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This is a green tea from Nanjing that is also sold as Nan Jing Yu Hua and Yu Hua Cha 雨花茶. The leaves are round and pointy like needles. The production is made by hand.

Illustrated tea
Producer: 南京天绿工贸有限公司
Store: http://world.taobao.com/item/19175806825.htm?fromSite=main
More information: http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E5%8D%97%E4%BA%AC%E9%9B%A8%E8%8A%B1%E8%8C%B6&prd=button_doc_jinru

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太平猴魁

This is one of China’s most famous green teas and one of the most exciting. The dried tea leaves are very large, flat and has a clear grid.

The best tea is grown in the village of Sanhe in the Yellow Mountains. The village has three main areas of cultivation of tea, Houkeng, Hougang and Yanjiacun, also referred to as villages in some literature. Tea is grown admittedly in areas around Sanhe but this is of lower quality and cost considerably less. Tai Ping Hou Kui is grown between 500 and 750 meters above the sea in very steep, shady hillsides. The climate in the region is temperate, it rains plentiful and mist covers the mountains, a suitable climate for tea.

Varieties
Tai Ping Hou Kui is produced by a tea sort named Shi Da Cha, a leaved and large adult tea tree that only grown in Anhui. The shoots can grow up to 15 cm long, a prerequisite for Tai Ping Hou Kuis extreme look.

Identification
Tai Ping Hou Kui means “Peaceful apledare”. Tai Ping is the name of the county that this tea comes from. “Hou” comes from “Houkeng” the valley this tea is named after. Houkeng means “Apgrop” and the valley used to take shelter in wartime. The name “Kui” comes from the tea plantation who invented tea in the early 1900s, Wang Kui Chen. Kui also means “great” or “leader” rather appropriate since this tea made of unusually large leaf tea.

Story
Of China’s 10 most famous green teas, this is the youngest but at the same time it first became known abroad. 1915 won it, along with Keemun, gold medal at the “Panama Pacific International Exposition”.

Combine
The leaves harvested when about 20% of the shots has a leaf bud and three partially developed leaves. Usually this takes place between April 20 and May 5 In recent years the harvest started earlier and earlier. Since telöven will be very large, it is not the first harvest that gives the best tea. The tea leaves are growing very fast and it only takes a few days for the leaves to be 15 cm long. After about two weeks, the harvest is over.

During the harvesting shots with three leaves which are processed to finished tea on the day.

Manufacture
Tai Ping Hou Kui has a unique manufacturing process – rather than undergo a second frying is baked and moreover it is rolled. It takes one hour to produce 1.5 kg finished tea.

Forming
After the tea leaves picked broken tops of. During this step the finest telöven about 15 cm long.

Roasting
The leaves are placed in a relatively cool 100 degrees hot wok pan for two to three minutes to prevent oxidation.

Tai Ping Hou Kui1

Baking
After frying, oven-baked, pressed and dried telöven to get their characteristic shape. The temperature in the oven is about 60 degrees. When telöven is finished, they have shrunk to around 5 cm.

Quality and fakes
Counterfeits are common and it will be factory-made tea that looks at least as good as it is handmade. Nowadays, there are at least four different grades and one of the better, if not the best, called Cha Wang Tai Ping Hou Kui.

Source: Hojo Tea

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This is one of China’s 10 most famous teas. The name means “sunflower seeds from Liu An” probably because the dry tea leaves reminiscent of sunflower seeds.

Tea has been cultivated tea in Lu’an (Liu An) 六安, Liu An Gua Pians main growing area, since the Tang Dynasty, about 1300 years ago. Tea from Lu’an has always been very popular, mentioned in literature and it have been a tributte to the Emperor. Liu An Gua Pian, however, has probably not been manufactured in more than a century, two legends, states that 1905 was first production year (2). The tea became popular quickly, which meant that production and cultivation area was spread. Originally produced tea in the mountains of Jinzhai County where the finest tea is still grown. The largest amount of tea is grown, however, in Lu’an, but there are also grown a lot of tea in Huoshan. The most famous tea is grown on Mount Qiyun 齐云山.

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Unlike most other Chinese green teas, Liu An Gua Pian is made of ​​mature tea leaves. One of the varieties used are Anhui San Hao Xiao Ye Zhong (Anhui # 3 Small Leaves Bush) (3). After picking where a leaf bud and two tea leaves are picked, the full-grown tea leaves are cleaned from the bud and twig. The leaves are fried gently with varying temperature in a large wok pan and then dried. The whole process is manual. Since the production process is relatively complicated people tried to simplify it for many years. This undermined the quality and gave the tea a poor of reputation. This has now stopped and Liu An Gua Pian is often included on lists of China’s 10 most famous teas.

Sometimes the name of this tea depends on the leaves used in the production. If the bud is used it is called Liu An Yinzhen, tea made from the first leaf is called Liu An Ti Pian, the second is called Liu An Gua Pian and the third, Liu An Mei Pian (1).

1 All the Tea in China
2 Hudong
3 Seven Cups Tea

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Huo Shan Huang Ya is a yellow tea has become very popular in recent years. It has won several awards and was widely reported during the Olympics in China. The tea is grown at Huoshan in Anhui at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. Hills where the tea is grown is misty and has suitable conditions for tea. Most of the production is consumed in China but exported a part of Germany and the United States.

Hou_Shan_Huang_Ya2

During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1644, 1644-1911) this was a popular tribute tea, but was later forgotten (1). With the help of three 80-year-old tea plants it was re-created in 1971 and it immediately became very popular. The first year it produced 14 kg, 1973 and 1974 the production was about 200 kg but in 1985 production was 3700 kg (2). Nowadays the production is 4500 tons, worth 150 million yuan. Approximately 90% of all households in the region engaged in the production (2).

The tea consists almost entirely of leaf buds, which gives a very mild and slightly spicy taste.

Manufacture
Usually this tea is made of two leaves and a leaf bud but it sometimes it is made out only ofleaf buds. The leaves are picked early in the morning is withered down before the actual production begins. The first step is the fixing or frying. Approximately 100 g of tea leaves is fried gently in a 60-70 cm large coal fired pan. I am a bit unsure about the rst of the production, but the tea is heated to 100 degrees and allowed to cool one or more times. After this, the leaves are spread to yellow, a process that takes one to two days. During the yellowing the leaves dries and if I understand correctly, the leaves can be quite hot. Finally the leaves are dried at 100-120 degrees (2).

1. TeaSpring
2. Baidu
It depicted the tea is from TeaSpring harvested in 2010. It costed $ 7.2 to 25 grams. The rating applies to this tea.

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Wu Li Qing 雾里青
August 162015

Wu Li Qing is grown around Jiuhua Mountain and Shitai County.

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This tea is one of China’s most famous teas, still it is produced in very small quantities. At least if one ignores the large amount of adulterated tea soldout under the same name. According to a credible source only 500 kg of this tea is produced aech year (1) while but another source indicates 300 kg/year (2).

The tea leaves are yellowish green, straight and covered with fine hair. About 2.5 to 3 cm long and 3 to 4 mm wide. The tea is classed as yellow, which means that it is manufactured in a very special way and it is grown in one place, the mountain in June Shan 君山 of Lake Dongting 洞庭湖, very near Yueyang 岳阳.

June Shan is a very small mountain area, about 1 km wide, covered with mist much of the year. Total plantations extend of 72 rock of varying size. There are also grown tea on the northern shores of Dongting but then the climate here is different from that at Jun Shan is not regarded as genuine June Shan Yin Zhen (1).
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History
June Shan Yin Zhen has a long history, one source indicates that it has been produced since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) under the name Huang Ling Mao 黄翎毛 (2) while others are more cautious, stating that it was produced since the end 1500s. As usual, everything about the Chinese teas history should be taken with a big grain of salt. After Tang Dynasty, the tea have become a tributte to the Emperor and was produced in very small amount, around half a kilo per year (2). During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the tea have been called Bai He Ling 白鹤翎 because it was grown near the temple Bai Ling He 白鹤翎. It apparently also called Bai Mao Jian 白毛尖 (white needele) because of their white fluff the tea had at this time. The tea got its present name during the Qing Dynasty (1912-1949) (2).
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Over the past 50 years, the tea has won several awards and is a common gift to the Chinese foreign guests, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. June Shan Yin Zhen is said to be Mao Zedong’s favorite tea as well, but it is hard to be sure.

Varieties and qualities
Besides a suitable climate, this tea uses a special local cultivar characterized by its dense and long, narrow leaf buds. Where thiis cultivar originates is uncertain because this area has been involved in a number of wars, resulting in a lack of reliable written sources (2). There has been some experimentation with other cultivars, including Long Jing No. 47 and Da Bai Hao from Fujian (1), sold as genuine June Shan Yin Zhen, something that destroys the reputation of this tea.

Recently Hunan Junsha Yinzhen Tea Co. bought all the tea plantations at Jun Shan, which means that only the tea from this industry can be counted as genuine June Shan Yin Zhen. Unfortunately, this has not reduced the number of counterfeits, but if possible, increased the confusion. The reason is that the company sells several teas as June Shan Yin Zhen even if they are produced in different ways. The most common one is Jun Shan Qing Zhen, a green tea with similar appearance as Jun Shan Yin Zhen. This tea is much easier to manufacture and looks better. The tea has not produced very long but has a slightly smoky flavor and is quite nice. Another tea is Fu Jian Yin Zhen who looks almost identical but whose leaves are a bit smaller and yellower. The larger the leaves are used to make a tea named June Shan Mao Jian (4).

To protect their teas against counterfeiting has all packaging from Hunan Junsha Yinzhen Tea Co. a numerical code which you can verify on the company website, http://www.yinzhentea.com.cn/cx.asp.

In total there are almost 10 qualities of this tea if you include the green (2) and the finest known Wang Cha (Tea King). This is picked between 7 and 10th day during the Qing Ming Festival 清明节 which begins the 4th or 5th of April. During this period it must not rain or be frost and leaf buds must be absolutely perfect according to the requirements placed upon this tea. This means that the most talented tea pickers can harvest about 2 hg of this tea per day (4). The entire harvest occurs during a fortnight period that begins four days before the festival (2).

Manufacture
The production is done completely by hand with simple tools but it is far from simple and requires constant monitoring. Even to harvest the tea is complicated. Usually one pick the bud and one leaf. This also applies to teas that consists solely of a leaf bud since the bud is separated later. When it comes to Jun Shan Yin Zhen, however, only the bud is picked and it is not allowed to use nails. To get harvest on kg of finished tea there is some 60 000 leaf buds needed.

The reason that you are so careful in terms of how the tea is picked is that it is extremely sensitive during the oxidation process and the quality could be affected by moisture and oils from tea pluckers hands (1). Usually the buds are harvested when they are 25 to 30 mm long and 3 to 4 mm wide. In addition to leaf bud one takes a few millimeters of the branch. With this size, one can get together half a kilo per day which is equivalent to 10,000 buds (2).

Jun_Shan_Yin_Zhen7

After the tea is picked it is fried in a 100 degrees hot pan a few minutes. During roasting, the temperature rises to about 130 degrees but it is still significantly cooler than most green teas (2). Inistead of drying it further, as green tea is made, it is put in special kind of thick paper and then into a wooden cupboards (1) or pot (2) where it may oxidize slowly. A manufacturing step called Chu Bao 初包 (2). At regular in the 1-1.5 kilo containers are stired (2),(3) to remove heat generated by the oxidation. How often this happens depends on how hot it is in ambient air (1) but the temperature is always around 30 degrees(3).

According to one source (2) the leaves dries to about 40% moisture content over a hot open fire before being wrapped and placed in boxes.

After about two days the teas is fried once again, something called Fu Hong 復烘, to remove moisture from the leaves and after this, the leaves are wrapped into paper and then back to wood cupboards for another day. At this time the leaves have a moisture content of 20% (2). The second packing is called Fu Bao 復包. After this the leaved are dried in hourglass-shaped bamboo baskets over charcoal until the moisture content of only 5%. This is the most important step during manufacturing and requires the most care and skill. In total, it takes about three to four days to produce the tea (1),(2).

1. Seven Cups Fine Chinese Teas
2. HOJO Tea
3. Jing Tea
4. TeaSpring
Image source: Hudong
It depicted the tea is a Cha Wang Jun Shan Yin Zhen from TeaSpring harvested in 2010 which cost $ 23 for 25 grams. The rating applies to this tea.

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An Ji Bai Cha 安吉白茶
August 112015

This is a relatively new tea from Tian Mu mountain 天目山 in An Ji 安吉县. The tea is also known as An Ji White Tea, but despite the name, this is a green tea. The reason for the name is that the fresh tea leaves are almost completely white.An_Ji_Ba_ Cha3

There is a legendary tea tree described in Da Guan Cha Lun 大观茶论 that would have completely white leaves. In the 1980s it was found that white tea tree in the area An Ji, Zhejiang which experts in China believe is the bush that was mentioned in the book. Tea plant, which is now called “Ancestor of Bai Cha,” cloned fairly soon to a shrub called Bai Ye # 1 (White Leaves # 1) which is used for commercial production. One of these commercial teas are An Ji Bai Cha.

An_Ji_Ba_ Cha2The time of harvest is rather short, about 30 days, because the high air temperature in May makes the bushes white leaves become green.

The reason why the white color because the leaves have unusually low concentration of chlorophyll and polyphenols but contains almost twice as much amino acids other green teer.

Source: TeaSpring

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Huang Shan Mao Feng 黄山 毛峰
August 92015

This is one of China’s most famous green teas and the most popular of all, Mao Feng. The tea is grown around the mountain range, Huangshan 黄山, an incredibly beautiful mountainous area in southwestern Anhui that is home to many wonderful teas. The tea is known for its fruity taste, its curved appearance, and that it is possible to bridge many times.

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Lu Mu Dan translates into Green Peony, a suiting name since this tea are bound together into balls reminiscent of peonies. The tea produced in the village of Bei in the county She Xian in southern Anhui at an altitude between 800 and 1400 meters, where the climate is quite mild and the amount of solar limited.

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Keemun 祁门红茶
August 82015

Keemun is a very famous black tea grown in the county Qimen, a mountainous region of southern Anhui. Tea tea plantations are scattered on the wooded hillsides of the area that is known for its abundant rainfall, high humidity and the fog – important qualities for a place to grow tea. Keemun is the former English spelling of Qimen. Locally known Keemun for Qihong.

Keemun is a relatively new tea, especially when compared with other famous teas from China, but it also has an unusually well-documented history. It was produced for the first time in 1875 by a man named Yu Quianchen, who learned producing black tea in Fujian. Prior to 1875 produced only green tea in Anhui. The result was surprisingly good and the tea quickly became a major export success to England and is a significant part of the popular blend “English Breakfast”. Between 1939-1940 was Keemun so popular in New York that it dictated the highest price of all the teas on the market. Keemun has also won several major awards including 1913 and 1915 in Italy and the United States.

Production
Keemun is produced by a variety of different types of tea plants but the best may still be from the initial variety, Zhu Ye Zhong 槠叶种 (1). Keemun is manufactured by the method historically named “gongfu”, which originally consisted of 17 different steps. In order to increase the production volume and to bring costs down many of the production steps are made by machines but some are still manual. The leaves are grown largely on small farms and harvested by hand from mid-March until May, when the leaves are coarse and of inferior quality. After the leaves picked, it may wither in the sun for a few hours and then crushed and oxidize at low temperature. After this largely manual process, the leaves to the factory where they are heated and rolled alternately to the tea will get its unique flavor.

Types and Quality
Keemun can be made that quite loose, easily rolled all the tea leaves, such as Mao Feng and Xin Ya or tightly rolled gongfu like Hao Ya.

Keemun Mao Feng
Mao Feng means “Fur Top” and manufactured by slightly twisted leaf buds.

Keemun Xin Ya
This type of Keemun manufactured by early harvested leaves and learn to be less bitter than other varieties.

Keemun Hao Ya
Although this is the kind of Keemun is famous for its fine leaf buds, and its large variety of “silver tip”. Sometimes the distinction is made Hao Ya A and B, where A is the better. However, I am not sure if there is no official rating system, but suspect that it left very considerable scope for arbitrariness in the various factories in terms of quality and terms.

Keemun Xian Zhen 祁门仙针
This is the Keemun of very high-quality made of Anhui Guorun Tea Industrial Co., a company that manufactured Keemun over 50 years. I’m not sure how long it has been manufactured but it won a gold medal at the China Wu Hu Tea Exhibition in 2001. The highest quality of this tea, an early spring harvest, are available from TeaSpring for $ 41 per hg. As far as I know, there is no outside company that knows how tea is made, not even TeaSpring know more than that it is a combination of traditional and modern methods. The name means immortality needle, probably because the pointed look.

Fakes
It is very popular to forge Keemun nowadays. In the late 1990s, when the forgery was not as usual total production was only 350,000 kg / year of which 50 000 kg were type Hao Ya.

Source 1: HOJO Tea
Image Source: Hudong
The rating is an average of a number of teas of varying quality I tested the last 15 years.

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This is something as rare as a jasmine tea from Anhui. It is produced in Shexian 歙县 and the main producer is supposed to be 歙县 茶厂 Shexian Tea Factory (translated name) which is probably another name for 黄山市 歙县 牡丹 茶厂. The tea has been produced since the early 1980s and received awards in 1982 and 1986. The tea leaves used comes around Huangshan.

She_Xian_Mo_Li_Hua_Cha2She_Xian_Mo_Li_Hua_Cha1

The scenting is made in several production stages with the help of jasmine flowers and about as much jasmine flowers as tea leaves are used.
She_Xian_Mo_Li_Hua_Cha3She_Xian_Mo_Li_Hua_Cha4
The graded tea comes from a Chinese online store . The bag of tea cost 28 Yuan for 250 grams which is surprisingly affordable. It is harvested in 2011 and comes from Shexian 歙县 but I know unfortunately not by whom.

Source: Posts from 2003 at http://bbs.molihua.net/thread-271-1-1.html

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