Chinese Tea Types and Classification
This article provides an introduction to different Chinese Tea types. Classification of tea types is mainly determined by the variation in processing tea leaves.
Green Tea Type
Green tea is the earliest type of tea in history and also the most popular tea type. Green tea uses the tea buds and tender tea leaves of the tea plant as raw material. The tea leaves will be dried directly without fermentation after deactivation of enzyme and rolling. High quality tea leaves undergone the right processing should be green in color even after brewing.
Black Tea Type
The black tea type is ranked first globally in terms of production and sales volume. Black tea is wilted, rolled or cut directly without the process of deactivation of enzymes. The tea will then be dried after fully fermentation. By this specific oxidation processing, the black tea types have a unique dark red color and sweetly mellow flavor. This tea type is also called “Red Tea” in China
Oolong Tea Type
To process Oolong tea, the leaves are first wilted after picking, and then shaken alternately in order to control the degree of fermentation. The smell of the leaves will afterwards change form grassy to floral fragrant. The tea will be heated for deactivation of enzymes and then rolled and dried. This half-fermented tea type is Oolong tea
Dark Tea Type
Different from other tea types, Dark tea is piled for post-fermentation, which gives this type of tea leaves and tea a dark brown color, and a rich flavor. Dark tea is very famous for promoting digestion. Dark tea is also known as “Black Tea” in Chinese. However, it should not be confused with the Western term of Black Tea, which is called “Red Tea” by Chinese.
White Tea Type
White tea is dried directly only after the process of wilting. It is often covered with delicate fuzz, and has a mild and smooth flavor. White tea has the strongest tea health benefit of getting rid of toxins and refreshing the body.
Yellow Tea Type
The processing of yellow tea type is similar to the green tea type but added with the sweltering processing to its making. This process gives the tea leaves as well as the brewed tea liquor a yellow color. Yellow tea has a delicate fragrance and a natural sweet flavor
Flower Tea Type/Herbal Tea Type
Flower tea is processed differently from the other categories and strongly depends on the type of flower and other teas they are combined with. The so called “Blooming Teas” also need handicraft to bind the tea for blooming when they are brewed. Flower tea can be dried in natural air or by machine. Flower teas can also be considered part of a broader category, called herbal teas. This broader category includes Goji Tea and Jujube Tea