Because of the climate and geographical location, different places in China are home to various kinds of tea. Generally, we must distinguish between five kinds of tea in China, classified in accordance with different technologies involved in tea making, namely Green Tea, Black Tea, Wulong, Jasmine Tea and compressed tea. Possibly the most popular of all tea types, Green Tea consists of Longjing Tea of Zhejiang Province, Biluochun of Jiangsu and Maofeng of Huangshan Mountain.
This variety of tea in China keeps original color of the tea leaves and doesn't imply fermentation during processing. Black Tea, also known as Red Tea in China is a variety developed on the Green Tea's basis and features such world-famous brands as Huhong of Hunan, Chuanhong of Sichuan, Dianhong of Yunnan and Quihong of Anhui. Scented or Jasmine Tea is produced by mixing fragrant flowers in tea leaves in the course of processing. This kind of tea enjoys wide popularity in the northern parts of China, as well as a growing number of countries of Europe and Asia.
A specialty from China's provinces on southeast coast, such as Taiwan, Guangdong and Fujian, Wulong Tea represents a variety between Black Tea and Green Tea, made after partial fermentation. The compressed tea, known also as brick tea, is good for storage and transport, and is targeted to ethnic minorities residing in China's border areas. This type is produced in Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan and Hubei provinces.
Currently more than 40 countries worldwide grow tea with Asian countries, producing nearly 90% of total tea output in the world. Thus, it won't be overstatement to say that origins of the tea trees of other counties are directly or indirectly related to China. Tea in China is produced in a number of areas, from Shandong Province in the north to Hainan Island in the south, from Taiwan across the Straits to Tibet in the southwest, totaling over twenty provinces that are generally divided into four main areas: the renowned Lingnan area composed of the southern provinces of Taiwan, Fujian, Guangxi and Guangdong that produce world-famous Wulong Tea; the Southwest area which embraces Tibet, Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan and known for producing compressed, green and black teas; the Jiangbei area that is home to Green Tea in China grown on Gansu and Shaanxi provinces; and the Jiangnan area, regarded as the most prolific of tea-growing areas within the country.
Most of its output is variety of Green Tea, though Black Tea is also produced here. The varieties of tea in China are extensive with a number of different kinds grown during all Chinese dynasties, including the Tang Dynasty, the Song Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty. During these dynasties people have developed the art of tea-drinking, comprised of many aspects. Some of the most noticeable ones include the way of brewing, the tea making and the usage of drinking utensils, like China tea cups and pots.
For brewing teas with fine and delicate flavors like Green and White teas, covered cups, known as Gaiwan has been used in the country since 1350. It consists of a bowl, saucer and lid and allows the tea to be either decanted into small tasting cups or drunk from the bowl.