News and Travel Editor
There are so many different types of Chinese tea it can be hard to know where to start and what to order! To help navigate your taste buds through this diverse world, have a read of this first timer’s guide to Chinese tea.
Comes from… Anxi, Fujian Province
Tastes like… This Oolong tea variation is named after the Chinese Goddess of mercy Guanyin. It tastes slightly different depending on the time of year, with the most popular being the sweet and fruity taste of the Spring yields.
Big Red Robe
Comes from… Northern Fujian
Tastes like… This full and floral Oolong tea has a taste that lingers in your
mouth after drinking. The legend goes that drinking this tea cured the mother of a Ming Dynasty Emperor, so he sent red robes to cloak the bushes that it came from. This prestigious variety of tea is incredibly expensive, worth over a $1m/£600,000 per kilogram! There are cheaper varieties grown from the cuttings of the original plants, if you want a taste without breaking the bank.
Comes from…Yunnan Province
Tastes like…A dark, fermented tea, Pu’er is named after Puer city in Yunnan
It is commonly believed that this tea tastes more delicious the longer it is left to
age. The tea is pressed into shapes such as bricks, balls or discs and has a deep
Comes from… Dongting Mountains, Jiangsu Province
Tastes like… Dongting Biluochun is named after the mountains on which it grows, and its snail-shaped rolled leaves. A light, refreshing green tea!
Comes from… Longjing village, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
Tastes like… This hand-produced green tea literally translates as ‘Dragon Well tea’ after a Well close to Longjing Village. Dragon Well gets it name because rain falling on its surface supposedly creates a twisting boundary in the well water, which looks like a moving dragon! The flat pan-roasted leaves taste slightly sweet, mellow and grassy. If you want to really look like you know what you’re doing, brew in a Yixing clay teapot!
Comes from… Fujian Province
Tastes like...This white tea is sweet and floral! You can tell if it’s good stuff by the proportion of long, furry buds. The more of these tiny hairs floating in the water – the better the tea! Yum?
Comes from… Wuji Mountain, Fujian Province
Tastes like… This black tea is dried over a pine fire, giving it a deep and smoky flavour! The story of this drying process goes that the tea was created during the Qing era when the passage of armies delayed the annual drying of the tealeaves in the Wuyi Mountain. To catch up for lost time, the tea producers sped up the process by drying tealeaves over fires of local pines!
Once you’ve made up your mind, watch how to brew the perfect cup: