Taste the tradition in our Chinese tea collection
The Tea Centre’s collection of premium Chinese tea is steeped in history as well as flavour. Legend hints that the second Chinese emperor discovered green tea in 2700BC. Moreover, black tea was also a Chinese innovation, harkening back to seventeenth-century Fujian.
Since then, China continues to produce some of the finest loose leaf teas in the world, including pu-erh, pai mu tan, Ti Kuan oolong, and lung ching grade 1. Looking to find the perfect traditional Chinese tea for your collection? Explore our range of irresistible Chinese tea below.
Free shipping is available for all orders over $70. Alternatively, pop into one of The Tea Centre's nine tea shops located in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.
The Tea Centre’s traditional Chinese tea range
For many millennia, tea has played an important role in Chinese society. It is a reflection of Chinese cultural norms spanning all classes, a touchpoint through which to view China’s past political and economic upheavals, and the nexus that fosters togetherness for many Chinese families and friendship groups. Chinese tea lore dates back hundreds and hundreds of years, and places a strong emphasis on the spirit, embodying clearness, respect, joy, and truthfulness.
The Tea Centre’s range of traditional Chinese tea pays homage to these cultural practices, and we encourage our Australian consumers to learn more about the importance of tea in Chinese culture through exploring our entire Chinese tea range above.
What is traditional Chinese tea?Simply put, all traditional Chinese tea comes from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), is grown in China and is processed using traditional Chinese methods. Within that, however, traditional Chinese tea can differ vastly from one another. For example, there are traditional Chinese black teas, green teas, white teas, pu-erh tea, and oolongs.
Furthermore, there are a number of tea manufacturing processes that are generally considered to be traditionally Chinese practices. For example, smoked teas are often thought to be traditionally Chinese as the first black tea ever invented was the smoked Chineselapsang souchong tea. Moreover, unlike Japanese teas, which are usually steamed after the oxidation process, Chinese tea is more likely to be traditionally pan-fried in large woks.
Lastly, Chinese tea is distinguished by the province it comes from. For example, the Fujian province is lauded for its production of lapsang souchong, Ti Kuan oolong, and silver needles white tea. The Anhui region is the traditional home of keemun OP, and Yunnan is where our premium quality Yunnan finest and pu-erh heralds from.
The history of traditional Chinese tea
The legend goes that tea was first discovered by Shen Nung, the second emperor of China when he was relaxing near a tea bush. One of the tea leaves from the plant came loose and blew into a cup of boiling water that the emperor was enjoying at the time. After letting the leaf infuse in the cup, the emperor found the resulting tea to be refreshing and magically healing. And the rest is history!
Semi-historical records tell us that only green teas and oolong teas were enjoyed in China until the 1600s when an army lay siege near a tea factory in the Fujian province, incidentally holding up its production of green tea. Left to wither for longer in the sun, what was meant to be green tea further oxidised and created the black tea type we know and love today.
Tea production in China and the world grew exponentially from there, and its high economical value (first cemented through ancient trade practices on the Silk Road) inevitably attracted imperial interest from the West in the late-eighteenth century. In fact, everything from the First Opium War to the colonisation and subsequent abundance of tea plantations in countries like Sri Lanka and India can trace its origins to historical tensions between China and British colonial powers over the price of tea.
The twenty-first century brought with it many changes, including the general destabilisation of imperialist powers and the globalisation of the tea trade. This has made it possible for The Tea Centre to supply our Australian consumers with a range of traditional Chinese teas, not to mention many other teas from around the globe!
Drinking Chinese tea
There are a few things to keep in mind when enjoying Chinese tea.
Have it while it’s hot!
Chinese tea will oxidize quite quickly after it is brewed and the nutrients it holds will diminish the longer it stays in the cup. Moreover, Chinese tea was traditionally consumed hot in order to enhance the brew’s medicinal purposes. Iced tea did not become popular until much later!
Drink strong Chinese tea in moderation
Having too much Chinese tea in one go will likely result in an upset stomach. Also, due to the caffeine content, it can make it hard to sleep soon after if you make a particularly strong brew. If you’re looking to enjoy traditional Chinese tea late in the day, we’d recommend sipping on an oolong or white tea.
Enjoy the process
Appreciate the gorgeous colour and take in the lovely fragrances and flavours whenever you’re drinking a Chinese tea. Tasting tea should be a multi-sensory experience, so make sure you are savouring every moment!
Buy traditional Chinese tea online or in-store at one of The Tea Centre's stores
Here at The Tea Centre, we pride ourselves on the elite quality of our tea and work hard to make them luxurious and thoroughly enjoyable. You will notice that our Chinese teas are beautifully fragrant and enticing. We offer a variety of options that boast soft, delicate flavours that are slightly sweet and nutty.It’s all part of our plan to provide you with the finest Chinese tea possible.
Making a pot or a cup of loose leaf chinese tea is not as hard as it sounds, with easy-to-use infusers and strainers available. However, if you are looking for a quicker alternative, we do also offer a range of teas in biodegradable pyramid tea bags, including black tea bags, green tea bags, and herbal tea bags.