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 main types. Among so many teas, people often discuss the best Chinese tea.
Every few years, China will select the top 10 famous Chinese teas. In each selection, most of the tea will still be on the list, and only a few will change. It can be seen that the influence of the famous teas is long-lasting and accepted by most people.
The reason why famous tea is famous depends on its unique style, which is mainly reflected in its color, fragrance, taste, shape, and even historical and cultural factors.
There is no high or low on this list. Every kind of tea is famous.
Table of Contents
1. Longjing Tea
Longjing tea (龙井, Lóng Jǐng) literally called Dragon Well Tea is a kind of green tea, produced in Longjing Village around the West Lake (Xihu) in the 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 (1368-1644). In ancient times, many poets wrote poems to praise Longjing tea.
In the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), the Qianlong Emperor awarded Longjing tea the title of “Imperial Tea”.
In modern times, Longjing tea has a popular title “Queen of Green Tea” due to its taste, fragrance, shape, and high quality.
2. Biluochun Tea
Biluochun tea (碧螺春, Bì Luó Chūn) also called Pi Lo Chun is a kind of green tea, produced in Dongting Mountain in the Suzhou City of Jiangsu Province. So it is also called Dongting Biluochun.
Biluochun has a history of more than 1,000 years and can be dated back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). At that time it was regarded as a tribute tea.
High-quality Biluochun is made from 100% of tea buds. It takes 60,000 to 70,000 tea buds to make 500g of Biluochun.
According to its quality, Biluochun can be classified into five grades. The higher the grade, the better its color, shape, and taste.
3. Huangshan Maofeng Tea
Huangshan Maofeng tea (黄山毛峰, Huáng Shān Máo Fēng) is a kind of green tea, produced in Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain) in the Huang Shan City of Anhui Province. It first appeared in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
Unlike other green teas, the color of Huangshan Maofeng is yellow-green or golden-green, which is similar to that of yellow tea. It has this unique style due to its special tea tree and its growth environment.
“Golden fish-shaped leaf” and “white fluffs exposed” are two obvious characteristics of Huangshan MaoFeng.
4. Xinyang Maojian Tea
Xinyang Maojian tea (信阳毛尖, Xìn Yáng Máo Jiān) 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 tea produced in Xinyang was offered to the emperor as a tribute tea. But at that time, there was no official name for the tea.
Until 1913, the local tea farmers created a better tea and named it “Xinyang Maojian”.
Xinyang Maojian tea is produced around the Qingming Festival (around April 5), when the tea buds are very tender. The quality of tea made from tea buds is very high. Due to its high quality, Xinyang Maojian tea is honored with the title “Kind of Green Tea”.
5. Lu An Gua Pian
Lu An Gua Pian (六安瓜片, Lù Ān Guā Piàn) also called Lu An Melon Seed is a famous traditional green tea, produced in the Lu An City of Anhui Province. It is a tribute tea in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912 AD). In modern times, it is often given to diplomatic envoys as a gift tea.
Lu An Gua Pian is made from single-leaf without buds and stalks, which is its unique characteristic. The shape of the single-leaf is like a melon seed, so it is called Gua Pian (Melon Seed).
Lu An Gua Pian is famous for its unique characteristic and its traditional processing technology. At present, no machine can replace its traditional manual processing technology.
6. Du Yun Mao Jian
Du Yun Mao Jian (都匀毛尖, Dū Yún Máo Jiān) is a kind of green tea, produced in the Duyun City of Guizhou Province.
Du Yun Mao Jian is also called “fishhook tea” or “bird’s tongue tea” because the tea leaves are curled like a fishhook or bird’s tongue. The name “Du Yun Mao Jian” is named by Chairman Mao in 1956.
Du Yun Mao Jian has the characteristic of “yellow-green”. The tea leaves are yellow-green; the tea liquid is yellow-green; the brewed tea leaves are yellow-green.
7. Keemun Tea
Qimen black tea was created in 1875 and has a production history of more than 100 years. The Japanese called it “Rose” and the British businessman called it “Keemun”.
Keemun has a special fragrance called “Qimen fragrance” which is similar to that of fruit, flower, or honey.
In history, Keemun is the favorite beverage of the British Queen and the Royal Family. With a high reputation, Keemun has a laudatory title of “Queen of Black Tea”.
8. Tieguanyin Tea
Tieguanyin tea (铁观音, Tiě Guān Yīn) is a kind of oolong tea, produced in Anxi County of Fujian Province. It is also called Anxi Tieguanyin or Iron Goddess. “Tie” means “iron” and “Guanyin” means “goddess of mercy”. Tieguanyin was first created by the Anxi people during 1725-1735.
Tieguanyin has a unique “Guanyin flavor” (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 includes four varieties. Each of them has a unique fragrance and taste.
9. Wuyi Rock Tea
Wuyi rock tea (武夷岩茶, Wǔyí Yán Chá) is a famous oolong tea. It is native to the Wuyi Mountain in Fujian Province. Wuyi rock tea is also called Wuyi Yancha. Yan means “rock” and Cha means “tea”. Wuyi rock tea has a unique Yen flavor which is a special aroma and it is famous for it.
The oolong tea produced in the Wuyi Mountain is called Wuyi rock tea. Wuyi rock tea is a collective term. There are many kinds of Wuyi rock tea and the most famous Wuyi rock tea is Da Hong Pao tea.
10. Junshan Yinzhen
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 made from 100% of tender buds and has the best quality among all Chinese yellow tea. In the Tang Dynasty, Junshan Yinzhen was regarded as a tribute tea.
Best Green Tea:
- Longjing Tea
- Biluochun Tea
- Huangshan Maofeng Tea
- Xinyang Maojian Tea
- Lu An Gua Pian
- Du Yun Mao Jian
Best Black Tea:
- Keemun Tea
Best Oolong Tea:
- Tieguanyin Tea
- Wuyi Rock Tea
Best Yellow Tea:
- Junshan Yinzhen