Chinese Tea 101

Chinese tea present different flavors, weight, strength, texture and temperament resulting from different origins and crafts. Let Cha Moods guide you into the secret treasures of Chinese tea with simple words.


5 Major Categories

Categorization of tea is mostly determined by the level of oxidization, which results from different craftsmanships. The taste changes from fresh to mellow when oxidization level goes up. When grading/selecting each tea type, people seek for its distinct qualities, i.e. freshness for Green Tea. A graph is worth a thousand words.




The difference in characteristics comes from the tea leaf types and more importantly the production process.

At the two ends of the spectrum, a tea master seeks either to preserve the most freshness (by killing the yeast on the tea leaf surface with high temperature, aka fixation), or adding more depth (breaking the tea leaf, letting the juice interact with the microbes on the outside, through rolling/shaking the tea leaves). For semi oxidized teas, the goal is to achieve a balance of these two.

Here we included Yellow Tea (a very niche type) as well as it has a distinct 'sweltering' process. Pu'er tea counts as dark tea after the 'aging process', especially the case for Raw Pu'er type, where its oxidization takes place after drying, whereas a new Raw Pu'er tastes closer to green tea.

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