Chinese tea has a history of thousands of years. At present, there are at least a thousand kinds of tea, which can be classified into six categories.
Every few years, the relevant institutions of China will select the top 10 famous Chinese teas from these teas. For each selection, most of the teas are still on the list; only a few are changed. It can be seen that the influence of the famous teas are long-lasting and accepted by most people.
The reason why famous tea is famous depends on its unique style, which is mainly reflected in the color, fragrance, taste, and shape of the tea. Some famous teas are often known for their one or two unique characteristics.
This list is in no particular order. Each tea is famous. There is no difference between high and low.
1. Biluochun (Pi Lo Chun)
Biluochun has a history of more than 1,000 years and can be dated back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). It was listed as a tribute tea at that time.
High-quality Biluochun is made from 100% of buds, so it has very high quality. 500g of Biluochun tea leaves need 60,000 to 70,000 buds to be made.
According to its quality, Biluochun can be classified into five grades. The higher the grade, the better the shape, color, and taste of it.
2. Xinyang Maojian (The King of Green Tea)
Xinyang Maojian is a kind of green tea, produced in Xinyang City of Henan Province and it is a specialty of this province.
As early as the Tang Dynasty, the teas produced in Xinyang were send to the emperor as Gong Cha (Tribute tea). But at that time, there was no name for the teas.
Until 1913, the local tea farmers created higher tea named “Xinyang Maojian”.
Xinyang Maojian is produced around the Qingming Festival (around April 5), when the tea buds are very tender, so it has very high quality. Due to its high quality, Xinyang Maojian is honored with the title “The Kind of Green Tea”.
Its brand has been ranked second in the regional public brand value of tea in China for many years. The first is Pu-erh tea and the third is Biluochun tea.
3. Longjing (The Queen of Green Tea)
Longjing literally called Dragon Well is a kind of green tea, produced in Longjing Village around the West Lake (Xihu) in Hangzhou City of Zhejiang Province, so it is also called Xihu Longjing.
Longjing tea has a history of more than 1,000 years. In the past thousand years, Longjing tea had developed continually, and it has become a famous green tea in the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). In ancient times, many poets wrote poems to praise Longjing tea.
In the Qing Dynasty (AD 1636-1912), the Qianlong Emperor conferred the title “Imperial Tea” on Longjing tea.
In modern times, Longjing tea has a popular title “The Queen of Green Tea” due to its taste, fragrance, shape, and high quality.
4. Junshan Yinzhen (Junshan Silver Needle)
Junshan Yinzhen is literally called Junshan Silver Needle because its shape is like a needle and the tea leaves are covered with a layer of white fluffs. Yin means “Silver” and Zhen means “Needle”.
It is a kind of Huang Ya Cha made from 100% of tender buds and It has the best quality among all Chinese yellow tea. In the Tang Dynasty, Junshan Yinzhen was listed as Gong Cha (Tribute Tea).
5. Huang Shan Mao Feng
Huang Shan Mao Feng is a kind of green tea, produced in Huang Shan (Mount Huang or literally called Yellow Mountain) in Huang Shan City of Anhui Province. It is originated in the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279).
Unlike other green teas, the color of Huang Shan Mao Feng is yellow-green or golden-green which is similar to that of yellow tea. It has this unique style due to a special tea tree variety and its growth environment.
“Golden fish-shaped leaf” and “White fluffs exposed” are two obvious characteristics of Huang Shan Mao Feng.
6. Wuyi Rock Tea (Yancha)
The tea trees are growing in the cracks and gaps of the rocks on the Wuyi Mountains, so the teas produced from these trees are called Wuyi Rock tea. Wuyi Rock tea is famous for its unique Yen flavor that is a kind of special fragrance.
Wuyi Rock tea is just a general name. There are many kinds of Wuyi Rock tea and the most famous Wuyi rock tea is Da Hong Pao tea.
7. Keemun Tea (The Queen of Black Tea)
The earliest records about Keemun tea can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), but the recent Keemun tea only has a history of more than 100 years. The Japanese called it “Rose” and the British businessman called it “Keemun”.
Keemun tea has a special fragrance called “Qimen Fragrance” which is similar to that of fruit, flower, or honey.
In history, Keemun tea is the favorite beverage of the British Queen and the Royal Family. With a high reputation, Keemun tea has a laudatory title of “The Queen of The Black Tea”.
8. Duyun Maojian
Duyun Maojian is a kind of green tea, produced in Duyun City of Guizhou Province.
Duyun Maojian is also called “Fishhook Tea” or “Bird’s Tongue Tea” because the tea leaves of it are curled like fishhook or bird’s tongue. The name “Duyun Maojian” is named by Chairman Mao in 1956.
Duyun Maojian has the characteristics of “three yellow in green”. The color of dried tea leaves is yellow in green; the color of its soup is yellow in green; the color of brewed tea leaves is yellow in green.
9. Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess Tea)
Tieguanyin tea is a kind of oolong tea, produced in Anxi County of Fujian Province. It is also called Iron Goddess or Iron Guanyin. “Tie” means “Iron” and “Guanyin” means “Goddess of Mercy”.
Tieguanyin tea was first created by the Anxi people during 1725-1735.
Tieguanyin tea has a unique “Guanyin Flavor” (or Guanyin Yun). After brewing, it has a natural long-lasting orchid fragrance, so it has the reputation of “Still have fragrance after seven times of brewing”.
Tieguanyin tea includes four varieties. Each of them has unique fragrance and taste.
10. Lu An Gua Pian
Lu An Gua Pian is a famous traditional green tea, produced in Lu An City of Anhui Province. It is a tribute tea in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912 AD). After the founding of New China, Lu An Gua Pian was often given to foreign envoys as a gift tea.
Lu An Gua Pian is made from the material that is all single leaf, which is the only one without buds and stalks among all the tea leaves in the world. The shape of the single leaf is like a melon seed, so it is called Gua Pian (a piece of melon seed).
Lu An Gua Pian is famous or its unique characteristics and its traditional producing technology. At present, there is no machine to complete this traditional technique instead of manual work.
Famous green tea:
- Biluochun (Pi Lo Chun)
- Xinyang Maojian
- Huang Shan Mao Feng
- Duyun Maojian
- Lu An Gua Pian
Famous oolong tea:
- Wuyi Rock Tea (Yancha)
- Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess Tea)
Famous black tea:
- Keemun Tea
Famous yellow tea:
- Junshan Yinzhen (Junshan Silver Needle)