Green tea is probably the richest in variety. If oolong tea, for example, was crowded in only two provinces in southern China, and puerh is produced only in Yunnan, then green tea takes first place in terms of prevalence. And of course, when they say "Chinese tea", the first thing that comes to mind is green tea. What varieties of green tea exist today and which of them are the best?
Varieties of green tea and non-varieties
Let’s separate marketing first. Probably, for a person who is not immersed in tea, there is no difference between the Emerald Spirals of Spring and the Dreams of a Geisha in terms of creativity of the name. At the same time, Bi Lo Chun “Emerald spirals of spring” is varietal tea, and the dreams of the sultans, geishas are marketing.
What does varietal tea mean? This tea is grown from a bush of a special variety in a certain region and produced by its technology. Everything, as with wine and vineyards. If one of these parameters does not meet the standard, then tea does not have the right to be called by this name. So, Lung Jing tea “Dragon Well” can only be called that tea that is obtained from leaves from certain bushes grown in Zhejiang province. Tea grown from the same bushes, made in the same way, but not in another province.
Moreover, the state protects the names of teas on a geographical basis – Si Hu Lun Jing can only be the tea that is grown on plantations near Lake Si Hu. Lung Jing, raised elsewhere, cannot be called Xi Hu. Why is everything so difficult? Because the climate and geography greatly affect the quality of tea, its taste. There are some conditions on the shore of the lake, different conditions in the mountains, and third on the plains, and all this creates different tea. Xi Hu is the tastiest and most expensive Lun Jing, and therefore, under this name, a dishonest producer can sell tea for more than it costs.
And when you take an ordinary sencha, which is collected in hundreds of tons from industrial plantations and diluted with fruit slices and flavors, you get all the creative splendor that can be observed in some tea shops – dreams and dreams of sultans, geisha, dragons, monkeys, samurai, phoenixes and others eastern fauna. Who exactly comes up with these names, we do not know.
Varieties are not teas, twisted into rings, balls. Usually this is all a way to increase the cost of raw materials, marketers call it "improving consumer properties." The so-called "open" teas, when a flower appears from a ball in a glass, is not for drinking at all, but for admiring the process. Set on the table, like flowers – and admire. Initially, the meaning was precisely that, and drinking this tea was like sipping water from a vase.