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Chinese tea can be grouped into several categories which are Green Tea, White Tea, Yellow Tea, Red Tea, Black Tea, Oolong Tea, Pu Er and Scented Tea. Each category is based on individual quality, taste, tea color, and production as well as processing techniques. Products of each variety are further classified according to grades.
Green Tea is non fermented tea. Well known green teas include Long Jing from the West Lake, Bi Luo Chun from Wu County, Suzhuo, Jiangsu Province and Huang Shan Mao Feng from Mt. Huangshan in Anhui.
White Tea is quite rare teas made from the very young leaf buds of the tea bush. Typically such teas are covered with fine hairs of the tea bud, and have a whitish appearance in the dry leaf, which produces a sweet and delicately flavored pale infusion. Examples of White Tea are White Peony and Shou Mei Wang.
Yellow Tea is mildly fermented type and processing is quite similar to Green Tea, apart from the additional steps taken to turn the tea leaves yellow. One famous known Yellow Tea is Jun Shan Silver from the Hills of Jun Shan, Dong Ting Lake , Hunan Province.
Red Tea is the late fermented type. The raw green tea leaves turn black after being piled up for fermentation. Red Tea leaves are usually used as raw ingredient for many types of compressed tea.
Black Tea is 100% fermented tea. It is described based on the color of the liquor the tea produce. Black Tea is often taken with the addition of milk and or sugar. Lapsang Souchong and Darjeeling are famous Black Tea.
Oolong Tea is somewhere between green and black teas in their production methods, and are consumed without milk or sugar. Oolong Tea is a partially fermented tea. These teas are extremely flavor some and highly aromatic, yet contain no additives.
Pu-Erh is the general name given to a class of non-fermented green tea and red 100% fermented tea which has been allowed to partially decompose and which are then aged for varying periods prior to consumption. There are two types of Pu-Erh raw and cooked. Many Pu-Erh teas are compressed into disc, bowl or other shapes and then dried.
Scented Tea is a mixture of flowers with green tea, black tea or oolong tea. Scented Green Tea is non-fermented while scented Oolong Tea is partially fermented. The flowers include Jasmine, Orchid, Plum, Gardenia, Rose, and sweet-scented Osmanthus with Jasmine being the most popular.
Note: It is possible that certain tea can also belong to another tea category. This is because classification can be done based on the methods used in processing or based on the tea (liquid) color.