In the 8th century, when the Chinese first made green tea, a way to keep the leaves from turning brown was found: heating them. The Chinese devised a new way to "fix the leaves" by frying them in the 12th century. Both of these methods, which are still used today, made teas that tasted and looked like modern green teas because they didn't have any oxidation. Since then, the ways that green tea is made have improved as its popularity and production have grown.
The origin of black tea is China, more aptly known as hong cha, or "red tea," because of the often reddish-colored tea it yields. Lapsang Souchong, the first black tea, was grown in the region surrounding Wuyi Mountain in Fujian Province in the late Ming Dynasty, around 1590. The small-leaf tea trees that grew there were called Souchong, which gave the name Lapsang, which refers to this high mountainous region. The best and most well-known black teas in China today are Sichuan Mabian Gongfu, Fujian Lapsang Souchong, Fujian Minhong, Anhui Keemun, Yunnan Dianhong, and Guangdong Yingteh.
Since drying the leaves is the primary step in making white tea, it is often thought to be the first type of tea made in China. It is because processing white tea must have been the first time people found a way to keep tea buds fresh.
Emperor Song Huizong of the Song Dynasty, who lived around 1105 AD, is the first person to mention white tea in writing.
Oolong tea's history in Fujian Province dates back more than a thousand years to a classic type of tea known as Beiyuan tea. One of the most well-known teas made during the Song Dynasty, Beiyuan tea was the first known tribute tea (a tea given in tribute to the emperor or royal family) produced in Fujian. Since the previous Tang Dynasty, tea has been created in the Fujian region's Beiyuan region, centered near Phoenix Mountain. The leaves of this tea were compressed into cakes, making it a compressed sort of tea. When the aristocracy stopped drinking this, the area started making the first oolong tea, a loose-leaf tea that had been partially oxidized.
Pu-erh is one of China's oldest types of tea, dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty 1,700 years ago. Pu-erh tea was also called "Pu Cha" during that time. Tea artisans gave it the name Pu-erh Town in Yunnan, which served as the first marketplace for Pu-erh tea. Pu-erh was utilized as a bartering currency in early China's southwest.
Before 1591, tea makers developed the process for making yellow tea. People used a process known as slow drying, or a slower drying phase, to manufacture yellow tea. If the teas weren't dried thoroughly or on time during the fixation and rolling process, the leaves would become yellow, and the liquid would have a mellower flavor. Tea artisans thus developed the method of manufacturing yellow tea via knowledge and practice.
The Overview History Of Tea
3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors Period 30 century BC – 21 century BC
In ancient China, tea was first identified as a medicinal plant. People chewed the fresh tea leaves before learning to decoct them and drink the resulting soup.
Spring and Autumn Period 722 BC – 221 BC
People began preparing tea as food or cooking tea leaves in water with scallions, ginger, tangerine peel, and cornel. The Lei Cha of Tu Jia in China is now of this type. They combined ginger, rice, and fresh tea leaves, pounded the mixture, and then drank it with hot water.
Han Dynasty （202 BC – 220 AD）
Tea began to spread as a drink provided for officials and noble lords. Among these teas, several rare kinds were brought to the emperor as tributes. The tea trade became more commercialized.
Southern and Northern Dynasty（ 420-589）
Tea consumption became widespread across the country. The amount of tea being consumed has significantly increased. Since then, south China has become a frequent consumer of tea.
Tang Dynasty（618 – 907）
At this time, the center of tea culture started to shift southward. Fujian Province's Wu Yi Tea underwent a robust development. The species of tea have also undergone significant alterations. There is now scented tea. However, due to their ease of storage, cakes and tuocha maintained a dominant position in quantity.
Song Dynasty （960 – 1279）
During this time, the center of tea culture started to migrate south. The Fujian Province's Wu Yi Tea has proliferated. The species of tea have undergone substantial alterations as well. Tea with scents was produced. But cakes and tuocha continued to be the most popular items because they were easy to store.
Yuan Dynasty （1271 – 1368）
During this time, tea-making techniques improved and made it possible to make tea by machine. The principal forms of tribute for kings and aristocratic lords were cakes and tuocha. Ordinary people drank loose tea.
Ming Dynasty （1368 – 1644）
Tea artisans first used roast in the Ming Dynasty to make tea. Tea makers started to pay attention to the shape of the leaves. Tea artisans frequently used the leaves to make strips. Cakes ceased to be consumed in favor of loose tea.
Qing Dynasty （1636 – 1911）
Tea was the main beverage consumed back then. Tea comes in various varieties, including green tea, white tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, black tea, dark tea, floral tea, and more. Steep revolutionized how tea was consumed. Tea began to be exported, and foreign royals started to favor it.