Continued from Part I.
Six more provinces in China known for their fine teas:
Located northwest of Anhui. Tea production goes back 2,000 years, and this province is now the second largest producer of tea in China, with compressed teas being most common. Produces Gu Zhang Maojian, Yellow Tea, Silver Needles teas.
Borders Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces. Over half of the area is mountainous, with tea being grown in seven key areas: Mt. Lu, Xiushui, Jinggang Mountain, Nanchang, Wuyuan, Shangrao, and Nancheng. You may see these names included as part of the tea name. Produces mainly Green Teas (about 80% of total tea produced) with some Blacks, Compressed, and Jasmines.
Jiangsu, also called “Kiangsu”
Located east of Anhui and borders the Yellow Sea. New growth starts in early April, and this harvest is most prized. Produces Bi Luo Chun (some teas grown in Szechuan Province are sold under this name but are not authentic), Pi Lo Chun, and Yu Hua Cha teas.
Szechuan, also called “Sichuan”
Located in central China just north of Yunnan. Springtime growth starts earlier than in more northerly provinces such as Zhejiang. Produces Oolong and Orange Pekoe teas. Also known for spicy cuisine.
Located on the southwestern border of China. Like, Szechuan Province, Springtime growth starts earlier than in more northerly provinces such as Zhejiang. The tea trees are ancient (usually several hundred years old) and grow on terraced hillsides that may also have fruit trees such as mango planted on them. Produces Yunnan Black, Yunnan Golden, and Pu-erh teas.
Zhejiang, also called “Chingkiang”
Located just north of Fujian and having a mild and moist climate that often results in four harvests. The annual temperature range is 16-19˚C with the majority of rainfall coming between Summer and Autumn. The city of Hangzhou is often called “the tea city of China” with its strong teahouse culture and 740 teahouses. Produces Lungching (also called “Longjing” and “Dragonwell”), Gunpowder, Tian Mu Qing Ding, Puan Lung Yin Hao, Jasmine, and Ping Suey teas.
There is a tea here to suit every palate. Knowing a bit about the province in which they’re grown will help you in making your selection. Check out the flavor characteristics of each and buy a small packet (often, sample sizes are available) or get a sampler with several in it so you can try and compare. You’ll soon find which are your favorites. Enjoy!
The Teas of Fujian
The Teas of Yunnan
Lychee Congou China Black Tea (review)
Review of Keemun Panda
Review of Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea
Chun Mee Tea
Lapsang Souchong: History and Recipes
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