Ben Shan tea is a kind of Chinese oolong tea, produced in Anxi County of Fujian Province. The famous oolong tea Tieguanyin tea is also originated in Anxi. Ben Shan tea is one of the four famous oolong teas in Anxi.
The shape and taste of Ben Shan tea are very similar to that of Tieguanyin tea, so it is also called “the younger brother of Tieguanyin tea”. In addition, Hairy Crab tea, also produced in Anxi County, is also similar to Tieguanyin tea in appearance.
1. History of Ben Shan tea
According to the tea book <Anxi Tea Industry Survey>, Ben Shan tea was first discovered around 1870. Because the discoverer’s name is Yuanxing, the tea tree’s name is called Yuanxing species and now called Ben Shan species.
Ben Shan tea tree was recognized as a fine variety in 1984 at the national examination and approval meeting of tea varieties. The cultivation area of Ben Shan tea ranks third in Anxi County.
2. Characteristics of Ben Shan tea
Ben Shan tea is closely related to Tieguanyin tea, but its growth and adaptability are better than Tieguanyin tea, so its yield is high and the price is relatively low.
The shape of the dried Ben Shan tea is granular and fat; its color is green and green-yellow. This appearance is very similar to that of Tieguanyin tea.
After brewing, the tea soup of Ben Shan tea is light yellow and has a light orchid fragrance. The tea soup’s color is also similar to that of Tieguanyin tea, but the fragrance is weaker than Tieguanyin tea’s.
Ben Shan tea tastes no astringent and has a sweet aftertaste. But its taste disappears faster in the oral cavity, without the lasting flavor like Tieguanyin tea.
Although the quality of Ben Shan tea is good, its quality is still below that of Tieguanyin tea. The top-grade Ben Shan tea can be equivalent to the middle grade of Tieguanyin tea at most.
And because of the great fame of Tieguanyin tea, many Ben Shan tea have become the “fake” of Tieguanyin tea on the market. But because the price of Ben Shan tea is more friendly to the people, the sales volume of Ben Shan tea is also very good.
3. Legend of Ben Shan tea
In ancient times, there was a man who sincerely worshipped Avalokitesvara. Every morning, he would worship a cup of tea in front of Avalokitesvara’s statue.
Once when he was worshiping tea to the statue, Avalokitesvara appeared and pointed out that there was a divine tea in the rock somewhere that could be picked.
So he trudged up to the rock and found the tea. The leaves of the tea tree glistened with iron light. Therefore, he carefully transplanted the tea into his home and maintained it. This is the ancestor of Ben Shan tea.