist several varieties of green tea that differ essentially due to growing conditions, horticulture, processing and time of harvest.

greentea3

Oolong tea also called Wulong tea

Oolong can be class of tea as well as kind of tea and is also known as blue tea. It is unfermented or half-fermented tea with relatively thick flavor. It is made by blending green and chinese red teas. It is the best tea to drink to lose weight; it emulsifies fat and cholesterol in your body.

chinese-oolong-tea-collection-19587981

It is considered to be quite strong thus should consumed wisely.

Black Tea.

This tea is dried, fully fermented and then roasted. It is also considered to be effective friend in fighting obesity and stablize cholestrol. Black tea is considered to be very strong and contains more coffeine than other Chinese teas. It is common for northwest and westerners of China to drink black tea everyday. The flavor of black tea is well preserved and can last for years. This was one of the crucial reasons to trade black tea to Europe centuries ago.

1_2__56762.1444478491.1280.1280Chinese Red tea

Because of similar look to a black tea in the Western countries, Chinese red tea is often mistaken for black tea.

red

Red tea is made from new shoots of (Camellia sinensis) tea plant leaves. The leaves are wilted, rolled, fermented and dried.

red1

White Tea

It is made of youngest (Camellia sinensis) tea plant leaves tips and buds. It is one of the most expensive tea classes. It is mainly produced in Fujian province.

White tea is light in color, aroma and flavor. It is considered to be a tea with lowest caffeine content. However, it still retains its anti-oxidation properties. Thus it is considered to be one of the healthiest teas. White tea is less popular than green or black tea. In the past, only emperor and highest social class could enjoy it.

White_Tea

Yellow tea

Yellow tea has a similar smell of red tea but tastes more like white tea or green tea without a grassy and a more mellower flavor. It‘s rarely being exported outside of China.

It is produced by allowing tea leaves to dry naturally.

Yellow tea was served to the emperor. Now it is considered to be expensive and less common tea. It‘s being rarely exported outside of China.

Most popular brand of yellow tea is Junshan Yinzhen which is produced in Hunan province.

yellow

Flower or Scented tea

This tea can contain aromatizing black, green or other popular tea leaves made of Camellia Sinensis which are usually wrapped around flower petals. Sometimes however, it can also be flower tea alone which only contains dried flowers such as lily, rose, jasmine, chrysanthemum, hibiscus and globe amaranth and these flowers makes scented tea strong and rich with floral fragnance. It is also believed to be useful in recovering from hangovers.

flower power

It is most popular in Northern China, but people enjoys it everywhere.

Pu-Erh Tea

Some people do compare Pu-Erh tea with fine wine because it shares many similarities.

“Like the great wine regions of the world, Pu-Erh Tea production is highly regulated to ensure the highest quality and authenticity.“ (http://www.thechineseteashop.com/puerhtea.html) Only tea that was made and aged in Yunnan province can be named Pu-Erh tea.

Before fermentation process, the tea is being carefully dried and rolled. It is being pressed and formed into specific shapes. Most common but not the only one is the shape of small cake. Tea should be left in contact with air in order to continue fermentation process. As a good vine Pu-Erh tea gains its value by aging.

pu-erh-tea

The tea is harvested around Lancang River.

lancang river

Each territory produces its own unique type of tea leaves. It ranges from tips and steams which are grown on tea plantation to highly valuable large and soft silver leaves which are picked from wild plants and trees that grow on the hillsides. Harvested leaves are sent to Pu-Erh City – a place where best tea recipes are made. The Pu-Erh tea is usually created of aged black tea.

These are the 8 classes of Chinese tea. Don’t forget to keep balance with everything that you consume. Treat your body carefully and don’t drink tea if you are on medicaments.

Enjoy!

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