Millions of people worldwide feel calm and mindful by drinking a cup of tea in the morning. However, we all know that tea is closely associated with China, the largest consumer of green tea and the world’s top tea producer. Consequently, more and more people globally are attracted to various types of Chinese tea.
However, most people struggle to select the best Chinese tea. The process of choosing the best Chinese tea entails observing the qualities such as taste, soup color appearance of tea leaves. Keep reading to explore more details on what to look out for when picking Chinese tea.
Understanding Various Types and Grades of Chinese Teas
Let’s first briefly discuss the various types of Chinese tea you’ll be choosing from and their distinctive characteristics. It’s also worth noting that Chinese tea is mainly made from either of two different tea plant varieties, i.e., Camellia sinensis var. sinensis and Camellia sinensis var. assamica. However, there are many other varieties, but they’re not commonly used and are only made in smaller batches.
Notably, Chinese teas can fall under one of the following categories, i.e., fully-oxidized, semi-oxidized, or non-oxidized.
Below are the Types of Chinese Tea
1. Green tea
Chinese green tea is one of the oldest and most popular. It’s a non-oxidized tea with a pleasant fresh green taste and slightly grassy-nutty overtones. It’s often the best choice for cleansing and slimming your body.
2. White tea
Chinese white tea is also non-oxidized but is the rarest and most expensive. It has a light flavor with fruity or hay overtones. You’ll also notice a delicate aroma.
3. Black tea
Chinese black tea is a fully oxidized type of tea. It offers a complex mild and malty taste and a touch of savory or chocolate notes. However, some black teas have an intense smokiness with a unique fruity taste.
4. Oolong tea
Chinese Oolong tea, also called black dragon tea, is a semi-oxidized tea. Its freshness is similar to green tea but has a mild floral flavor and sweet taste. However, this particular type of tea can have various flavors such as roasted, honey, mineral, and luscious notes.
5. Yellow tea
Chinese yellow tea is non-oxidized, and a mild sweet taste and a light golden color characterize it. It’s one of the rarest types of tea.
6. Dark tea
Chinese dark tea is one of the least-known tea types, made from post-fermented leaves. Notably, its slight reddish color and flavor improve with age. Ripe dark tea (that has gone through accelerated fermentation) has an earthy flavor, while raw dark tea has a tobacco-like flavor.
4 Things to Look Out for When Selecting Chinese Tea
When it comes to drinking tea, the taste, aroma, texture, and color matter greatly. If you’re a tea lover or a newbie to the tea space, here are four tips to help you select quality Chinese teas.
1. Appearance of tea leaves
Appearance refers to two key aspects, i.e., the color and shape of the tea leaves.
Quality Chinese tea should have a visual appeal that spreads across the selected tea leaves. Low-quality tea leaves often tend to have black spots or a non-uniform color. It’s good to choose tea with quality color.
Different types of Chinese tea have different shapes, from spiral, curved, needle, orchid-shaped, and spherical to eyebrow-shaped. However, what’s important is for the tea leaves to have a consistent shape.
More importantly, quality tea should maintain its natural shape even when dried.
2. How does the tea smell?
The aroma that arises from a tea’s steam after it’s brewed is essential in determining the quality of a Chinese tea. Notably, each has its unique aroma. Additionally, the higher the quality of a tea, the stronger the scent it should have. Therefore, if you notice a strange aroma or can’t smell it, that tea might not be of great quality.
3. What is the tea’s soup color?
Soup color refers to the color of the water after tea leaves are immersed in boiling water. Each type of Chinese tea gives a unique soup color.
For instance, black tea should give red and bright color; green tea should form a bright yellow-green color; white tea should form a pale yellow or light orange soup color; and Oolong tea should form a bright orange-yellow soup color.
Above all, tea clarity is something you shouldn’t ignore. Similar to wine, quality tea should give you a clear drink.
4. How does that tea taste?
As discussed above, different types of Chinese tea have various tastes. Therefore, quality tea should give the exact similar or relatively close taste depending on the preparation method.
Are you looking for the finest tea? Chinese tea has an excellent reputation among tea lovers. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to choose one of your best or preferred Chinese teas online. However, you must purchase from a retailer that gives information about the source of their tea in China, including the regions/ area where it is grown. Bluesea Tea is one place where you can find authentic organic Chinese tea products, such as organic matcha powder that is USDA certified.
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