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Tea can be classified by type, oxidation, quality or colour. At Lu Lin Teas we classify our tea by the oxidation process therefore splitting tea into four categories; green tea, black tea, Oolong tea and Pu Erh tea. It is important to note that the correct term in tea processing is oxidation but that sometimes the word fermentation is used instead.

•    Green tea is tea that has not been fermented during processing. At Lulin we include White and Yellow teas in this classification as these types of tea have not undergone fermentation either. There are many different varieties of green tea. Some famous green teas include Long Jing Green Tea (Dragon Well) and Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Green Conch Tea).

•    Black tea is tea that has been fully oxidised during processing. Black tea can sometimes be known as red tea due to the colour of the tea once it has been brewed. The most famous Chinese black tea is probably Keeman Black tea.

•    Pu Erh is a post-fermented tea. This means that oxidation takes place after the tealeaves have been dried. Pu Erh is commonly sold in the form of tea cakes. It is normally grown in the Yunnan province of China.

•    Oolong tea is a semi-oxidised tea. The tea leaves are fermented for approximately half the time compared with the processing of black tea. Oolong originates from the Fujian Province of China.

Within these classifications, other categories can be made such as grade or type. For example, Long Jing Green Tea (Dragon Well) is sold depending on the grade the tea is given.

Tribute Tea (China Famous Tea)

During the Chinese dynasties Tang, Song, Ming and Qing tea would be offered to the Emperor as a tribute. To begin with the tribute made was done so voluntarily but soon became a compulsory act demanded by the reigning Emperor. Each Chinese Emperor had their own favourite tea and any tea delivered that did not meet the Emperor's high standards was given to the lower court. Standards were so high that officials were sent to supervise the collection of tea. During the many years of tribute tea, tea makers frequently had to come up with innovative ways to satisfy the varying tastes of the imperial court. Chinese green tea evolved from tea cakes to loose leaf tea. Famous tribute teas include many of the teas that are sold at Lulin such as; Keemun black tea, Pu Erh and Bi Luo Chun Green Tea.

Tribute Teas can also be known as China Famous Tea. There are many lists of the Top Ten Chinese Teas. The following list is a compilation of 20 of these lists according to how often the tea appeared on each list.

   Name               Pronunciation                    English                 Occurrence   Province      Type

 西湖龙井         Xi Hu Long Jing               Dragon Well                   20          Zhejiang     Green

洞庭碧螺春 Dong Ting Bi Lou Chun     Green Snail Spring              20          Jiangsu       Green

安溪铁观音  An Xi Tie Guan Yin            Iron Guan Yin                 20           Fujian       Oolong

 黄山毛峰    Huang Shan Mao Feng  Yellow Mountain Fur Peak      17           Anhui        Green

 武夷岩茶           Da Hong Pao                 Big Red Robe                16           Fujian      Oolong

 君山银针       Jun Shan Yin Zhen      Mount Jun Silver Needle        14           Hunan     Yellow

 祁山红茶        Qi Men Hong Cha           Keemun Red Tea             12           Anhui        Black

 六安瓜片         Lu An Gua Pian            Lu An Melon Seed            11           Anhui        Green

 云南普洱          Yunnan Puerh                Yunnan Puerh                10         Yunnan       Pu Erh

 白毫银针        Bai Hao Yin Zhen    White Pekoe Silver Needle       10          Fujian        White