Chinese Red Tea

Types of Chinese Tea

Chinese Red Tea is known as Black Tea here in the West. All types of tea come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis.
The different teas are creating by different strains of the plant amongst other things.

Processing of Tea Leaves Changes the Type of Tea

. Chinese red tea is just one of the many types of chinese tea and chinese herbal tea.

The processing the picked leaves receive is what changes the qualities and colors of the tea. Whereas we westerners refer to the color of the tea leaves (black), the Chinese refer to the color of the brewed tea (red). Chinese red tea is not to be confused with what the West, and North America calls red tea, which is actually not a tea at all, but Rooibos , a plant from Africa, also known as African Red Tea.

History of Chinese Tea

Types of Chinese Tea

The Chinese have been making tea for more than 4000 years. Used mostly for medicinal purposes, especially the chinese herbal teas, it became a large part of Chinese medicine. Around 300 BC, chinese tea became a daily beverage. During the Han Dynasty (206-220 AD) tea was exported to the Middle East and Japan. By the 17th century, the Dutch began importing chinese tea… spreading it throughout Europe.

Chinese Red Tea

With over 100 types of chinese tea (due to variation in climates, soils, and processing), it is easy to see why tea became so important to China. Adagio Teas offers a wonderful selection to choose from.

Red tea is fully oxidized in processing. Red tea is not as strong as the ‘black’ teas that are popular in the rest of the world. Red tea is grown in the Fujian, Anhui, and Yunnan provinces. The most well-known red teas are Qimen (qihong) from Anhui, Dianhong of Yunnan, Suhong of Jiangsu, Huhong of Hunan and Chuanhong of Sichuan. Red tea is not very popular in China.

The rest of the world does not agree, however. Red tea from China is said to have a more robust flavor than green or yellow tea. The dried leaves also hold their flavor much longer than the more lightly processed teas. The majority of the world appreciates the strong qualities of red tea.

To create Chinese red tea, the leaves are withered first, and then rolled. They get moved to a special tray at a specific temperature and humidity to ferment until they are a brown-red color. Finally, they are dried. Some would describe Chinese red tea as ‘fully fermented’.

Medicinal Properties of Chinese Red Tea

Medicinally, tea contains tannic acid, which has germicidal and anti-inflammatory qualities. It also contains a small amount of caffeine, which the metabolism and the nervous system. Tea can be helpful to the digestion, especially if your diet is heavy in meat. It also has the ability to help discharge nicotine from the systems of smokers, and may help sober up someone who has over-indulged.

Tea that is brewed too strong can have some detrimental effects, however. Besides making a passable dye for fabric, it can dye teeth brown. It can upset the delicate balance of gastric acid in the stomach and cause constipation or indigestion. Some people may find themselves experiencing heart or blood pressure issues if they routinely drink really strong tea. Another side effect may be the reduction of milk production in nursing mothers. It is easy to avoid all this… just don’t brew your tea overly strong.

If you are considering buying high quality chinese tea, you will be impressed with what Adagio Teas offers.


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