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Black Tea Types

Black Tea Types

Black teas have become the most popular tea internationally. Black tea, especially 'new world' CTC, cut tear curl, teas dominate the mass tea bag market. Beyond the tea bag, the world produces many stunning orthodox, full leaf teas. It is interesting to note that some teas that we traditionally call black teas, may in fact be more accurately described as Oolong teas. Good examples of these are many of the modern Darjeeling teas which are not fully oxidised/fermented giving a lighter, often more brisk finish.

Wan Ling Tea House hopes you enjoy our overview on black teas.

Qi Men / Keemun

A classic black tea renowned throughout Europe. Grown around Huang Shan in An Hui province in the county of Qi Men. Qi Men red tea (Hong Cha) has fine, delicate leaves that produce a beautiful red/amber liquor. Like many black teas, they improve with age with many saying that 3-4 year old teas are the best. Qi Men county also produces a range of green teas though these are not as well known as the fully oxidised black teas, due in part to the green teas falling under the larger grouping of 'Mao Feng'.

Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong / Lapsong Souchong (正山小种)

The smoky characteristics of western Lapsong Souchong have made it a tea that people either like or hate. In fact many of the well known branded Lapsong Souchong teas are not genuinely characteristic of what is produced in Guan Mu Shan region, Fujian. This region of Fujian produces Zheng Xiao Zhong red teas ranging from those with no smoke aroma at all through to those with a very pungent smokey finish. The teas are most commonly smoked using pine trees. Variants include burning types of spruce or a mix of tree types which offer different flavours and aromas.

Interestingly it is rumoured that Lapsong Souchong, is likely to be one of the earliest black teas produced in the world. Some sources point to production starting in 1700s.

Dian Hong

Translated, Dian Hong simply means Yunnan Red Tea. Dian is an alternative word or character in Chinese that describes the region of Yunnan, China's south west province. Dian Hong red tea is produced using the the large leafed Assamica variety of the Camellia family, Camellia Senensis Assamica.

Liu Bao Tea

Produced in GuangXi province, this is a very old type of Chinese black tea with some local sources pointing to a history perhaps as long as 1500 years. It can be said that Liu Bao tea is the original forerunner of modern day Chinese Shu PuEr.

Interestingly, Liu Bao tea is by Chinese classifications, a black tea, unlike the teas above which are classed as red teas.

Liu Bao tea shares many of the characteristics of the more well know PuErh tea which for Chinese also is classed as a black tea along with other teas such as AnHui Liu An tea. All of these teas can be aged and go through a secondary fermentation.

YiXing Hong Cha (YiHong)

The home of the world famous YiXing ZiSha teapot and tea ware, also produces it's own black tea / red tea. Known by most Chinese simply as YiHong or YiXing Hong Cha. Typically a small, fine leaf. YiHong can be sourced widely in YiXing though is difficult to find else where. 

Assam Tea

The low lying region of India's further most state of Assam produces what many in Europe deem, the classic full bodied breakfast tea. Mostly full oxidised leaf, the teas are characterised by deep coloured liquors, distinctive aroma and robust flavours that can be prepared with or without milk. Popular in many countries served with a slice lemon.

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