Chinese Tea Culture 101

The attentive care Chinese have for tea plants are comparable to the French when handling grapes to make wine.

In Chinese medicine, it is believed that teas such as Oolong and Green tea, have special healing properties. The history of tea, along with the history of China, goes back thousands of years- making tea an important part of Chinese tradition.

Legend has it that Emperor Shen Nung accidentally discovered tea when a camellia blossom (a well-known flower in East Asia) fell into his cup of boiling hot water. This triggered the wondrous journey to the popularity tea had in China, where it was widely consumed for its medicinal properties.

The most popular Chinese teas & its associated health benefits.


This tea has been fully fermented. Think of it like red wine. The longer it has been preserved the better the taste. A long time ago, Pu’er was prescribed to patients, which resulted in them to lose a lot of weight. Now, although this was the case, you should be cautious and not binge drink on Pu’er tea anticipating similar results.

Drinking Pu’er can help to protect the stomach, aid digestion, and increase your metabolism.

Green Tea

Green tea has undergone minimal oxidation during processing, giving it a lighter flavour whilst keeping all the beneficial chemicals intact.

The health benefits of Chinese green tea are very well-known around the world, it helps to regulate cholesterol and high blood pressure, improve blood flow, and lower blood sugar. In addition to this, green tea contains Vitamin C which is good for skin brightening.

If you plan on consuming Green Tea for weight loss, it is advised that you drink it along with your meals to inhibit the absorption of fat.

Black tea

Black tea was the name given to the teas that have been fermented with a distinct colour red in the Western world, whereas in China they are known as Red Tea (Hong Cha).

Black tea is high in caffeine levels hence why it is known as an energy booster. Also, it is worth noting that it contains flavonoids, which as we all know is good for our skin.

Ideally, you should drink black tea in the morning because, as mentioned before, it has high caffeine levels- making it a great beverage to wake you up in the morning.


Oolong is partially fermented compared to black tea and has a fragrant-fruity flavour packed with antioxidants. The qualities of Oolong tea are a mixture of green tea and black tea, meaning that it has double the benefits.

Consuming Oolong tea can help to lower cholesterol, regulate body temperature, has a high source of Vitamin C (which is good for the skin), and can even help fight tooth decay.

It is recommended to drink oolong tea in the afternoon to stave off late day sweet cravings and energy slumps.

I hope that after reading this you are more confident with your tea choices, and feel like an expert after learning the basic history and background about Chinese tea.


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  • Shalini Kanthan says:

    It’s so interesting to me that, how many types of tea and how they are good for us and how they affect our body. It’s really nice and refreshing to read.