As the costume drama “A Dream of Splendor” took the world by storm this summer, one aspect that caught the attention of many audiences was the way its heroine Zhao Pan’er made tea. This has led to a surge of interest in tea culture, and the famous Chinese teahouse chain Heytea has even launched new flavored tea drinks based on the recipe from the show.
As the birthplace of tea, China is rich in tea-making customs and traditions, especially when it comes to choosing the right tea for the seasons. And in the summertime, the drink of choice is green tea. According to Traditional Chinese medical theories, green tea is considered “cold” and is therefore perfect for soothing the restlessness caused by the hot weather.
Green tea has been a popular drink in China since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), and its popularity has only continued to grow over time. Emperor Qianlong from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) was a well-known tea lover and enjoyed drinking Longjing, the most famous Chinese green tea, during the summer months.
But green tea is not a one-trick pony! There are many different varieties of Chinese green tea, each with its own unique flavor, fragrance, and poetic name. Some of the most famous include Biluochun, Xinyang Maojian, Huangshan Maofeng, West Lake Longjing, and Lu’an Melon Seed.
Biluochun,for example, is produced in Wu county in Jiangsu province and got its name from its curled leaves that resemble snail shells.
Xinyang Maojian is a type of green tea that is harvested by plucking one leaf and a bud together, and is particularly famous for being produced in Xinyang in Henan province.
Huangshan Maofeng, on the other hand, is harvested by plucking a bud with two leaves of equal size and is grown in the Huangshan mountain range in Anhui province.
West Lake Longjing
West Lake Longjingwhich is produced in the West Lake Longjing village in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province and is the most well-known of all Chinese green teas.
Lu’an Melon Seed
Lastly, Lu’an Melon Seed is unique in that its leaves are plucked separately from each branch and do not include buds or stems. This tea, produced in Lu’an city in Anhui province, has a delicate fragrance that is said to resemble the scent of orchid flowers.
So next time you’re looking to quench your thirst in the summer heat, consider reaching for a cup of Chinese green tea. With so many different varieties to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect brew to soothe your body and soul.