Guide to Chinese Green Teas

26 07 2009

This is a guide to Chinese Green Teas. China produces various tea types, unlike Japan where we primarly find green teas. In this article I will focus on green teas only.

Chinese green teas can be quite confusing, as you’ll find maybe different names and spelling variants. A good thing to know is that the full tea names often consist of their growing location name and the tea variation name, so if we take Xi Hu Long Jing for example – Xi Hu – is the name of the place the tea is grown and Long Jing is the tea variation. There is many Long Jing teas from different places and provinces like Qian Tang Long Jing or Shi Feng Long Jing. Let’s take up some of the more common Chinese Greens.

Long-JingLong Jing “Dragon Well” aka. Lung Ching – often regarded as the Chinese national tea, a favorite of govenrment leaders, has flat shaped leaves of fresh yellow-green color, picking of the leaves is done by hand, the most famous and rare Dragon Well tea is Xi Hu Long Jing grown on a 168 square km area in West Lake region. There is much to say about this particular tea as it has an imperial history and a rigorous harvesting tradition. Dragonwell has seven grades Superior, Special and 1-5.

BiLuoChunBi Luo Chun “Green Spring Snail” – this tea can vary in appearance, sometimes the leaves are semi-curled, other times they are twisted and wavy with a lot of small white hairs. It comes from Dong TIng mountain in Jiangsu Province and is one of the most fameous Chinese teas. “Scary Fregrance” (Xia Sha Ren Xiang) was it’s first name, but it was later changed by Emperor Kangxi, because it didn’t give justice to its quality. The taste is floral, fruity and light.

Chun-MeeChun Mee “Precious Eyebrows” – has a dusty, curved and curled appearance and a slightly smoky, plum aroma. The taste is full-bodied and refreshing. The rolled leaves are thick and broad. Originally produced in Jiangxi Province. Its name comes from the shape of the leaves, which is to resemble an eyebrow.

GunpowderZhu Cha“Gunpowder”- this tea is tightly rolled into small pellets (which resemble gunpowder pellets) and it has a distinctive smoky aroma comparable to tobacco. This form aloowes the tea to retain more flavor and aroma. The shine on the pellets indicates good quality and freshness. Gunpowder is produced in Zhejiang Province of China.

Zhu-Ye-QingZhu Ye Qing “Green Bamboo Leaf” – a tea from mount Emei in Sichuan Province, grown at an elevation of 1300 meters (4000 ft). The leaves look like bamboo leaves – they have a slightly flat and plump appearance and a dark emerald color. The liquor has nutty hints and a fresh taste. It’s a new tea, created by a monk in the early 1960s.

Hou-KuiHou Kui “Monkey King” – tea of two leaves and a large bud covered with white hairs with a flat appearance and waffle-like pattern, best known as Tai Ping Hou Kui. It comes from Taiping County in Anhui Province. It is recoginzed as one of China’s famous teas and it also received the title of King of Tea in 2004. It has a sweet, complex taste, with less bitterness then other greens.

LuAnGuaPianLiu An Gua Pian “Melon Seed” – from Liu An County in Anhui Province. This tea is produced using only the two top leaves without the bud, which makes is very unique. The leaves are appear uniform and have a deep green color. It dates back to the Tang Dynasty and has a sweet, floral flavor.

MaouFengMao Feng  “Fur Peak” – one of the famous teas, harvested from Huang Shan Mountain in Anhui Province. It is listed 3rd after Long Jing and Bi Luo Chun as Chinas most celebrated teas. Consists of two leaves and a bud. The first crop is harvested around March.

Song Zhen – “Pine Needle” – has leaves of a long and thin shape, and a silver-grey color, reminiscent of pine needles. This tea is harvested in early spring and consists mainly of tender buds.

Da Fang“Big Square” grown in Xi County in Anhui Province, its flavor is often compared to the one of Long Jing

Jing Ting Lue Xue “Green Snow”

Mao Feng “Fur Peak” – one of the famous teas, harvested from Huang Shan Mountain in Anhui Province. It is listed 3rd after Long Jing and Bi Luo Chun as Chinas most celebrated teas. Consists of two leaves and a bud. The first crop is harvested around March.

Yu Hua (from Nan Jing) – “Rain Flower”

Xian Ren Zhang Cha “Cactus Tea”

Xin Yang Mao Jian “Fur Tip”

Yun Wu “Cloud and Fog”

Tian Shan Lu Ya

Chun Lu

Gou Gu Nao

Hua Ding

Hui Ming

Huo Qing

Hyson

Qing Ding

Shui Xi Cui Bo

Tun Lu

Yu Lu


GuidesChinese White | Chinese Yellow | Chinese Red | Japanese Tea

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