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The Guide for Chinese Tea

茶(chá, tea)
喝茶: (Hē chá,drink tea)
茶馆(Cháguǎn, tea house)
普洱茶(Pǔ’ěr chá, pu’er tea)
菊花茶(Júhuā chá ,chrysanthemum tea)
乌龙茶(Wūlóngchá , Oolong tea)
铁观音(Tiě guānyīn ,Tat-Kuan-Yin Tea / Iron Buddism)
绿茶(Lǜchá, green tea)
红茶(Hóngchá, black tea)
花茶 (Huāchá,Scented teas)
茉莉花茶(Mòlìhuā chá, jasmine tea)

Six Types of Chinese Tea

The Chinese people are without a doubt the ones who best understand the nature of tea. Originally, tea was valued for its medicinal qualities. It has long been known that tea aids in digestion, which is why many Chinese prefer to consume it after their meal. (Another interesting side effect for smokers is that tea hastens the discharge of nicotine from the body). The elevation of tea drinking to an art form began in the 8th century, with the publication of Lùyǔ’s(陆羽, a Tea Master during the peak of the Tang Dynasty.) “The Classic Art of Tea.” (茶经; chájīng) The highly esteemed poet and former Buddhist priest had strict notions about the proper procedure for brewing, steeping, and serving tea. For example, only water from a slow-moving stream was acceptable, and the tea leaves had to be placed in a porcelain cup. The perfect milieu for enjoying the finished product was in a pavilion next to a water lily pond, preferably in the company of a desirable woman.
Tea aficionados are often surprised to learn that all tea comes from the same source: the Camilla Sinensis bush. While there are hundreds are varieties of Chinese teas, most fall into six basic categories.

  • 白茶(Báichá, white tea )is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened.
  • 绿茶(Lǜchá, Green teas) are not fermented during processing, and thus retain the original color of the tea leaves. The most famous green tea is the expensive 龙井茶(Lóngjǐng chá,Dragon Well tea), grown in the hillsides of 杭州(Hángzhōu, Capital of Zhejiang Province).
  • 红茶( Hóngchá,black teas) are made from fermented leaves, which accounts for their darker color. Popular varieties of black tea include Bo lei, a Cantonese tea often drunk with dim sum, and luk on – a milder tea favored by the elderly.
  • 乌龙茶(Wūlóngchá, oolong teas) are partially fermented, resulting in a black-green tea. Examples of oolong tea include Soi sin, a bitter tasting brew cultivated in the Fukien province.
  • 黄茶(huáng chá) -Yellow Tea is basically pan fried green tea. Yellow tea leaves have a slower drying phase to Green tea, which allows the leaves to sit and turn yellow.
  • 花茶 (Huāchá, scented teas) made by mixing various flowers and petals with green or oolong teas. The best known among these is 茉莉花茶(Mòlìhuā chá, jasmine tea).

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