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Types of Chinese Tea

China was one of the first countries to grow and process tea in the world. With the regional features, various kinds of tea trees, and different tea processing methods, Chinese tea can be divided into many types, such as black tea, green tea, scented tea, Oolong tea, white tea, tea lumps, and so forth. Green tea, yellow tea, white tea, oolong tea, black tea and post-fermented tea are known as the main six categories of Chinese tea.

Green Tea

A kind of non-fermented tea, green tea was made of the sprouts of tea trees, after being  water-removing , rolling and drying. Green tea has the longest history (over 3000 years) and still ranks first in production and variety in China, accounting for 70% of the total tea production. The main production areas of Chinese green tea include Zhejiang Province, Anhui Province and JIangxi Province. Famous Chinese green tea include Longjing Tea from the West Lake of Hangzhou, Maofeng Tea from Huangshan Mountain, Yinzhen Tea from Junshan Mountain, Maojian Tea from Xinyang, Henan Province, Yunwu Tea from Lushan Mountain and Biluochun Tea from Jiangsu.

Green tea has special effects on slowing down aging, anti-canter, sterilization and inflammation. Frequently drinking green tea helps to reduce blood fat and lose weight. Smokers are suggested to drink green tea to reduce the damage caused by nicotine. However, green tea is not suitable for people suffered from neurasthenia.  

Green Tea

Black Tea

Chinese black tea also enjoys a good reputation both at home and abroad. Different from green tea, black tea is thoroughly fermented. The tea sprouts and youngest leaves will wither, and then be rolled, fermented and dried. Black tea has dark red tea soup, thus it is also named red tea in China. Famous Chinese black teas include Dian Black Tea from Yunnan, Keemum Black Tea from Anhui, and Yi Black Tea from Hubei. The tea plantation area of Keemum Black Tea in Qimen is highly valued and protected by the nation.

Research indicates that drinking black tea helps to digest, warm the stomach, refresh and eliminate fatigue. Black tea also has a limited effect in slowing down aging and anti-cancer. However, black tea is not suitable for women during the menstrual period, the pregnancy, or menopause, and patients with neurasthenia or gallstone.   

Black Tea

Oolong Tea

Also known as Qingcha, Oolong tea is a kind of semi-fermented tea. The processing of oolong tea combines the making methods of green tea and black tea. Therefore, oolong tea possesses the freshness of green tea and the fragrance of black tea. In recent years, it has become popular with more and more people for healthcare function and its effects in helping to reduce high blood pressure lower the cholesterol, prevent coronary heart disease and aid digestion.

Famous Chinese oolong teas include Taiwan Paochong Oolong Tea, Anxi Oolong Tea and Wuyi Rock Tea. Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) of Wuyi Rock Tea variety and Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) of Anxi Oolong Tea are two of top 10 Chinese teas, and very good gifts to buy in China. 

Chinese Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea 

White Tea

White tea is as white as silver, and tastes mild and mellow. The major producing areas are Fujian's Zhenghe and Fuding. Famous Chinese white tea varieties include Shoumei Tea, Gongmei Tea and White Peony Tea.

Healthcare functions of white tea: it helps improve eyesight, protect liver, promote better blood sugar control and guard against heat. 

White Tea

Yellow Tea

The processing of yellow tea is similar to that of green tea, except that the teas are over brewed to make the leaves yellow. Chinese yellow tea falls into three varieties: yellow bud tea, yellow small tea and yellow big tea. Junshan Yinzhen (Silver needle) Tea, Mengding Huangya Tea, Wenzhou Huangstang Tea are the most famous Chinese yellow tea.     
Yellow tea is good for spleen and stomach and help to digest and metabolize fats. 

types of Chinese tea
Junshan Yinzhen Tea
Dark Tea  

Post-fermented tea or dark tea (literally black tea) is one of the traditional Chinese teas and unique to China. Tea farmers pick the relatively old tea leaves to manufacture dark tea, thus the tea has a dark black color. Black tea is usually made into brick tea, compacted tea and tea lump. Famous dark tea types include the Fu Tea from Hunan Province, Pu’er Tea from Yunnan Province, Tibet Tea from Ya’an, Sichuan Province, Liupu Tea from Guangxi and the Old Dark Tea from Hubei.  
Drinking Chinese dark tea can help lower blood sugar, prevent diabetes, anti-aging and prolong life.  

Pu'er tea
Pu’er Tea  
Scented Tea 

Scented tea (also called Flower Tea) is a variety unique to China, having the smells of flowers. When put in boiled water, 

the dried flowers spread as fresh as they were just picked up. Sweet osmanthus, jasmine, rose, orchid and plum flowers can all be used.

types of Chinese tea
Scented tea 

Leicha and Oil Tea

Besides the famous brands of tea in China, there are special kinds of tea among the minority people - Leicha ( Pounded Tea) in several places such as Hunan province, Fujian province and Guangdong province, and Oil Tea in Guangxi.

Leicha has a history of more than 1,600 years. Prounded tea, Hakka people's traditional tea custom, has come down to us as Chinese tea custom from ancient times. Chinese herbal medicines and ginger, peanut, sesame green bean and other ingredients are pounded together in to powder, and then drink with boiled water. It can stimulate body energy and is believed to be good for the liver and stomach.


Oil tea, a special type of Chinese tea and popular among the Miao and Dong minority nationalities in Guangxi, has a similar procedure of making the leicha. The local people often entertain their guests with oil tea on festivals and holidays. Refreshments, such as cakes, sweet potatoes, peanuts and fried soybeans are often served with the tea.

Chinese oil tea
Oil tea