Research has concluded that the earliest black tea was produced in the early 16th century. In 1610, Lapsang Souchong black tea was produced in Wuyishan City, Fujian Province in China and it was transported from Shanghai to the Netherlands for the first time. It was the preclude of production and trade of black tea in the world. In the second half of the 19th century, black tea production techniques were innovated and kung fu black tea of more refined techniques was produced. The kung fu black tea sold well in the international market. In the 1920s, broken black tea was developed in India. Then the broken black tea gradually replaces kung fu black tea and becomes the mainstream of black tea.
1. Souchong Black Tea
Souchong black tea is a unique type of tea in Fujian Province, China. It is the originator of black tea. Souchong black tea was produced in Tongmu Area, Wuyishan City. According to the differences of production places and production techniques, Souchong black tea is divided into 2 types: Lapsang Souchong (core production areas) and Waishan Souchong (surrounding production areas). During the baking stage, pine wood is used to smoke and dry the tea. As a result, Souchong black tea has a smoky pine fragrance and a longyan flavor. Typical Souchong black tea is Lapsang Souchong, Jinjunmei, Yinjunmei and Tongjunmei.
A Typical Representative—Jinjunmei
Jinjunmei is the top tea of Souchong black tea. The reason why Jinjunmei is so valuable is that it is produced by the first batch of leaf buds picked in spring. These tea trees are only picked once every year. Also, only tea trees in Wuyi Mountain National Nature Reserve can produce authentic Jinjunmei. Jinjunmei is hand-made by tea makers. Every 500g Jinjunmei needs raw materials of tens of thousands of fresh leaf buds.
2. Kung Fu Black Tea
The representative of Chinese black tea is kung fu black tea. Kung fu black tea gets its name from the elaborated tea-making techniques. During the production, buds and leaves are kneaded and twisted to form strip shapes, while the integrity of the buds and leaves is kept. Consequently, Kung fu black tea not only looks neat and beautiful, but also has an elegant quality and flavor.
A Typical Representative—Keemun Black Tea
Keemun black tea is produced in the branch ranges of Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province. Keemun black tea, Assam black tea, Darjeeling black tea and Ceylon highland black tea are the four great black tea in the world. In 2022, Keemun black tea was included in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The fragrance of Keemun black tea is clean and high, which lasts for a long time. The fragrance is like fruit fragrance or orchid fragrance. In the international tea market, the unique fragrance of Keemun black tea is called Keemun fragrance. The tea soup of Keemun black tea is red and transparent. After being mixed with milk, the mellow flavor of the tea is still obvious.
3. Broken Black Tea
During the production of broken black tea, the fresh tea leaves are broken into small grains, slices, etc. Broken black tea is produced all over China and the majority of the tea is exported overseas. Broken black tea can be divided into 4 types: leaf black tea, shredded black tea, slice black tea and powder black tea.
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