Tea has always been a tradition in China, with a long-standing culture and rich history. Tea trees originated in China, and when the ancient Chinese civilization discovered the tea tree, they took the tea as a medicine before drinking the tea as a beverage. China has a long and profound tea culture, nowaday drinking tea has been the common lifestyle for many Chinese people.
About 2000 years ago, Chinese farmers had the habit of drinking the tea as they cultivated their tea trees and learned how to properly produce tea of different varieties with different flavors. Chinese teas can be classified into the following species depending on the methods of planting and producing: green tea, black tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, puerh tea and white tea. Each of these species has different taste and representatives.
China's top ten most famous teas are mostly green teas, including: Dragon Well also known as Longjing, Dongting Bi Luo Chun, Huangshan Maofeng, Liuan Guapian, Xinyang Maojian and Duyun Maojian, which are all very delicious green teas. The rest of the list includes Anxi Tie Guan Yin and Wuyi Rock tea, which belong to Oolong Tea; Keemun tea, which is a strong black tea and Junshan Yinzhen, which is actually a yellow tea.
Xihu Longjing (西湖龙井): Longjing, more commonly known as Dragon well green tea, is a smooth and mellow luxury green tea grown in the mountainous areas beside the Xihu Lake of Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province of China. Longjing green tea is historically considered to be one of the very first tea in China, giving it the nickname “China Famous Tea”. The color is light yellowish green, and most generally speaking, the lighter the color of the Dragon well presents, the higher the quality will be. It has a lovely strong sweet aroma with a mellow vegetative flavor. Dry leaves are in beautiful flat long shape. It also held the honor of being chosen as tribute to the Qing Dynasty by Emperor QianLong.
Huangshan Maofeng (黄山毛峰): Huangshan Maofeng is a luxury green tea grown in the beautiful Huangshan Mountains in Anhui Province of China, which originated from Guangxu during the Qing Dynasty.
Dongting Bi Luo Chun (洞庭碧螺春): Dongting Bi Luo Chun is another type of green tea from the beautiful Dongting mountains in the Jiangsu Province of China. The leaves have a distinct spiral shape. Historically, Bi Luo Chun was actually called “Xiasha Renxiang”. This name was given by Emperor Kangxi during the Qing Dynasty.
Xinyang Maojian (信阳毛尖): Another particularly famous and delicious green tea from China is Xinyang Maojian which is from Xinyang in Henan province of China. Like many other famous Chinese green teas, Xinyang Maojian gained its fame during Qing Dynasty. It also has the distinct honor of winning the 1915 Panama World Exposition's Golden Medal Award.
Liuan Guapian (六安瓜片): Although it is not as famous as Dragon Well tea, Liuan Guapian is a very special and famous green tea from Liuan in Anhui province of China. This type of green tea originated in 1905, and is very unique because it is produced by using only the leaves of the tea tree while removing the buds and stalks of the plant.
Junshan Yinzhen (君山银针): The last tea of the ten most famous Chinese teas is “Yellow Tea”, called Jun Shan Yizhen, which is actually very rare and exotic for it is only produced in small amounts. Junshan Yinzhen yellow tea is from Junshan island in Yueyang city of Hunan Province. The particular Junshan Yinzhen is an outstanding example of a rare and exquisite yellow tea.
Anxi Tie Guan Yin (安溪铁观音): Anxi Tie Guan Yin, is a very well known and extremely delicious and mellow Oolong tea hailing from Anxi in the famous Fujian province of China. Anxi Tie Guan Yin originated from Yongzheng during 1725-1735 in the Qing Dynasty and has a long and rich history. Considered as the best Oolong tea by most people, Tie Guan Yin is known as “The King of Tea”, and has a strong mellow, smooth and earthy flavor which remains delicious and aromatic even after re-brewing the Tie Guan Yin leaves up to six or seven times!
Wuyi Rock Tea (武夷岩茶): Another famous and most enticing Oolong tea from China is called Wuyi Rock tea, which is grown on Wuyi Mountain in Fujian Province of China. This area of the Fujian Province has a long rich history of producing famous and exquisite tasting Oolong teas including Imperial Red (Da Hong Pao) Oolong tea, Baijiguan Oolong Tea (White Rooster), Tieluohan Oolong Tea (Iron Arhat), and Shuijingui Oolong Tea (Golden Turtle). However the most famous and delicious Oolong tea from this region is the Wuyi Rock Tea which was introduced to Europe during the 18th century, from then on it was well-received and gained a lot of popularity both in home and abroad.
Keemun Black Tea (祁门红茶): If you have not tasted a fine Keemun black tea, then you are missing out on one of the most famous, and certainly most delicious tasting black teas of China. Keemun black tea is a very bold, strong and malty flavor with a hint of smoky fragrance in the background, and it hails from Qimen County in the Anhui province of China. Keemun black tea is also known in China as “Qihong” for short. Keemun black tea is said to originate from Guangxu, during 1875 in the Qing Dynasty. Keemun black tea has a reputation for being one of the finest black teas on Earth, and the British Royal Family as well as the Queen of Great Britain herself is rumored to enjoy drinking Keemun black tea immensely. Keemun tea also has the honor of winning the golden medal at the 1915 Panama World Exposition, making it the most famous black tea in China.
Duyun Maojian (都匀毛尖): Duyun Maojian is one of the top ten famous Chinese teas, which is a delicious and fine green tea from Duyun County in the Guizhou Province of China. During Ming Dynasty, the Emperor Chongzhen particularly favored this unique green tea and declared it as a tribute. This tea is also a prize-winning tea from the Panama World Exposition in 1915, and as a result it is considered as one of China's most famous green teas.
These are China's top ten famous teas. Nevertheless there are many other excellent Chinese teas not included in this list. China is a mecca of fine and exotic varieties of teas, and we encourage you to research all of China's unique teas to find your favorite flavor! Look at the article for other teas Tea Name Lists.