China, the birthplace of tea, boasts a rich history and diverse culture surrounding this beloved beverage. With its immense variety, Chinese tea has captured the hearts of connoisseurs worldwide. Among the six types of tea, black tea is particularly popular due to its bold flavor and potential health benefits.
In this article, we will explore the top 10 Chinese black teas that every tea enthusiast should try.
1. Keemun Black Tea
Keemun, originating from the Qimen County of Anhui Province, is one of China’s most famous black teas. Known for its rich aroma, mellow flavor, and beautiful red liquor, it’s a classic choice for tea enthusiasts. Keemun has a subtle hint of floral and fruity notes, making it a delightful tea to enjoy any time of the day.
2. Dian Hong
Dian Hong, or Yunnan Black Tea, comes from the Yunnan Province and is characterized by its large, golden-tipped leaves. This tea has a sweet, malty flavor with a hint of cocoa and a lingering honey-like aftertaste. Its robust flavor profile and reddish-gold liquor make Dian Hong a popular choice among black tea aficionados.
Yunnan and Keemun are considered among the strongest black teas available, recognized for their robust flavors and rich aromas.
3. Lapsang Souchong
Originating from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian Province, Lapsang Souchong is a distinctive black tea known for its smoky aroma and taste. The tea leaves are traditionally smoke-dried over pinewood fires, giving the tea its unique flavor. Lapsang Souchong has a bold, smoky taste with underlying sweet and fruity notes that create a harmonious balance.
4. Jin Jun Mei
Jin Jun Mei, a rare and luxurious black tea, also hails from the Wuyi Mountains. This tea is made from the tender buds of the tea plant, resulting in a delicate, smooth, and sweet flavor. The beautiful, twisted leaves produce a bright, golden liquor with hints of honey, chocolate, and malt. Jin Jun Mei is a truly indulgent treat for any tea connoisseur.
5. Bai Lin Gong Fu
Bai Lin Gong Fu, originating from Fujian Province, is a delightful black tea made from young tea leaves and buds. This tea has a rich, smooth flavor with notes of caramel, cocoa, and dried fruit. The reddish-brown liquor and sweet, lingering aftertaste make Bai Lin Gong Fu a must-try for black tea lovers.
6. Ying De Hong
Ying De Hong, from Guangdong Province, is a well-rounded black tea with a sweet, fruity aroma and a smooth, mellow taste. The tea has a beautiful reddish-amber liquor and leaves a pleasant, lingering sweetness on the palate. Ying De Hong is an excellent choice for those new to Chinese black teas.
7. Laoshan Black Tea
Laoshan Black Tea is a rare gem from Shandong Province, known for its rich, malty flavor with a hint of chocolate. The tea boasts a beautiful, dark red liquor and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Laoshan Black Tea is a unique and delightful addition to any tea collection.
8. Zhu Ye Qing
Zhu Ye Qing, or Bamboo Leaf Black Tea, comes from Sichuan Province and is named after its slender, bamboo-like leaves. This black tea has a fresh, sweet flavor with a hint of floral notes, making it a refreshing twist on traditional black teas. The bright, amber liquor and smooth mouthfeel make Zhu Ye Qing a delightful choice for those seeking a lighter black tea experience.
9. Tan Yang Gong Fu
Tan Yang Gong Fu, originating from Fujian Province, has a storied history as a favorite among Chinese emperors. This black tea is known for its rich, malty flavor with notes of chocolate and sweet potato. The dark amber liquor and long-lasting, sweet aftertaste make Tan Yang Gong Fu a historic treasure that continues to captivate tea enthusiasts.
10. Jiu Qu Hong Mei
Jiu Qu Hong Mei, or Nine Bend Black Dragon, hails from the Zhejiang Province and is characterized by its twisted, dragon-like leaves. This tea has a complex flavor profile, featuring floral, fruity, and honey notes with a subtle hint of smokiness. The deep, reddish-brown liquor and smooth, well-rounded taste make Jiu Qu Hong Mei a must-try for those seeking to explore the diverse world of Chinese black teas.
Chinese black teas offer a wide range of flavors, aromas, and experiences that cater to every tea lover’s preferences. From the classic Keemun to the rare Laoshan Black Tea, each tea on this list provides a unique and memorable experience.
As you explore the world of Chinese black teas, you’ll undoubtedly discover new favorites and develop a deeper appreciation for this timeless beverage. Happy sipping!