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Tea classification

Classifing by the method of processing

1.Black Tea:
It’s a kind of commodity tea with unique color, smell and taste, which is made through wilting, rolling, fermentating and firing the tender tea shoots.It can be subdivided into block black tea(such as Qi Hong, Dian Hong, Chuan Hong, Yue Hong), broken black tea(to put in a tea pouch), and xiaozhong black tea.

2.Green Tea:
it’s another kind of commodity tea, made by lobular tender tea shoots, through high-temperature sterilization to stop the enzyme to oxidize tea polyphenol, in order to keep fresh and green. According to different drying methods, it can be subdivided into stir-frying green tea, firing green tea, solarizing green tea, and steaming green tea.

3.Scented Tea:
it’s made by storing green tea(mainly firing green tea) into cellar mixed with fragrant flower.It has different types of flavor, ofen named by the joing flower, such as jasmine tea, magnolia tea, pomeloflower tea, and so on.

4.Oolong Tea:
it’s the general term for semi-fermented tea, the product of combining the processing technology of black tea and green tea. First to ferment tea leaves mildly and partially, then through the high-temperature sterilization to get Oolong which has the appearance “green leaf rimmed red”.The main varieties are Wuyi Rock Oolong, Tie Guanyin, and Taiwan Oolong.

5.Brick, or Compressed Tea:
its raw material is the vice tea of black tea and solarizing green tea, by steamed, modelled or compressed into a brick, block, or cake shape, collectively referred to as brick tea. The main varieties are Black Brick Tea, Fu Brick Tea, Cang Tea and Pu’er Tea.

Classifying by the season:

①Spring Tea:
refering to the tea leaves picked and processed during late March to mid-May.The spring tea shoots are plump, green, soft, and rich in vitamins, especially amino acid that make spring tea taste fresh, smell nice and be good in health. These characteristics due to spring fit temperature, sufficient rainfall, and six-month rest for tea trees in winter.

②Summer Tea:
referring to the tea leaves picked and processed during early May to early July. Because of the hot weather, the new shoots of tea grow rapidly, making the materials in shoots that could dissolve in water reduce, in particular amino acids, so that the tea taste and smell is not as good as spring tea.For containing more anthocyanin, caffeine, tea polyphenol than spring tea, the summer tea is more bitter, and many shoots are purple.

③Autumn Tea:
the tea leaves picked and processed after mid-August.After growing during spring and summer, tea leaves contain fewer materials, and sizes are different. These leaves are brittle and yellow, the taste and smell is mild.

④Winter Tea:
picked and processed around the end of October. Winter tea grow after collecting autumn tea, when the weather become cold gradually. For the tender shoots grow slow this moment, the contained materials increase, so the taste is mellow and the aroma is strong.

Classifying by the growth environment:

①Plain Tea:
the tea shoots are small and plat, the back is hard and thin, the color is less green and less smooth. After processing, the tea leaves are thiner and lighter, the taste and aroma is not strong.

②High Mountain Tea:
As the wet and shady environment is fit for tea tree’s growth, people often say that the finest tea grows in mountains. Alpine environment provides unique conditions for the growth of tea: the change of elevation results in the unique characteristics of alpine environment, including temperature, rainfall, humidity, soil, even grown trees in the mountain. So comparing mountain tea with plain tea, the shoots of the former are stouter, more green and with more nap. After the processing, the tea leaves are tight and stout, nap could be seen clearly, the aroma is strong, and these leaves could be brewed repeatedly.

Classifying by solar terms:

    ①Mingqian Tea:
referring to the tea leaves picked and processed in several days before Ching Ming Festival, so called Ching Ming Tea too. In this moment, tea trees grow out just two tender leaves, after the processing, the leaf is the shape of needle, nap is conspicuous, color is very green, taste is fresh and mellow, so Mingqian tea is superior in many kinds of tea.

②Yuqian Tea:referring to the tea leaves picked and processed in several days before or after Gu Yu Festival, so called Gu Yu Tea too. Beacause the time is later, comparing with Mingqian Tea , Yuqian Tea is more green or blackish green, nap is less, smell and taste is more strong.

Huacong Middle School in Bazhong City of Sichuan Province     Tea Culture Team