Relax. Detox. Heal. Awaken.
The variety of Chinese teas are in the dozens and their uses are many.
Most popular in China
Has the most medical value and is low in caffeine
Dried with heat and undergoes no fermentation process
Promotes fat oxidation in humans at rest and to prevent obesity and improve insulin sensitivity in mice
Green tea has been used as traditional medicine in areas such as China, Japan, India and Thailand to help everything from controlling bleeding and helping heal wounds to regulating body temperature, blood sugar and promoting digestion.
Half fermented and relatively thick in flavor
Popular in South East China and Taiwan, also popular for Kung Fu Cha
Acts as an emulsifier for fat and cholesterol (great for today’s junk food lovers!)
Fermented before baking
Generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas
While green tea usually loses its flavor within a year, black tea retains its flavour for several years
Association between black tea intake and decreased cardiovascular disease events
Not the most popular in China
Similar to green tea, but roasted
Has lowest caffeine content
Very light in color and aroma
Processed similarly to green tea, but with a slower drying phase
Damp tea leaves are allowed to sit and yellow
Similarities in taste can still be drawn between yellow, green and white teas.
Usually contains flower petals and the base can be green, red, etc…
Popular in Northern China
Compressed and hardened into a certain shape
Good for transport and and storage
Mainly supplied to ethnic minorities
Mainly produced in Hunan, Hebei, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces
1. Why is it prepared?
– For a family gathering
– As a sign of respect (in China, a younger generation always offers a cup of tea to an older generation)
– To apologize
– To express thanks
– To connect large families on wedding days
– To pass on a tradition
2. Drink Green Tea, Prevent Skin Cancer: Green tea just keeps getting better. To add to the abundance of health-improving qualities of the beverage, UAB Researcher Santosh Katiyar, Ph.D., associate professor of dermatology, claims that it can reduce the risk of skin cancer.
3. Gongfu Cha: In China, people serve tea methodically according to tradition. Gongfu cha is the skill of serving tea (gongfu or “kung fu” means “skill”).
4. Do you know how China grades their teas?
The highest grade white, yellow, and green tea are made from tender tea shoots picked early Spring. These young tea shoots may consist of a single terminal bud, a bud with an adjacent leaf or a bud with two adjacent slightly unfurled leaves. It is generally required that the leaves are equal in length or shorter than the buds.
More oxidised tea such as red or oolong tea are made from more matured leaves. The Anxi Tieguanyin tea, for example, is made from one bud with two to four leaves.
Not all high grade green tea is made from tender tea shoots. The highly regarded green tea Liu An Gua Pian is made from more matured leaves.
Traditionally these tender tea shoots are picked before 5 April, or Qing Ming Jie. The standard practice is to start picking when 5% of the garden is ready, or when the tea buds reach certain size. In some tea gardens, tea shoots are picked daily, or every 2 days.
5. What if I want to buy tea in Beijing?
Maliandao Tea City – Southwestern Xuanwu District/Maliandao Tea Street is conveniently located near the Beijing West Railway Station.
Cha Jia Fu Teahouse – Inside Houhai Park, Deshengmen Neidajie (Tel: +86 10 6616 0725)
Ming Hui Cha Yuan – Inside Dajue Temple, Bei’an He, Wenquan Zhen, Haidian District (Tel: +86 10 6246 1567)
Confucian Teahouse – 28 Guozijian Jie, Andingmenwai, Dongcheng District (Tel: +86 10 8404 8539)
Tianqiao Happy Teahouse – A1 Beiwei Lu, Xuanwu District (Tel: +86 10 6304 0617)
Photo credits to: Wikipedia and Listening to Leaves