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Chinese Tea

This article is about the varieties of Chinese Tea.

Tea in Tang Dynasty

Premier tea: Xiazhou, Guanzhou, Huzhou,Yuezhou,Pengzhou.

Second grade tea: Jingzhou,Ranzhou, Changzhou,Mingzhou.

Third grade tea: Shouzhou, Hangzhou, Muzhou,Hengzhou, Taizhou, Xuanzhou,Yiazhou, Luzhou.

Fourth grade tea: Jinzhou,Lianzhou,Huangzhou,Sozhou,Yunzhou,Hanzhou, Meizhou.

Tea in Song dynasty

Tea was a major crop in Song dynasty. Tea farms spread across sixty six prefactures covering two hundred forty two counties (History of Song Dynasty ). Tea from Zhejiang and Fujian were expensive tribute tea, some were exported to South East Asia and Arab countries.

Tea was pressed into tea cake, some embossed with patterns of dragon and phoenix with exotic names:

Large dragon tea cake
Large dragon tea cake
small dragon tea cake
Surpass Snow Dragon Ball cake
Fine Silver Sprout,
Cloud Leave, Gold Money,
Jade flower,
Inch of Gold,
Longevity Sprout,
Eternal Spring Jade Leave,
Dragon in the Clouds,
Longevity Dragon Sprout,
Dragon Phoenix and Flower,
Eternal Spring Silver Sprout.....

Tea in Ming dynasty

Ming dynasty scholoar ??? Wen Zhenheng's book ??? Zhang Wu Zhi ( On Superfluous Things) chapter 12 contains description of several famous Ming dynasty tea: The following are my translation:

Tiger Hill Tea and Heaven Pool Tea

"Tiger Hill" is the finest tea in the world, pity that the production quantity is rather small, also controlled by government office. Lone mountainer got hold of a pot or two as rare tea. However its taste is actually second to "Heaven Pool" tea. Those from Dragon Pool are fine, those from the South Hill are the earliest, with a bit of grass scent

From Wen Zhen Heng: On Superfluous Things, Zhang Wu Zhi

The Jie Tea[1]

Jie Tea from Chang Xing of Zhejiang is superb and highly regarded, though rather pricy. Those from Jing Qi[2] is slighttly inferior. When picking tea, there is no need to pick too fine leaves, too fine tea leaves are nascent and lack flavour. Also void leaves which are too green, as they are too old and have lost tenderness in flavour. It is best to pick the leaves which are greenish roundish and thick. Do not dry them in the sun, rather bake them with charcoal fire, cool down with a fan then stored in container lined with ruo[3] leaves and keep it on a high place, because tea relish warmth and dry abhor cool and dampness. Notes: [1] "Jie" is the short hame for "Luo Jie" Luo Jie was the name of a mountain bordering Zhejiang and Jing Qi prefactures (in Ming dynasty) , "jie"-- meant boundary. Chang Xin was south of Luo Jie mountain, Jing Qi was north of Luo Jie. Chang Xin retains its name till today. Luo Jie tea from Gu Chu mountain in Chang Xing county in Zhejiang was also known as Gu Chu Voilet Shoot. Gu Chu Voilet Shoot had being imperial tribute tea Since Tang dynasty for nearly nine hundred years until the middle of Qin dynasty. Gu Chu Voilet Shoot has being revived again in the seventies as a top grade tea in China

2] Jin Qi is now called Yi Xin township. Jin Qi tea was also known as Yang Xian tea

[3] Ruo leave: Leaves from Indocalamus tessellatus bamboo

The leave is about 45 cm long.

Translated by Gisling from Wen Zhenheng: Zhang Wu Zhi

Liu An Tea

"Liu An" [1] tea, great for medicine: if not baked right, it cannot let out aroma and has a bitter taste. The inherent quality of this tea is actually quite good.

Translated by Gisling from Wen Zhenheng: Zhang Wu Zhi Note: [1]: Liu An is the name of a county in Anhui. Liu An tea is still produced from Liu An county in Anhui province in China. The Liu An tea from the Bat Cave of Jin Zai county is of superior quality, as thousand of bats in the cave provide ideal fertilizer for tea pla

Song Luo[1] Tea

There is'nt any real Song Luo tea outside an area of a dozen mu [1], only one or two family posses the refined skill to prepare Song Luo tea. Lately the tea hand baked by mountain monks is even better. Real Song Luo tea is produced at the foot of the Dong Shan [ Cave Hill ] and on top of the Tian Chi[Heaven Pool], highly treasured by people in Xin An county [2]. It is also a favourite for the people of Nan Du and Qu Zong counties, due to its ease in brewing and intense aroma.

Translated from Wen Zhenheng: Zhang Wu Zhi, vol 12: On Scent and Tea

[1] Song Luo tea is manufactured at Song Luo mountain located north of Xiu Ming township in An Hui proovince in China. The tea farms are scattered between six to seven hundred meter height on the mountain.

[2] One mu = 667 square meter

[3] Now Xiu Ning county in An Hui province

Dragon Well [1] tea and Eyes on Heaven [2] Tea

Long Jin and Tian Mu, because cold season comes earlier to the mountains, there is abundant snow in the winter, hence the tea plants germinate later, if picked and baked properly, may match Heaven Pool tea.

Translated from Wen Zhenheng: Zhang Wu Zhi by Gisling

[1] Long Jin tea is manufactured in the West Lake district in Hangzhou city, China. There is a Long Jin [Dragon Fountain] foutain on the Feng Huang mountain.

[2] Tian Mu mountain is located in Lin An county in the north west of Zhejiang province. There are two peaks of fifteen hundred meter height, each with a pond on top filled with crystal clear water, look like a pair of eyes, hence the name of Eyes on Heaven

Variety of Tea

Green Tea

Red Tea

White Tea

Oolong tea

Flower tea

Yellow tea

Pressed tea

Quick tea

Famous Chinese tea

Jiaogulan tea

Longjing Cha (Dragon Well Tea)

Biluochun Cha

Jasmine tea

PuEr tea

Tianmu Green Peak tea

Liu An tea

Qimen red tea

Junshan silver needle

Yiandang white cloud tea

Putuo buddha tea

Huading Mist tea

Songluo tea

Mongding tea

Jinshan fragrance tea

Monkey tea

Guto Violet

Lushan mist

Jingang green

Twin Well green

Nine dragon

Wuganshan rice tea

White Peony

Single leaf chong tea

Dongding Oolong

Ermei bamboo green

Jiaogulan tea

Chinese Tea

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