Types of Chinese Tea

Being one of the primary birthplaces of tea, there are multiple types of teas produced in China that are then used by people all over the world. They are primarily categorized based on how the tea leaves are processed and what else is added to them. Chinese teas can be enjoyed throughout the day with any meal.

Popular Traditional Chinese Tea Varieties

Green Teas

The most popular type of tea to originate in China; Contains less caffeine than black teas

Anji bai cha Taiping houkui Biluochun
Da Fang Chun Mee Baimao Hou
Mengding Ganlu Longjing tea (Dragon Well tea) Lu’an Melon Seed tea
Huangshan Maofeng Zhuyeqing Gunpowder tea

Black (Red) Teas

More oxidized than any other variety

Keemun Dianhong (Golden Tips Red Tea) Jin Jun Mei
Golden Monkey tea Lapsang souchong Yingdehong
‘Congou’

Oolong

Semi-oxidized teas; Counted among the most expensive teas in the world

Bai Jiguan Qilan Bu Zhi Chun
Jin Suo Chi Ban Tian Yao Huang Meigui
Da Hong Pao Fo Shou Tieluohan
Jin Fo Huang Guanyin Shui Jin Gui
Ruan Zhi Shui Hsien/Shui Xian Rougui
Tieguanyin Single Bush Dancong

Yellow Teas

A group of quite rare and expensive Chinese teas

Huoshan Huangya Junshan Yinzhen Haimagong Cha
Mogan Huangya Meng Ding Huangya Beigang Maojian
Weishan Maojian Pingyang Huangtang Yuan’an Luyuan
Da Ye Qing

White Teas

Prepared with minimally processed tea leaves; Some may contain young unopened flower buds from tea plants; caffeine content is similar to green teas

Baihao Yinzhen (Silver needle tea) Bai Mudan (White peony tea) Shou Mei (Long life eyebrow)
Gong Mei (Tribute eyebrow) Monkey Picked tea

Dark Teas (Fermented)

Fermented and aged for a few months to many years; comes in differently shaped pellets

Pu-erh (sometimes classified separately) Lu Bian cha Qing Zhuan cha
Fu Zhuan cha Liu An cha Liu Bao cha

Scented or Blended Teas

Includes tea blends of different varieties as well as teas scented with herbs and flowers

Russian Caravan Gui Hua cha/Osmanthus tea (green tea with osmanthus flower) rose congou (black tea with rose)
chrysanthemum pu-erh Lapsang souchong (black tea with pine) Flowering tea/Blooming tea
Ba Bao Cha (Eight Treasure tea) Jasmine tea (green tea and jasmine flower)

Herbal Teas

Infusions made with flowers and herbs; most have various medicinal properties; do not contain any caffeine as these do not use actual tea leaves

Chinese knot-weed tea Ginseng tea Wong Lo Kat
Chrysanthemum tea Hibiscus tea Jin Yin Hua (Honeysuckle tea)
Da Zao (Red Date or Jujube tea) Cong Bai And Sheng Jiang (Scallion and Ginger tea) Ling Zhi (Reishi Mushroom tea)
Ginkgo biloba tea Qian Ri Hong (Globe Amaranth tea) Ginger tea
Ma-huang (ephedra tea) Chinese Star Anise tea Burdock Root tea
Kuding/bitter tea (made from different plant species including hollies and wax) Blackberry leaf tea or Chinese sweet tea Gugi-cha/Goji Berry tea (made with fruits and leaves of goji berry or wolfberry)

Another popular drink made using tea leaves along with fruits, spices, and other flavoring agents is Bubble tea, also called Boba and pearl tea. Originating in Taiwan, this milk-based drink is available both hot and cold.

Other than these, it is common to flavor Chinese green, black, and white teas with different fruits (lemon, grapefruit, lychee, pear), herbs (mint, basil), and spices (cardamom, clove, cinnamon).

There are herbal teas like buckwheat tea and Kombucha (fungus tea believed to have originated in China) that has been consumed in China over many years, along with other major producers like Japan and Korea.