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Classifications of Chinese Tea

China produces various kinds of tea. According to incomplete statistics, China has over 1000 varieties of famous teas. Tea is classified according to different standards, including processing techniques, place of origin, production season, quality grade, shape and sales.


Processing technique: Green Tea, Black Tea, Cyan Tea/Oolong Tea, Yellow Tea, White Tea, Dark Tea, etc.


Place of Origin: Zhejiang Tea, Fujian Tea, Taiwan Tea, Yunnan Tea, Jiangxi Tea, Anhui Tea, etc.


Production Season: Spring Tea (Picked before April 19-21, or April 4-5, according to the Chinese calendar), Summer Tea, Shu Tea (Picked from August 7-9 to August 23-24 according to Chinese calendar), Autumn Tea, Winter Tea, etc.


Quality Grade: Superfine, First grade, Second grade, Third grade, Fourth grade, Fifth grade, etc.


Shape: Needle-shaped, Spiral-shaped, Chip-shaped, Orchid-shaped, Bar-shaped, etc.


Sale: Export, Domestic sales, Boundary sales, Overseas, etc.


Processing: Unprocessed, Processed, Instant Black Tea, etc.


Fermentation: Non-fermented, Slight fermented, Half-fermented, Complete fermented, etc.




In modern tea studies, tea is classified into basic tea and reprocessed tea. Basic tea includes green tea, black tea, oolong tea, yellow tea, white tea and dark tea. Reprocessed tea includes scented tea, compressed tea, teabag, instant tea, tea drink, etc.


Types of Basic Tea:


Green Tea: Non-fermented tea (Long Jing tea, Bi Luo Chun Tea, etc.) with green leaves and clear tea liquid. Tender sprouts are used.

White Tea: Slightly fermented tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen Tea, Bai Mu Dan, etc.) with apricot yellow tea liquid.


Yellow Tea: Slightly fermented Tea (Jun Shan Yin Zhen Tea, Meng Ding Huang Ya Tea, etc.) with yellow tea leaves and tea liquid.


Oolong Tea: Half-fermented tea (Tie Guan Yin, Da Hong Pao tea, etc.) with golden to orange-red tea liquid, the fragrance of green tea and the mellowness of black tea.


Black Tea: Completely fermented tea (Yunnan black tea, Keemun black Tea, Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, etc.) with sweet red tea liquid and red brewed leaf. Dry tea is dark red even black.


Dark Tea: Post-fermented tea (Pu-erh Tea, An Hua Dark Tea, Liu Bao Tea, etc.) with orange or reddish brown tea liquid and black or brown tea leaves.


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