The most famous Chinese teas

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It turns out that in China, the very best teas are regularly selected to highlight the most outstanding of the variety. Although there are different opinions about who exactly should be included in the notorious list, most of the celebrities are on it unconditionally.

The history of tea goes back over a thousand years. Long ago, Lu Yu wrote a treatise "Tea Canon", in which the whole of China was conditionally divided into nine regions producing tea. Since then, each imperial dynasty has chosen its own favorite.

For example, during the reign of the Tang dynasty, they loved Yangxian Cha, about which they said: "Until the Son of Heaven sips Yangxian Cha, flowers do not dare to show their eyes." Under the emperors of the Song family, Jianzhou Fujian tea stood out among the offering drinks. In those days, even a special imperial tea garden was created for this species.

During the reign of the Ming, tea from the Wu-i mountains was in vogue, collected before the summer rains. By the end of the era of this dynasty and the beginning of the Qing reign, new types of teas, as well as the famous places where they were grown, came to the fore. The real classification of tea began only with the formation of the People's Republic of China.

It was then that the same ten famous teas began to emerge. It includes almost the entire spectrum of these Chinese drinks. There are green, yellow, turquoise and red teas there. Most of these species have long been known around the world. Today, in times of market economy, PR and advertising play a significant role in the choice of a buyer; it is not surprising that in our list teas periodically change places.

It should also be noted that the rapid development of the tea industry in recent decades and interest in this drink have led to the emergence of a large number of twins. So the acquisition of truly original tea was not easy. Therefore, deciding to purchase one of these types, one must also remember about the dependence of its quality on the place of production and the time of collection.

After all, tea, even harvested on the same plantation, but at different times, will have different taste characteristics and qualities. And bushes of the same variety, but growing in different places, will also give different results.

Longjin. This tea is grown in dozens of locations, but the top ten is produced only in the Xihu region of Zhejiang province. After all, each place has its own microclimatic conditions and the specifics of the environment. And the very name of the place can hide a catch. So, Dongting Bilochun, included in our rating, is grown near the Dongting Mountains near Taihu Lake, that area has a unique microclimate. But tea of ​​the same type is also grown near Lake Dongting in Hunan province, but it does not have those unique properties inherent in its namesake. And there are many such examples, almost every excellent tea has its own counterpart. However, back to the top ten best and most famous teas in China.

Xihu Longjin. This tea is right on the top of the list. It has literally bewitched countless people since its inception. Back in the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Kangxi, having visited the "marching palace" in Hangzhou, ordered the local Longjin tea to be included in the list of official teas for offering. Later, Emperor Qian Lung appreciated the unique aroma of the drink, when, while traveling south in an idol at the foot of Mount Shifeng, he drank tea so delicious that he immediately ordered to fence off eighteen tea trees located right there. Tea was named imperial. Such an appraisal of the drink by the "Son of Heaven" himself quickly spread its fame throughout the country; today in China there is hardly a person who does not know the name Xihu Longjin. This tea has four precious qualities that define its reputation. First of all, it is an emerald color, followed by a perfect aroma and taste, do not forget about a wonderful taste. To fully appreciate an excellent drink, you need to take 200 mm glassware, pour 4 grams of tea into it and pour clean and soft water at a temperature of 80 degrees. Three minutes is enough for brewing tea.

Dongting Bilochun. There are many fruit trees near Taihu Lake, among them Bilochun tea is grown. Crowns of pears, peaches, tangerines and plums act as umbrellas for low tea bushes. Trees are closely intertwined with branches and roots, while tea leaves breathe air, which is filled with the aromas of blossoms and ripening fruits. It is during the ripening period of fruit trees that raw materials are collected for the production of exquisite Bilochun tea. This allows the drink to obtain a unique fruity aroma and taste, although usually the microclimate and soil characteristics are of decisive importance for it. The main features of Bilochun are early picking and exceptional selection of the most tender buds. In total, there are seven varieties of this type of tea, in accordance with the quality. To get 1 kilogram of tea of ​​a special quality, you need to pluck about one hundred and forty thousand unblown buds. Recalling the special qualities of this tea, it should be noted that its creation from young and tender leaves brings in many amino acids and polyphenolic compounds, which has a beneficial effect on health promotion. Outwardly, tea is fragile, has a thin spiral shape, it is covered with villi. Bilochun, with its thick aroma and rich taste, gained fame as a drink with a floral and fruit flavor. The color of the magic liquid is light green jasper, and the leaves have a light green shiny appearance, which is beautiful even after the end of the ceremony. Such tea is also often referred to as "one tenderness and three freshness," meaning a leaf with a bud being torn off by tenderness, and a light aroma, taste and color by freshness.

Junshan Yinzhen. This tea belongs to the yellow group. It grows on Junshan Mountain, which rises right in the middle of Dongthin Lake in Hunan Province. The tea grown in Junshan has been used since the Qing dynasty, then about 9 kilograms of tea were supplied to the court in a year. An indispensable condition for harvesting was the time - before the beginning of the period of bread rains, tea should have one bud and one leaf, moreover, it should be abundantly covered with white villi. And serious requirements were put forward to the collection process, expressed by the special rule "nine unbreakable". According to him, it was impossible to collect tea on a rainy day, in addition, it is necessary to ensure that there is no dew on the kidney, it does not turn out to be hollow or purple. It is forbidden to tear even a slightly opened kidney, damaged by frost or insects, as well as sluggish, long or short. And the tea processing process is very meticulous and consists of eight stages. It is believed that for brewing Yinzhen tea, it would be better to use a glass or crystal glass. It is its transparency and purity that will maximize the appreciation of all the beauty of the shapes of the silver needles, as well as enjoy the gaze with a wonderful dance performed by tea leaves.

Huangshan Maofeng. And this drink belongs to the group of green teas. It grows near the famous Huangshan Mountain in Anhui province. Once upon a time, the emperors chose this tea for offering, and it still remains a gift option, also referred to as a "state jewel". Every year, with the onset of the Qingming Spring Festival, tea of ​​the highest quality is created in the mountainous regions of Huangshan Taohuafeng and Ziguange. Huangshan Maofeng tea is divided into 4 categories: special, first, second and third. The very special is also divided into three groups: higher, middle and lower. The rest of the categories have two subgroups. This tea, like some others, contains the "Maofeng" component, but unlike other representatives, there are yellow-gold tea leaves here, and the color of the liquid is ivory. When brewing tea, it is not recommended to use clay dishes, especially teapots made from its lilac variety. It would be best to use either porcelain gaiwan (a cup with a lid and without a handle), or ordinary transparent and glass dishes. You need to pour tea into the container with clean water at a temperature of 80 degrees and brew for three minutes, as a result you get a pure infusion with shades of that yellow almond and that very ivory. In this case, the drink will smell sweet with the delicate aroma of mycelium, literally intoxicating with its freshness.

Qimen Hongcha. This tea stands out for its peculiarities even in the group of its red brethren Gongfu Cha, produced only in China. The drink is abbreviated as Qihong. According to historical documents, once a certain Nong Gancheng, a native of Zhide, visited the Fujian region, where he discovered that red tea was very popular there. Returning to Anhui province, he decided to take up the tea business for profit. He opened a tea house in Qimen province. There Nong, following the Fujian red tea processing methods he had learned, began to produce a very good product. For the time being, only green species were produced here, but seeing good demand and the cost of the novelty, manufacturers quickly reoriented to the production of red tea. So, unexpectedly, Qimen County became one of the producers of red teas. The popularity of local varieties not only in China, but also outside the country was due to its excellent taste, which arose from the local unique growing conditions of shrubs. And local producers have constantly improved their tea processing processes. This is what allowed the unique aroma of Tsikhun to gain a foothold in the top ten teas of the country. After brewing tea, it retains its strong aroma for quite a long time, it seems that the whole room is saturated with a honey smell with an admixture of orchid odors. This scent even got its own name "Qimen scent". Qihong is also called "outstanding among teas". To appreciate the taste it is necessary to use porcelain dishes. It is best not to add any sugar, milk, or any other additives to the drink. After all, this tea in itself is self-sufficient. A set of such qualities made it the most expensive among red teas and the most desirable.

Liuan Guapian. Among green teas, this particular tea is in a special position. The beginning of its production dates back to 1905, when the decline of imperial China began. The external resemblance of tea to pumpkin seeds, the flat shape of the leaves gave it the name "Guapyan", which means "flat seeds". The main place of production was the province of Liuan, which ultimately gave the full name to tea - Liuan Guapian. Now tea is produced in the province of Anhui, the bushes grow on the forts of low mountains, at an altitude of 100 to 600 meters above sea level. The average annual temperature here is 14.5 degrees. Guapyan is very different from its relatives. After all, its collection takes place in the midst of the rainy period, when the rapid vegetation of tea bushes just begins. Pickers pick only the bud and the first two or three leaves, after which the crop is sorted. Unblown buds and rough leaves are removed from it. After that, the already homogeneous raw materials are manually fried in three different ways in special pans. The tea is shaped like seeds, drying them to a normal moisture content of 5-7%. The special technologies used in harvesting, roasting and drying have allowed Liuan Guapian tea to become a representative of this prestigious list of famous teas. Quite high price and special position of tea on the market always attract lovers of this drink, who want to get maximum pleasure.

Taiping Houkui. This green tea is made in Taiping County, Anhui Province. Bushes grow mainly in the Hawken area near Lake Taihu. There is water on three sides, and on the fourth side, the area is protected by a mountain range with peaks that look like an inverted tripod. The peaks are called Phoenix, Monkey and Rooster. The plantations are located at an altitude of 777 meters among green mountains with caps of clouds and fog in a local climate of subtropical monsoons. Everything gives an absolutely unique microclimate. Houkui began to be cultivated at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Then tea growers from Nanking opened a representative office in Taiping County, which bought local tea growing around the mountain peaks. Hawken Peak Tea, obtained by selecting young and delicate leaves and buds, gradually became popular. Over time, one of the purveyors of tea, by the name of Wang Kuichen, working in the fields near Phoenix Peak, selecting the youngest and most tender leaves and buds, created a new type of Kui tea and named it by his own name. The excellent qualities of the new drink and its specific capabilities have made it the best of all Hawcan teas. Therefore, over time, the name changed its original name and turned into Houkui. This tea is straight and flat. Its two leaves wrap the bud and look completely smoothed out. Tea is often described like this: "The two tips of the Houkui do not fray, stick out or bend." The veins of a uniformly dark green leaf hides a red hue called a "thread of red silk". The first brewing of the drink gives a very strong aroma, the second - a rich taste. The original and deep smell is not lost either during the third or fourth brewing.

Xinyang Maojian. This tea belongs to the group of greens and it is created in the area of ​​Xinyang city, Henan province. Most of the bushes grow in mountainous areas in the south of Xinyang County. This area is described like this: "Five cloudy mountains and two reservoirs, black and white dragons." This tea was included in this elite list only in 1959, although tea traditions in this region date back to the Eastern Zhu era, when Confucius and Lao Tzu lived. But Maojian himself arose only in the era of the Ming dynasty, when pressed tea began to gradually be replaced by loose tea, since the new production made it possible to process fresh leaves separately from old ones. Tea made from old leaves was called leaf tea, or "rough" tea, but young leaves were used to make kidney or "fine" tea. During the Qing Dynasty, tea making technologies went much further and "fine" tea was processed even more skillfully. The texture of the finished sheet became even thinner and denser, with white hairs, and a point was located at its tip. It was then that tea got its current name - Maojian or "hairs and a tip".

Fenghuang Dancong. This tea is a representative of the Oolong family, or turquoise teas. The main place of its growth is Mount Phoenix, or Fenghuangshan, in Chao'an County, Guangdong Province. Tea traditions have developed here historically, the region is located on a plain with hills at the northern foothills. The plantations are located at an altitude of 1100 meters above sea level. The local microclimate here is ideal just for growing tea, it has been practiced here since the Song Dynasty. On plantations, you can find cultivated tea trees, which are 3-4 centuries old. Today, the town of Fenghuang is known primarily for the production of the famous Fenghuang Dancong tea. The local mountain teas are sometimes called daffodil, they have a rather difficult classification. Leaves on trees ripen at different times, their leaves are often uneven in shape. Each individual group of native plants also has its own special characteristics besides shape.That is why the tea was named Dancong, which means "piece" or "single" bushes. Today, there are more than 80 subspecies in Fenghuang Dancong tea! Originally the tea was called Nyaozui Cha, or "bird's beak". Tea received its current name only in 1956. According to legend, during the reign of the Song, the phoenix bird brought a twig of a special tea tree to these parts, which gave rise to all the diversity of this species here. Mention is made of the "Song" tree, it grows on the Niaodongshan Mountain at an altitude of 1000 meters, not far from the Lizaiping village. Here all the trees are very old, one of them is even called the "transmitting tree", considering it the carrier of the original leaf. The elder is more than 400 years old, but it is still full of life and covered with green foliage. Fenghuang teas have three varieties - Dancong, Lancai and Shuixian, each of which is again divided into varieties. However, Dancong is considered the best of all the teas in this group. Their fame was promoted by their beautiful views, sweet taste, deep aroma and emerald color. It is not so easy to reveal this tea as much as possible, the masters use the Chaozhou version of the "Gongfu Cha" tea ceremony for this.

Anxi Teguanyin. This tea belongs to the category of South Fujian Oolong tea. Among them, the most famous is perhaps Teguanyin. It is no coincidence that his connoisseur is called "the king of tea". In the Tao tradition, the drink is also called tea of ​​five tastes, since correctly prepared Teguanyin contains just 5 tastes: bitter, sweet, spicy, salty and pungent. It is generally believed that there is only one shade in tea; teguanyin has all of them. According to legend, a very devout tea-maker once lived in Anxi County, Fujian Province. Every morning and evening, this man offered the goddess of mercy Guanyin a cup of fresh tea, asking him to bless and appreciate his work. As a reward for this, she appeared to him in a dream, showing a secret place among the mountains, where an unusual tea tree grew. When he woke up, the tea-maker actually found a plant in the indicated place. The resulting tea, which has an unsurpassed aroma and taste, he named after his patroness Guanyin. Later, the prefix iron was added to the word. Many believe that tea owes this fact to the color of its leaves, which, when fermented, acquire shades of red iron along the edges, in twigs and veins. Local monks believe that the name of the tea associated with the time of its collection is in the fall, it is this time of the year in their beliefs that corresponds to the metal. Tea is grown in Fujian province in northeastern China. The local red earth soils and climate favor the cultivation of this particular species. The best specimens are grown in the foothills of Anxi. Fogs, high humidity are frequent here, and the height plays a role. It is here, as nowhere else in China, that they strictly monitor the observance of a special mountain technology for growing bushes and subsequent processing. For teas of the highest quality, the top three to four leaves are harvested, although picking occurs during the day, morning tea is considered to be the best.

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