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China is very rich in tea resources with many varieties, some of which are famous all over the world. Below is a list of the top ten greatest Chinese teas which were chosen by the Great Chinese Tea Appraisal Association in 1959 according to current tea consumption trends including Longjing Tea from the West Lake, Biluochun Tea from Dongting Mountain, Maofeng Tea from Huangshan Mountain, Yunwu Tea from Lushan Mountain, Liu’an Guapian Tea, Silver Needle Tea from Junshan Mountain, Maojian Tea from Xinyang, Yan Tea from Wuyi Mountain, Tieguanyin Tea from Anxi, and black tea from Qimen.
1. Longjing Tea from the West Lake
West Lake Longjing Tea is actually a kind of roasted green tea which is planted among the mountainous areas around the West Lake of Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province, and is considered the national drink by the Chinese. It was divided into 5 sub-brands in history, namely the Lion, Dragon, Cloud, Tiger, and Plum brands, among which the most famous was the Lion brand; they are now known collectively as West Lake Longjing Tea. Longjing Tea from the West Lake is characterized by green leaves, a thick fragrance, sweet flavor, and delicate shape.
2. Biluochun Tea from Dongting Mountain
Planted on Dongting Mountain of Tai Lake in the Jiangsu Province, Biluochun Tea is famous for its delicate appearance, fruity flavor, floral aroma, and white hairs.
3. Maofeng Tea from Huangshan Mountain
Planted in the Huangshan Mountain Scenic Area in the Anhui Province, Maofeng Tea is in the shape of a sparrow’s tongue in appearance and characterized by an orchid aroma and white hairs covering the leaves. The best time to pick the leaves, of which only the new tea buds are picked, is considered to be during the Qingming Festival (also known as the Tomb Sweeping Festival) and in the summer.
4. Yunwu Tea from Lushan Mountain
Planted in the Lushan Mountain Scenic Area of the Jiangxi Province, Yunwu Tea functioned as gongcha (served only to emperors) in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It enjoys a great reputation for its delicate shape in clear soup with pure flavor, and is popularly known for prolonging people’s lives.
5. Liu’an Guapian Tea
Liu’an Guapian Tea is actually a kind of green tea planted in the mountainous areas of Jinzhai County in the Anhui Province, and its leaves are in the shape of a melon seed. Only the second leaf on each branch of the tea tree is used, and the central vein of each leaf is removed in the tea-making process. It is mainly characterized by its bright color and sweet flavor.
6. Silver Needle Tea from Junshan Mountain
Mainly planted on Junshan Mountain of the Hunan Province, Silver Needle Tea functioned as gongcha (served only to emperors) in the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911), and is actually a kind of yellow tea. It is characterized by its sweet flavor and white hairs in yellow soup.
7. Maojian Tea from Xinyang
Mainly planted in the mountainous areas of Xinyang in the Henan Province, Maojian tea is one of the most famous specialties of Henan. The color of Maojian tea is dark green with delicate edges, and it is characterized by its thin and firmly rolled appearance with both ends in a pointed shape, releasing a fragrant smell in green soup, creating a peaceful atmosphere.
8. Yan Tea from Wuyi Mountain
Yan Tea is actually a kind of Wulong tea which grows on Wuyi Mountain north of the Fujian Province, combining the delicate fragrance of green tea with the sweet flavor of black tea. The most famous Yan Tea from Wuyi Mountain is Da Hong Pao, which is characterized by its green color and fragrant flavor in orange soup. due to its high quality, it is usually reserved only for honored foreign guests by the Chinese government.
9. Tieguanyin Tea from Anxi
Many tea trees grow in Anxi of the Fujian Province, among which the most famous is the Tieguanyi tea tree, and it is actually a kind of Wulong tea. The main characteristics of Tieguanyin tea from Anxi lie in its tightly curled leaves of consistent color and sweet orchid aroma, and the soup is golden and bright.
10. Black Tea from Qimen
Produced in the Qimen County of Huangshan City in the Anhui Province, black tea from Qinmen is characterized by its orchid fragrance and fruity flavor (combing a pine flavor with plum flavor). It is very popular in England as the most prominent ingredient of English breakfast tea, and is considered one of the 3 most fragrant teas in the world together with Darjeeling tea from India and seasonal tea from Sri Lanka.
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