There are a lot of teas in China, a fact that has given rise to the popular saying – all the tea in China. The abundance of tea there should come as no surprise, given that China is not only the birthplace of tea but is also the number one tea producer in the world.
Many of China’s teas are green, but you can also find a wide range of pretty much any of the other main varieties. For a brief overview of Chinese black teas, refer to China Black, a recent article posted in these pages.
When it comes to green tea, China’s varieties are among the best in the world, rivaled only by the distinctive green teas of Japan. Given that entire books have been written on the teas of China, it would be foolhardy to try to tackle its green ones in a brief article such as this one. But here’s a quick overview of a few of the better known ones.
Also known as Longjing, Dragonwell is arguably one of China’s best-known and most popular green teas. It hails from Zhejiang province and is characterized by it long thin flat leaves and a distinctive flavor that is often compared to chestnuts.
Another product of Zhejiang province, Gunpowder tea is well known for its tiny tightly rolled leaves, which resemble, at least to some extent, its namesake. Gunpowder tea is particularly popular in northern Africa, where it is used to make a heavily sweetened mint tea.
Most commonly made with green tea, Jasmine is a flavored variety that is made by leaving the finished tea leaves to absorb the essence of jasmine flowers, most of which are then removed from the final product.
Bi Lo Chun
Also known as Green Snail Spring, for its unusual curled leaves, this delicately flavorful variety is a product of Jiangsu and Fujian provinces.