10 Most Popular Teas in China

by Ella

Tea holds a revered place in Chinese culture, spanning thousands of years of history and tradition. From bustling city streets to tranquil rural landscapes, tea is an integral part of daily life in China. With a rich array of flavors, aromas, and health benefits, Chinese teas have captivated tea enthusiasts worldwide. In this article, we delve into the essence of China’s tea culture by exploring the ten most popular teas that have stood the test of time.

10 Most Popular Teas in China

1. Longjing Tea (龙井茶) – The Emperor of Green Tea:

Hailing from the picturesque West Lake region of Hangzhou, Longjing tea is celebrated as the “Emperor of Green Tea.” Its flat, jade-green leaves produce a delicate brew with a fresh, chestnut-like flavor and a lingering sweetness. Longjing tea is renowned for its smooth texture and unique “four uniques”: emerald color, aromatic fragrance, mellow taste, and beautiful shape.


2. Tieguanyin Tea (铁观音) – The Iron Goddess of Mercy:

Originating from the Fujian province, Tieguanyin tea is revered for its floral aroma, complex flavor profile, and lingering aftertaste. Legend has it that Tieguanyin tea was discovered by a devout farmer who found an iron statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, in a dilapidated temple. In gratitude, the farmer cultivated the tea bushes surrounding the statue, leading to the creation of this beloved oolong tea.


3. Pu’er Tea (普洱茶) – The Aged Elixir:

Hailing from the misty mountains of Yunnan province, Pu’er tea is renowned for its earthy flavor, smooth texture, and unique aging process. Unlike other teas, Pu’er undergoes microbial fermentation, which enhances its flavor and complexity over time. Aged Pu’er teas are highly sought after for their deep, mellow taste and reputed health benefits, making them a prized addition to any tea collection.


4. Dahongpao Tea (大红袍茶) – The Red Robe of Wuyi:

Grown in the rocky cliffs of the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian province, Dahongpao tea is steeped in legend and history. Legend has it that during the Ming Dynasty, a sick emperor was cured by drinking tea made from the leaves of the “Big Red Robe” bushes, leading to its revered status. This heavily oxidized oolong tea is characterized by its rich, roasted flavor, and mineral-rich terroir, making it a favorite among connoisseurs.


5. Huangshan Maofeng Tea (黄山毛峰茶) – The Furry Peak of Huangshan:

Named after the iconic peaks of Huangshan Mountain in Anhui province, Huangshan Maofeng tea is celebrated for its delicate aroma, sweet taste, and tender, fuzzy leaves. Hand-picked during the early spring harvest, this green tea undergoes minimal processing to preserve its natural flavors and aromas. With its refreshing taste and vibrant green liquor, Huangshan Maofeng is a quintessential representation of Anhui’s tea craftsmanship.

6. Jasmine Tea (茉莉花茶) – The Fragrant Blossom Infusion:

Combining the floral essence of jasmine blossoms with delicate green tea leaves, Jasmine tea is beloved for its intoxicating aroma and soothing taste. Produced primarily in the Fujian province, this scented tea undergoes a meticulous process where freshly harvested tea leaves are layered with jasmine flowers to absorb their fragrance. The result is a light, floral brew with a subtly sweet finish, perfect for relaxation and contemplation.

7. Lapsang Souchong Tea (正山小种) – The Smoky Black Tea:

Originating from the misty Wuyi Mountains of Fujian province, Lapsang Souchong tea is renowned for its distinctive smoky flavor and bold character. To create this unique tea, fresh tea leaves are withered over pine wood fires, imparting a robust smokiness to the leaves. Loved by tea aficionados for its assertive taste and lingering aroma, Lapsang Souchong is a tea experience like no other.

8. White Tea (白茶) – The Purity of Simplicity:

Prized for its delicate flavor and minimal processing, White tea is revered for its simplicity and elegance. Produced primarily in the Fujian province, White tea is made from young tea buds and leaves that are gently withered and dried to preserve their natural flavors. With its subtle sweetness and floral undertones, White tea offers a serene drinking experience that celebrates the purity of nature.

9. Wuyi Rock Tea (武夷岩茶) – The Essence of Terroir:

Grown in the mineral-rich soil of the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian province, Wuyi Rock tea embodies the essence of its rocky terroir. This category of oolong tea encompasses a variety of cultivars, each with its own unique flavor profile and mineral notes. From the floral sweetness of Shui Xian to the spicy complexity of Rou Gui, Wuyi Rock tea offers a diverse range of tastes and aromas that reflect the rugged beauty of its mountainous origins.

10. Chrysanthemum Tea (菊花茶) – The Herbal Infusion:

Steeped in Chinese herbal medicine tradition, Chrysanthemum tea is prized for its cooling properties and floral fragrance. Made from dried chrysanthemum flowers, this caffeine-free infusion is enjoyed hot or cold and is believed to alleviate symptoms of heat-related illnesses and promote relaxation. With its golden hue and delicate aroma, Chrysanthemum tea offers a refreshing respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

See Also: Chinese Tea Eggs


As we journey through the diverse landscapes and rich traditions of China’s tea culture, it becomes evident that tea is more than just a beverage—it is a reflection of history, artistry, and community. Whether sipped in a bustling teahouse or savored in the tranquility of a bamboo grove, each cup of tea tells a story of craftsmanship and reverence for nature’s bounty. From the verdant hills of Hangzhou to the mist-shrouded peaks of Wuyi, the ten teas highlighted in this article offer a glimpse into the time-honored rituals and flavors that continue to inspire tea lovers around the world. So, the next time you brew a pot of tea, take a moment to savor the aroma, taste, and tradition that have been steeped into every leaf. Cheers to the timeless allure of Chinese tea!



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