The Top Ten Famous Chinese Teas

Shi Feng Dragon Well is just one of the Famous Chinese Teas.
One of the Famous Chinese Teas is Shi Feng Dragon Well. Click on this image to learn more about this tea.

The Famous Zhong Guo Shi Da Ming Cha List

Throughout the modern history of Chinese tea’s marketing, there is a frequently appearing list known as Zhong Guo Shi Da Ming Cha 中国十大名茶  – “The Ten Famous Teas of China”. In fact, there is not just one list of this type, but a number of them, appearing in various forms throughout the last hundred years. Government agricultural bureaus, business associations, and magazines have all published their own versions, with each list representing the standards and preferences of their time. To complicate things further, there are twenty-one provinces producing tea in China, and each one of these provinces is apt to promote their own list of locally famous teas. All together, there are easily more than a thousand named teas in China that are produced to high standards of quality. In light of the staggering number of highly regarded teas in China today, it important to think of these lists a starting point rather than an exhaustive survey of all Chinese tea.

The Criteria for Famous Chinese Teas

For a tea to appear on one of these lists, it usually has one or more of the following attributes:

  1. It was once designated for tribute to the imperial court. (e.g. Dragon Well)
  2. It has singular shape, flavor, and aroma, easily discerned from other styles. (e.g. Liu An Gua Pian)
  3. It was awarded recognition in national or international competitions. (e.g. Tai Pin Hou Kui)
  4. It is developed from usual local variety of tea bush that has gained strong and widespread appeal. (g. Tie Guan Yin, Qimen)