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Chinese Tea

Chinese tea is a beverage, Chinese tea is a pass time, Chinese tea is a culture. Whatever you think Chinese tea is, Chinese tea is a life time of enjoyment. If you are new to Chinese tea, this page contains interesting Chinese tea knowledge that would get you started. Waste no time, let's do Chinese tea!


Chinese tea has been around for thousands of years. China is hometown of tea and has a long history of tea tree planting, tea produce and tea drinking. Chinese tea was first discovered and used as medicine. According to the earliest legend, God of Agriculture (GoA), was one of the prehistoric representatives of Chinese people. He was known to have invented agriculture, medicine. And he was said to be the one who found tea. In (GoA's Book of Herb), it says "GoA personally tasted hundreds of herb. In a single day, he was hit by 72 poisons. But he discovered the tea tree and used the tea leaves to neutralize all poisons." That is probably the record of tea among Chinese people. China is the origin of tea. It was in the South-West part of China that Chinese tea was first found. South-Western China falls in the tropical and sub-tropical climate zone. It is covered by large areas of primeval forests. The warm and moist environment is the perfect cradle for tea trees.


Then Chinese tea evolved into a food and beverage, and further in to part of Chinese culture. In the next stage, Chinese tea was cooked like a soup. Tea leaves were eaten along with the soup. Tea leaves were even mixed with food. Ancient Chinese books documented that tea was eaten and used with other spices to cook at this stage. During the Qin, Han Dynasty (221 BC - 8 AD), simple processing of Chinese tea emerged. Tea leaves were pressed into ball shapes, dried and stored. When served, tea balls were crushed and mixed with green onion, ginger, etc., and then boiled in teapots. This is the point where Chinese tea turned from a medicine into a beverage. Also, it marked the beginning of Chinese tea being used to treat guests.

Tea culture
In china, tea culture is unique art combining high quality tea leaf, tea set or service and tea making skill. Chinese tea culture came to the height of power and splendor in the Tang Dynasty and spreaded over the world.

Chinese tea evolved from a palace treat to a common beverage during the Jin Dynasty and Nan Bei Zhao (265 AD - 589 AD). Later during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD), Chinese tea trading had became extremely busy. Techniques in tea plantation and processing advanced in great speed. Lots of famous teas were developed. 


In the Tang Era, Chinese tea was processed and circulated in the form of tea cakes. People started to get serious about making tea. Specialized tea tools were used and tea books were published - including the most famous "Literature of Tea" by Lu Yue. The art of Chinese tea started to take shape. That was a big leap of Chinese tea into the cultural territory.

"Tea became popular in Tang and prospered in Song (960 - 1276)". In the beginning of Song Dynasty, Chinese tea was kept in the shape of balls and cakes. When served, tea was crushed and boiled with seasoning material. But as tea drinkers became more particular, they paid more respect to the original shape, color, and taste of tea leaves. Seasoning material faded out and loose leave tea started to take the center stage.The fame of Chinese tea was owing much to Chinese 'Tea saint' – Luyu and his literature Tea Book.


Classes of Chinese tea
There are a variety of teas such as Green tea, Oolong tea, Black tea, Flower tea, yellow tea, Red tea, White tea and Yellow tea in China. And some Chinese teas, produced in different places, have their distinctive taste and flavor and are always local specialty for traveler.


Most famous Chinese teas
It's not straight forward. Different Chinese tea books and tea drinkers have different lists and THE 10 Most Famous Chinese Teas list doesn't seem to exist. The following Chinese teas are ranked by the frequency they appear on 20 lists from various references.

Chinese Tea Name Pronunciation English Tea Place of Origin (Province of Origin)


Long Jing

Dragon Well

Xi Hu (Zhe Jiang)


Bi Luo Chun

Spring Snail

Tai Hu (Jiang Su)


Tie Guan Yin

Iron Goddess

An Xi (Fu Jian)


Mao Feng

Fur Peak

Huang Shan (An Hui)


Yin Jan

Silver Needle

Jun Shan (Hu Nan)


Qi Men Hung

Qi Men Red

Qi Men (An Hui)


Da Hung Pao

Big Red Robe

Wu Yi Shan (Fu Jian)


Gua Pien

Mellon Seed

Liu An (An Hui)


Bai Hao Yin Jan

White Fur Silver Needle

Fu Ding (Fu Jian)




Si Mao (Yun Nan)


Wu Lung


Nan Tou (Taiwan)


Yun Wu

Cloud & Fog

Lu Shan (Jiang Xi)


Mao Jian

Fur Tip

Sin Yang (Hu Nan)


Gan Lu

Sweet Dew

Ming Ding (Si Chuan)


Mao Jian

Fur Tip

Du Yun (Gui Zhou)


Muo Li Hua


Su Zhou (Jiang Su)


Yu Lu

Jade Dew

En Si (Hu Bei)


Zhu Cha

Pearl Tea

Ping Shui (Zhe Jiang)


Hou Kui

Monkey King

Tai Ping (An Hui)



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