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All the Tea in China

Updated on November 10, 2009

Chinese Tea

Chinese tea comes in three main varieties:  black (red, in Chinese), green, and floral.  The floral teas are usually the lightest, and black tea is the strongest.   Some of the flowers that are most commonly used in making Chinese tea include chrysanthemum, jasmine, honeysuckle, and osmanthus.  The floral taste is fragrant and often slightly sweet.

Herbal teas are usually used for medicinal purposes.  Most herbal teas have a blend of ingredients, and may or may not include actual tea leaves.  

Bottled teas have gotten to be very popular in China and other parts of Asia today.  Oolong teas, green teas, and many varieties of floral teas are often seen on shelves and in refrigerators in convenience stores all over China today.  The drinks may be either sweetened or unsweetened, though traditionally Chinese tea is almost never prepared with sugar (with the exception of some of the floral teas).

There are so many flavors and varieties of tea that it is nearly impossible to list them all.  Tea is such an integral part of Chinese culture that a short overview of "tea culture" is nearly impossible to come by.  Real connoisseurs can spend a whole lifetime just gaining more and more expertise about tea.

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    • Shelly Bryant profile image
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      Shelly Bryant 7 years ago from Singapore and/or Shanghai

      Thanks BkCreative.

      I'm an avid tea drinker, and always have several different types of leaves at home in Shanghai. Tie Guan Yin is probably my favorite at the moment, thought Dongfang Mei Ren (Beauty of the East) is probably my all-time favorite.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      When I was in Beijing - I had a bottle of jasmine tea - and all I could think was - "What is this happiness elixir?" - it was so good.

      Fortunately, I live in NYC and I know where to find the big Chinese Markets and a great Korean market - I can stock up on every kind of tea for 1/2 the price of everywhere else. And it is loose tea!

      Yes, it is getting better here in the US. Imagine living on those brown tea bags forever - which we all did - while the world enjoys 100s of healthy teas.

      Lovely hub! Thank you!

    • Shelly Bryant profile image
      Author

      Shelly Bryant 7 years ago from Singapore and/or Shanghai

      I always get a little frustrated with the lack of tea selection when I travel back to the US, Malcolm. But I have to admit, it is better than before.

      Shelly

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      Malcolm 7 years ago

      Even for a confirmed coffee drinker, the variety of teas is exciting. So, too, is the fact that their popularity makes teas easier to find at the store.

      Malcolm