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How many categories of tea are there in China?
Update:2012-09-26       

The practice of drinking tea has had a long history in China. The Chinese drink tea during many parts of the day such as during meals for good health or for simple pleasure.

 

Chinese tea is a life time of enjoyment. Tea tasting has cultural meaning. Tea and tea wares should match surrounding elements such as breeze, bright moon, pines, bamboo, plums and snow. All these show the ultimate goal of Chinese culture: the harmonious unity of human beings with nature.

 

Chinese tea may be classified into five categories according to the different methods by which it is processed.

 

Green tea

Green tea is the variety which keeps the original colour of the tea leaves without fermentation during processing. This category consists mainly of Longjing tea of Zhejiang Province, Maofeng of Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province and Biluchun produced in Jiangsu.

 

Black tea

Black tea, known as "red tea" (hong cha) in China, is the category which is fermented before baking.

 

It is a later variety developed on the basis of the green tea. The best brands of black tea are Qihong of Anhui Province, Dianhong of Yunnan Province, Suhong of Jiangsu Province, Chuanhong of Sichuan Province and Huhong of Hunan Province.

 

Wulong tea

This represents a variety half way between the green and the black teas, being made after partial fermentation. It is a specialty from the provinces on China's southeast coast: Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan.

 

Compressed tea

This is the kind of tea which is compressed and hardened into a certain shape. It is good for transport and storage and is mainly supplied to the ethnic minorities living in the border areas of the country. As compressed tea is black in colour in its commercial form, so it is also known in China as "black tea". Most of the compressed tea is in the form of bricks; it is, therefore, generally called "brick tea", though it is sometimes also in the form of cakes and bowls. It is mainly produced in Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.

 

Scented tea

This kind of tea is made by mixing fragrant flowers in tea leaves in the course of processing. The flowers commonly used for this purpose are jasmine and magnolia among others. Jasmine tea is a well-known favourite with the northerners of China and with a growing number of foreigners.



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