Loose Black China Tea

Loose Black China Tea: Yunnan, Lapsang Souchong & Keemun.

Loose black China tea made by hand is recognised as amongst the world’s finest teas. Tea is grown in eighteen Chinese provinces, the most important being in the south east of the country such as Anhui, famed for its keemuns. Yunnan is a temperate province acknowledged for its distinctive tea. Fujian Province is famous for its Lapsang Souchong. Other provinces famed for their black china teas are Anhui, Hunan and Sichuan. China has the world’s longest tea producing history. Tea has been cultivated there for over two thousand years. ‘Tea’ is derived from the Chinese ‘Cha’ from which the Indian ‘Chai’ also originates. The East India Company first brought Black China tea to England from Canton in 1684.
In China black teas are produced by oxidisation of the withered leaves, originally developed to prolong the life of tea intended for export to the West. Chinese black teas are generally low in tannin and are therefore ideal afternoon and evening teas. Yunnan, known as the ‘mocha of tea’ is produced in the high plateau of south west China. This is one of the few Chinese teas that should be drunk with milk. Keemun is from Anhui province, around the mountain of Huang Shan and is the most famous Black China tea. It is known as the ‘Burgundy of teas’ and was Britain’s favourite tea in the 18th century. This is a remote area of rocky peaks, ancient pine trees, clear mountain springs and swirling mists a ‘sea of clouds’ creating a humidity so special for growing their unique teas. Some extremely rare and expensive Chinese teas are produced in the mountainous regions of Sichuan (Szechwan) and Jiangsu. Fujian Province is renowned for its distinctive Lapsang Souchong teas in which larger leaves, souchong, are smoked over pinewood fires to give an attractive tarry taste which many China Black tea drinkers adore.