Tea originated in China during the Shang dynasty as a medicinal drink. Ever since tea has been one of the essential parts of Chinese people’s lives.
Among the different types of tea, green tea is best known for its health benefits. Among other benefits, drinking green tea lowers cholesterol level, according to a study conducted in 2011.
Green tea is the most commonly grown type of tea in the world. The production and manufacture of green tea have spread to many other countries in Asia.
Certain types of green tea have made its way as a tribute tea for the imperial family — making green tea the perfect tea gift for friends, family or business partners.
In this post, you’ll learn 8 types of green teas with a long reputation in China.
Best Chinese Green Tea for Tea Gift
1. Dragon Well Tea
Longing tea which literally translated to Dragon Well tea is pan-roasted green tea produced in the area of Longjing village in Hangzhou. And it’s the most famous green tea in China.
The tea leaves are picked in early April before the Qingming Festival. It’s said that the Dragon Well tea tastes the best when picked before spring’s heavy rainfall. It has the sweetest and richest aroma of the year.
The tea farmer spent approximately 6 hours to pick the tea leaves where it’s roasted right away to stop the natural oxidation process. As such, the tea leaves experience minimal oxidation. Even among the finest of Chinese green teas, the Dragon Well tea has one of the highest concentration of catechins.
Dragon Well tea can be very expensive, there’s no surprise that there’re many varieties of Dragon Well tea in the market. The most authentic Longjing is grown in the West Lake area in Hangzhou. The authentic and higher quality of Dragon Well teas produces tender leaves — uniform in shape and light green color. Lower quality version usually has a darker green color. The Dragon Well tea has the long-lasting aftertaste and a signature chestnut aroma. It’s the easiest way to tell a fake from a real.
2. Biluochun Tea
Biluochun tea is a famous green tea — one of the 10 Chinese famous teas — grown in the Dong Ting mountain area in Jiangsu. The tea leaves are usually cropped during the Spring equinox.
Biluochun is mostly known for its unique appearance and its strong floral aroma and fruity taste. The green tea is rolled into a tight spiral — with curled shape — resembling a snail. Hence the name literally means “Green Snail Spring”.
3. Huangshan Maofeng Tea
Huangshan Maofeng tea is well-known tea in China — one of the famous Chinese green tea — produced in Huizhou city in Anhui province. The tea is grown near the Huangshan — also known as the yellow mountain.
In English, Huangshan Maofeng means Yellow Mountain Fur Peak. The tea leaves have peak shape — sharp at the tip — and covered with soft white hair/fuzz.
The tea is usually picked in the early spring. It has a floral aroma with a long-lasting sweet aftertaste.
4. Liu’an Melon Seed Tea
One of the oldest tea in Chinese history — first recorded in The Classic of Tea.
Liu’an Melon Seed tea is a baked green tea grown in Liu’an city in Anhui province. If you’re wondering, no — the tea isn’t made of melon seed. The name is taken from the unique shape of the tea leaves. It’s flat and oval — resembling a melon seed, hence the name.
During the Ming dynasty, Liu’an Melon Seed tea is widely used to prevent sunstroke — due to its high nutritional value. Not only that, it’s a type of tribute tea for the imperial family during the Qing dynasty.
5. Taiping Houkui Tea
Taiping Houkui Tea literally means “peaceful monkey leader”, is one of the top ten tea in China. In fact, it won the “King of Tea” award in China Tea Exhibition 2004. The tea is grown at the foot of Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) in Anhui province. The best Taiping Houkui is grown in Houkeng village, Houcun village, and Yanjia village.
Taiping Houkui gains its popularity due to its beautiful shape — straight shape resembling a bamboo leaf which is rare among tea leaves. The orchid-like fragrance leaves a lingering sweet aftertaste and a hint of flowery overtones on the palate.
6. Xinyang Maojian Tea
Xianyang Maojian is a superb green tea produced in Xinyang, Henan — known for its unique and delicious flavor. It’s one of the top ten tea in China.
Maojian which means “hairy tips” refers to the appearance of the young tea leaves when they are plucked as the tea are covered with tiny white hairs. The leaves of Maojian tea are firmly rolled with both ends in a pointed shape — needle-like — dry leaves
The unique characteristic of Maojian tea is its fragrant aroma. It gives off a strong grassy — fragrant — and nutty smell.
7. Lushan Yunwu Tea
Lushan Yunwu is one of China’s famous tea. Yunwu means “Cloud Mist”, it’s a type of green tea produced at the peak of the Lushan mountain in Jianxi province. It’s one of China’s finest and became a tribute tea during the Song Dynasty.
Lushan Cloud Mist is characterized by its tender leaves, jade green color, and clear tea. It has sweet and mellow flavor with long-lasting fragrance.
8. Nanjing Yu Hua Tea
Nanjing Yu Hua is a special type of green tea produced in a region near Nanjing city — one of the finest, most prestigious, and most unique in the world. Yu Hua is named after the area it’s grown. The name means “Rain Flower” as it’s harvested from within the rain flower terrace area — Yuhuatai.
Yu Hua tea leaves are processed with great care. It has a delicate appearance and takes great skill to shape the Rain Flower tea into a pine needle shape. In fact, the top premium grades are exclusively handmade.
Yu Hua tea has light, smooth and sweet flowery taste. It receives high reputation in Southeast Asia and often bought as a gift — the perfect gift.
If you’re looking for a tea gift for family, friends or business partners, any tea on this list is a great choice.
Green tea makes up over 50% of China’s tea market share. While it hasn’t been proven that daily consumption of green tea has many health benefits, there’re many studies that associated drinking tea with a lesser risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Making it the best tea gift sets.
To keep its quality, make sure you store the tea in an airtight container. Follow these simple tips to store your tea.