In this article I will talk about 11 different kinds of Chinese green tea, their characteristic features and their associated health benefits.
Green tea is known as lu cha is China. The people of China have been drinking green tea for centuries. Green tea is made from un-fermented leaves and is believed to contain the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols which help to slow-down ageing process. Many studies indicate that green tea also helps prevent many coronary artery diseases.
Green tea is grown mainly in China and Japan. In an earlier post I had talked about the 10 Types of Japanese Green Tea, and in this post I shall focus on Chinese green tea varieties.
Type of Chinese Green Tea
Zhu Cha (Gunpowder) Green Tea
- Once gunpowder tea is processed, it is transformed into small pellets, which when placed in hot water during the brewing process, open up.
- High quality gunpowder tea will have small, tightly rolled pellets.
- Gunpowder Tea has a slightly smoky flavor.
- This tea is high in fluoride and prevents many dental problems.
- Gunpowder tea is exported to the Maghreb (western region of North Africa) where it is used to prepare traditional North African mint tea.
- There are two type of gunpowder Chinese green tea – Pingshui gunpowder (Temple of Heaven Gunpowder or Pinhead Gunpowder) and Formosa gunpowder.
Long Jing (Dragonwell) Green Tea
- Dragon Well (Longjing green tea) is one of the most popular Green Tea varieties in China as well as in the West.
- True Long Jing Chinese Green Tea is grown only around Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province.
- When pocessed, the leaves become flat and have the color of jade. When prepared the tea produces a yellow-green color.
- Dragonwell green tea has one of the highest concentrations of catechins among teas.
- Longjing green tea was granted the status of Gong Cha, or imperial tea, in the Qing dynasty by the Kangxi Emperor.
- Longjing green tea comes in 6 varieties – Xihu Longjing, Pre-Qingming Longjing, Shi Feng Longjing, Meijiawu Longjing, Bai Longjing, Qiantang Longjing, Tiger Spring Longjing and Lion Longjing.
Pi Lo Chun (Green Snail Spring) Green Tea
- Pi Lo Chun Chinese Green Tea (Biluochun) is grown among plum, apricot and peach trees, which allows it to absorb their fragrance.
- It is renowned for its delicate appearance, fruity taste and floral aroma.
- As per a famous Chinese legend, a tea picker girl accidentally discovered Pi Lo Chun tea. She ran out of space in her basket and put the tea between her breasts. The tea, on being warmed by her body heat started emitting a strong aroma that surprised the girl.
Snowy Mountain Jian Green Tea
- Snowy Mountain Jain green tea has a full body flavor similar to black teas.
- It is a good body, full flavored, tending herbaceous with satisfying sweetness.
- It is grown in the high mountains of Yunnan Province of China.
- This tea is quite pungent and is good tea for someone who is normally drinks black tea but would like to try a green tea without sacrificing too much taste or texture.
Hyson Lucky Dragon Green Tea
- Hyson Lucky Dragon is a premium Chinese green tea.
- It comes from the Anhui province of China.
- It has a more full-bodied flavor as compared to other green tea. Hyson tea has been described as light, warm, smooth, good-bodied, earthy, sunny, and spring-like in flavor.
- During the Boston Tea Party hyson tea represented 15 of the more than three hundred chests of tea that were destroyed.
Kai Hua Long Ding Green Tea
- Kaihua Longding is an orchid style green tea, bright and lively with a unique sharpness accented with bouquet and a slight touch of herb.
- The leaves of Kai Hua Long Ding Green tea are stocky but short.
- They are mostly grown in the Zhejian Province of Tiantai County. “Long” is the word “dragon”, and “ding” means “the top” referring to the place where the tea is grown.
- It is said that the tea was developed as recently as the 1950’s, but in a short while of 60 years it has achieved global acclaim.
Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea
- Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea has a light, sweetish and delicate taste and grown mainly in Tian Mu mountains of Zhejian Province.
- The flavor is light yet deep and sweet to the nose and on the tongue. It is said to be vivid yet gentle flavor, springtime fresh and hard to resist.
Xin Yang Mao Jian Green Tea
- Xin Yang Mao Jian Green Tea is also known as green tip.
- It is grown in the Henan Province of China.
- It is often designated as a China famous tea.
Hou Kui Green Tea
- Hou Kui Green Tea is also known as Monkey tea. It has an orchid flavor taste and is grown in the Anhui Province of China.
- Houkui tea has a delicate orchid fragrance with a mellow taste.
- In a glass, the leaf gracefully sways in the water which is described as the “Phoenix dances”.
Anji Bai Cha Green Tea
- Anji Bai Cha is a high quality green tea in which the leaves are arrow shaped and feathery in appearance. It is called “white” tea although it is a green tea.
- According to a 2010 study, Anji white tea is high in polysaccharides which can inhibit the hemolysis of blood cells.
Mao Jian Green Tea
- Mao Jian is a high quality variet of Chinese green tea mainly produced in Xinyang, Henan Province.
- It has a wett and nutty flavor.
- Also known as downy tip tea, it is characterized by small slightly downy sea-green colored leaves with silver tips.
There are a lot of varieties of green tea, each having their own signature taste, texture, flavor and benefits. In this article I have talked about 11 varieties of Chinese green tea, some of which have been in use since ancient times while some are as recent as 60 years.
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- Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_tea_3_appearances.jpg
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