Forget about the ready-made Chinese tea that comes conveniently in a bottle, can or tetra pack. If possible, you should brew your own Chinese tea using dry tea leaves (loose leaves) at least once in a while. While there are many types of Chinese teas available, we have compiled and narrowed them to 6 popular types you should know.
Originated from the Fujian province of Anxi region, Tieguanyin (or “tit kun yam” in Cantonese) is a type of oolong tea that contains a delicate taste of flowery fragrance and mellow sweetness. The Chinese name of the tea literally translated as “Iron Goddess of Mercy” or “Iron Buddha”. It contains numerous health benefits such as promoting skin & digestion health, helps to lose weight and improves mental alertness.
2) Pu Erh
Bold and full-bodied — these are the two words that best described for Pu Erh tea, which hails all the way from the Yunnan province. Pu Erh (pronounced as “po lay” in Cantonese) has a distinct earthy flavour, while the overall strong taste complements well with greasy food like dim sum or fried dishes. Some of the health benefits you can get from consuming Pu Erh tea regularly includes lowering cholesterol level, eliminating free radicals from the body and may even prevent cancer growth as well as promoting bone health.
Longjing needs no introduction, particularly if you are a fan of Chinese green tea. Originated from Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province, Longjing even goes by the name of “Dragon Well” in English. This particular green tea is known for its refreshing aroma that both delicate and mellow to the taste. Consuming Longjing is also good for heart health and weight loss, thanks to its rich antioxidant properties.
4) Xiang Pian
Xiang Pian is a popular scented Chinese tea made from a combination of green tea and jasmine flowers. This particular blend helps to release the distinct flowery aroma that is both mellow and mildly sweet. The tea itself is originated from the city of Yi Bin in the Sichuan Province. It also contains numerous health benefits from boosting the immune system to reducing cholesterol level.
5) Ju Hua
Easily the most popular and widely-consumed Chinese tea of all, Ju Hua Cha is also known as “guk fa” in Cantonese or “chrysanthemum tea” in English. First cultivated in China way back in the 15th century B.C., the chrysanthemum flower is mainly used as a herbal remedy for relieving headaches and lowering blood pressure. Today, you can easily find chrysanthemum tea almost everywhere in Asia. It has a refreshing floral scent that can be consumed with or without additional (rock/cane) sugar since the tea itself is naturally sweet. It also has a cooling property, making it an ideal herbal drink for all year long if you live in a tropical country like Malaysia and Singapore. Not to mention it provides numerous health benefits such as reducing stress level, promoting eye health and able to remove toxins from your body, thanks to its natural diuretic properties.
6) Ju Pu
Also known as “guk bo” in Cantonese, Ju Pu is actually a combination of Ju Hua (chrysanthemum) and Pu Erh (“po lay”). This combination gives the tea a mix of flowery aroma and delicate sweetness of chrysanthemum with a full-bodied, earthy flavour of Pu Erh. You can often find Ju Pu in Chinese restaurants serving seafood or dim sum dishes.
You can check out more Chinese tea options and even teaware, all from Purple Cane, who houses a wide range of all things tea!