Ben Shan tea (本山茶, Běn Shān Chá) is a kind of Chinese oolong tea and native to the Anxi County of Fujian Province. The famous oolong tea Tieguanyin tea 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 is also native to Anxi County and is also similar to Tieguanyin tea in appearance.
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History of Ben Shan Tea
According to the tea book <Anxi Tea Industry Survey>, Ben Shan tea first appeared around 1870. Because the discoverer’s name is Yuanxing, the tea tree’s name is called Yuanxing and now called Ben Shan.
Ben Shan tea tree was recognized as an excellent 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.
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 black-green. This appearance is very similar to that of Tieguanyin tea.
After brewing, the tea liquid of Ben Shan tea is light yellow and has a light orchid fragrance. The 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 mouth, without the lasting aftertaste like Tieguanyin tea.
Although its quality is not as good as Tieguanyin, Ben Shan tea is also a very good tea, and because its price is relatively cheap, it is liked by many consumers.
Legend of Ben Shan Tea
In ancient times, there was a man who sincerely worshipped Avalokitesvara. Every morning, he worshipped 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 an excellent tea tree on a rock somewhere.
So he trudged up to the rock and found the tea tree. The leaves of the tea tree glistened with light. Later, he carefully transplanted the tea tree into his garden and cultivated it. This tea tree is the ancestor of Ben Shan tea.