Tea Knowledge

China's Six Great Tea Categories: Which One Will You Fall in Love With?

China's Six Great Tea Categories: Which One Will You Fall in Love With?

  • Wednesday, 29 May 2024
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Tea, as China's national beverage, boasts a long history and profound cultural heritage. Throughout the centuries, Chinese tea culture has continuously evolved, giving rise to six major tea categories: green tea, black tea, oolong tea, yellow tea, white tea, and dark tea (also known as post-fermented tea). Each type of tea has its unique charm. Let's explore them together!

Green Tea: A Natural and Refreshing Taste
Green tea, also known as non-fermented tea, is made from young tea shoots through a process of pan-frying, rolling, and drying. It retains most of the natural substances found in fresh leaves, such as tea polyphenols and caffeine. Drinking a cup of green tea feels like immersing yourself in nature, experiencing a pure and refreshing taste.

Black Tea: Rich and Sweet Flavor
Black tea is made from young tea buds through a process of rolling, fermenting, and drying. During processing, tea polyphenols significantly decrease, while new compounds like theaflavins are produced. A sip of black tea offers a rich and sweet taste that lingers on your palate.

Oolong Tea: The Perfect Blend of Green and Black Tea
Oolong tea, also called "qing cha," is a semi-fermented tea. It combines the production methods of both green and black teas, offering the rich flavor of black tea and the fresh aroma of green tea. After drinking, a fragrant aftertaste remains in your mouth. Oolong tea is known for its unique health benefits in breaking down fat and promoting weight loss.

Yellow Tea: Unique "Yellowing" Process
Yellow tea is a new category that emerged during green tea production when the leaves turned yellow due to insufficient drying after pan-frying and rolling. Compared to green tea, yellow tea undergoes an additional "yellowing" step, which is the main difference between the two. Yellow tea has a bright yellow liquor and a fresh, pleasant taste.

White Tea: Simple Processing, Fresh Taste
White tea is a lightly fermented tea, named after the white downy buds that cover the finished product. The production process of white tea is simple, usually involving only withering and drying. This method preserves the tea's active compounds without promoting chemical reactions, retaining the maximum tea aroma and a fresh, clean taste.

Dark Tea (Post-Fermented Tea): Aged Flavor, Better with Time
Dark tea originated in Sichuan province, made by pressing green rough tea. The production process includes high-temperature pan-frying, rolling, pile-fermenting, and drying. Due to the use of older, coarser leaves and the lengthy pile-fermentation time, the finished tea has a dark black color. Dark tea improves with age, developing a unique, aged flavor over time.

Pu'er tea is a type of dark tea. It is a fermented tea produced in Yunnan Province, China. The tea leaves undergo a unique process of microbial fermentation and oxidation, which gives Pu'er tea its distinct earthy, smooth, and mellow flavor. Pu'er tea is known for its potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion, reducing cholesterol levels, and promoting weight loss. It is often aged for several years, and the older the tea, the more valuable and sought-after it becomes. Pu'er tea can be enjoyed on its own or with light snacks, and it is an integral part of Chinese tea culture.

Each of the six tea categories has its own merits. Regardless of your preference, take a moment to savor the tea's aroma as it slowly unfurls in your mouth, allowing your body and mind to relax and enjoy the experience. Which type of tea captivates you the most? Go ahead, brew a cup, and indulge in your own special tea moment.

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