Tea is a common drink around the world. But many people do not know the wide varieties of tea that exist under the common names of “green and black” teas. 

Green and black teas are merely umbrellas for the variety of teas that originated in China and have spread throughout the world. 

Within China, the “Ten Great Chinese Teas” are the most notable. 

The “Great Chinese Teas” mentioned below are unique in origin, taste and health benefits.

  1. 1 Longjing & Biluochun Tea

    These two teas are forms of green tea that originated in China approximately 3,000 years ago. They are made using leaves from the evergreen tea shrub.

    Longjing Tea is most known for its vibrant green color and mellow taste. It is mainly produced in the mountains in Hangzhou.

    Longjing Tea
    People often choose Biluochun when looking for a drier tea. This tea is drier because it is grown near Lake Tai. 

    While dry, Biluochun is very refreshing and affects the spirit and mind as it releases more dopamine into the brain.

    Benefits:

    • Boosts energy, which can boost mood (Studies have shown it helps relieve anxiety and depression and reduces stress.)
    • Boosts immune function
    • Contains vitamin A & C
  2. 2 Anxin Tieguanyin & Wuyi Tea

    Oolong is a mix of green and black tea, so it can be cultivated from a variety of plants.

    It originated in China but is most popular in Taiwan today.

    Anxi Tieguanyin is the most famous oolong tea in China. 

    Its name is in respect to the “Chinese Goddess of Mercy.” This represents its purifying and meditative qualities. 

    Some of the purifying qualities of the tea include preventing over-oxidation in the body and expelling internal body heat.

    Wuyi Tea is well known as the “Rock Tea” because of the location in which it is produced: Mount Wuyi. 

    The environment is barren and rocky terrain, but the taste is a combination of earthy and floral flavors.

    Mt. Wuyi
    Benefits:

    • Supports the immune system
    • Reduces abdominal weight
    • Improves eczema
    • Rich in antioxidants
    • Boosts mood, brain clarity and energy levels
    • Reduces stress, which can lead to better sleep
  3. 3 Keemun & Yunnan Pu’er Tea

    Chinese red tea is what is commonly referred to internationally as black tea. It stems from the plant Camellia sinensis.

    It may be more beneficial to drink black tea than coffee. The caffeine levels are lower in black tea providing a more stable energy increase rather than a spike.

    While black tea has been around for thousands of years, Keemun originated in only the 19th century. But it has quickly become a favorite. 

    The favored quality of this tea is due to its production location: the Anhui province, located between the Yellow Mountains and the Yangtze River.

    Keemun Tea contains high percentages of the antioxidants theaflavin and thearubigin. These are important to help reduce free radicals that could cause harm to the body.

    Keemun Tea
    Yunnan Pu’er Tea is unique because it is aged the longest. In addition, the Chinese government designated it a protective origin product.

    The precision in the way the leaves are fermented has made it a hot commodity among avid tea drinkers and the social elite. 

    Therefore, if you wish to try Pu’er tea you need to ensure you are collecting from a trustworthy source.

    You may also find the leaves used in other Chinese dishes such as sticky rice, tea cakes and roasted bamboo.

    Benefits:

    • Reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels
    • Decrease risks of heart disease
    • Helps maintain a healthy gut, which can boost immunity
    • Increases focus and alertness, because it contains caffeine
  4. 4 Bai Mudan and Baihao Yinzhen

    Similar to red/black tea, white tea is also made from Camellia sinensis. It originated in the region of Fujian.

    The most popular white teas are Bai Mudan and Baihao Yin Zhen. 

    White tea has been mostly used for medicinal purposes and is named the “Silver Needle.”

    The Silver Needles of White Tea
    The tea gives calming notes of honeydew and cucumber. White tea differs from other teas as its flavors are less dominant and smoother as you drink it.

    It’s most effective health use is for skin. A London study found that drinking white tea protects skin cells from damage and improves overall complexion.

    Even if you do not have the desire to drink white tea, just placing a white tea bag on the troublesome areas can speed up the healing process.

    Benefits:

    • Full of antioxidants
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Slows the aging process of skin as it protects against UV damage
    • Improves brain health

    Next time you visit your local grocery store, look for some of these teas. It could become your new supplement for coffee, with extra benefits!


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Caroline Liekweg
Caroline is a writing intern from the University of Southern California, majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Chinese for the Professions. She hopes to use her writing to address and understand cultural connections between China and Western countries.
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