23 Uniquely Asian tea brews to soothe and satisfy you

23 Uniquely Asian tea brews to soothe and satisfy you

Tea time has never been this interesting!

According to legend, tea was discovered in ancient China by Emperor Shen Nung, when leaves from a wild tree were blown into his pot of boiling water. Fast forward to 5,000 years later, and many generations have come to love many types of Asian tea, mostly because of how they differ in aroma, taste, benefits, and characteristics.

Through the years, tea has been used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. As a result, this beverage has become a vital part of Asian culture.

It no longer needs to be said that Asians take tea seriously. Even the act of pouring and tea ceremonies take years of discipline to be perfected!

Therefore, exploring the flavours of Asian tea is a must for any budding or even experience foodie. Unsure where to start? Try these!

23 Types of Asian Tea and their Varieties

types of asian tea

Truly, the various types of Asian tea reflect the richness and depth of Asian cuisine. Pour yourself a warm, soothing cup today! | image: shutterstock

1. Green tea

Green tea is the oldest, most popular type of tea and considered as the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is also known for having a pale colour and sharp taste.

How is it prepared? First of all, Green tea is taken from the new shoots of the tea plant. After that, it can be dried and processed according to your desired flavour.


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2. Yellow tea

Junshan Yinzhen is China’s most popular yellow tea. Since yellow is the traditional imperial colour, it was usually used as the high-quality tea served to the emperors of China.

Yellow tea is created by naturally drying damp tea leaves. It also has a flavour that is close to green and white tea.

3. White tea

Nowadays, it is produced from new growth buds and leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. The leaves are then steamed or fried to inactivate oxidation, then dried. White tea can help reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disorder and many more!

By tradition, Chinese people of humble origins offered plain boiled water to guests if tea is not available and called it “white tea”.


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4. Oolong tea

Also known as blue tea, Oolong is taken to sharpen thinking skills and improve alertness. This popular tea has a unique sweet and fragrant aftertaste. However, the colour may vary depending on where it is processed as well as according to the procedure it is prepared.

5. Black tea

In China, it is called “hong cha” due to its reddish colour. Black tea is rich in polyphenols, which is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. Also, black tea helps in improving mental alertness, memory, and information processing skills.


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6. Dark tea

Because dark tea undergoes a secondary fermentation process, it ages well. What’s more, it has a very smooth and naturally sweet taste. 

7. Pu’er tea

Pu’er tea is fermented tea made from a large leaf variety of a plant which originates from Yunnan Province, China. This type of Asian tea is packaged as a pressed brick, instead of a bag of loose leaves. It has a sweet-bitter and earthy flavour.

Fun Fact: There are two types of this tea: Shou Pu’er and Sheng Pu.

8. Chrysanthemum tea

This tea is pleasing to the eyes, nose, and palate because it is made by steeping dried chrysanthemum flowers in boiling water with cane sugar and goji berries. The flavour is mildly sweet with herbal notes while the colour ranges from pale to bright yellow. Certainly, this tea is Instagram-worthy!


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9. Longjing

Longjing tea is the most famous tea in China because it is recognised for its refinement. It is well enjoyed because of its refreshing quality and chestnut aroma. People simply add the dried flat-shaped leaves into a cup of hot water and watch as it slowly dances its way to the bottom.

10. Bi Luo Chun

If Longjing is China’s number one, Bi Luo Chun bags the second place. The actual leaf of this tea is one of the smallest. However, its leaves expands in size as it hits water, giving off a distinct, lovely flavour like no other! In contrast to the light quality of Longjing, this tea has the nutty but stronger flavour.

11. Wuyi Yan Cha

Also known as Rock Tea, Yan Cha is an oolong from the Wuyi Mountains. Wuyi Yan Cha is prepared by slowly simmering over coals for over 12 hours, which conveys a deep texture and natural floral aroma. This tea helps with enhancing skin health and strengthening the immune system.


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12. Tieguanyin

Tagged as the “Iron Goddess”, it is known to be the most floral of all the oolongs. This Chinese tea is high in amino acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants.

Fun fact: After tasting this aromatic tea, a Chinese emperor said, “The leaf is heavy like iron, but the flavor is light like [the goddess] Guan Yin”.

13. Baihao Yinzhen (White Hair Silver Needle)

Because only the top buds of the Camellia sinensis plant are used to create this tea, this is the most expensive and prized amongst the white teas. However, the way it is prepared is simple. It is plainly made by being dried in the sun for two days or more, making it one of the most natural types of Asian tea.


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14. Lu’an Guapian

The lawbreaker among the tea varieties. Generally, the bud is the most sought after part of the tea plant for the essential flavor. Lu’an Guapian is a tea made from only leaves. Because of this, Lu’an Guapian has a bold flavour. However, it is also a little sugary sweet. 

15. Huangshan Maofeng

For the I-want-tea-but-it-is-hot days, Huangshan Maofeng tea will be your best bet! It does not have much to offer in terms of aesthetics, but it more than makes up for this with its flavour. It is extremely refreshing and is lightly sweet. Certainly, this is one of the must try types of Asian tea.

16. Ryokucha

Ryokucha is a Japanese green tea which has various grades, the highest being gyokuro, followed by sencha, and lastly, bancha. This grain-based green tea has a nutty and grassy flavour. Certainly, this is one of the types of Asian tea that offers an interesting experience for the palate. 


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17.  Matcha

Who hasn’t heard of matcha? This is a powdered form of green tea. The highest grade of leaves is dried, milled into fine powder, and then mixed with hot water.

Due to the rising popularity of this distinct flavour worldwide, many chefs and cooks made ice cream, cake, and smoothies with matcha flavor! Even matcha-dedicated cafes are starting to flourish in Asia.

18. Mugicha

Not all teas come from the tea plant. Weird, right? But they actually exist!

Mugicha is made from roasted barley infused in water. Unlike your usual types of Asian tea, Mugicha does not contain caffeine, so it is considered kid-friendly. Best served when chilled!

19. Kombucha

Kombucha is a beverage made by mixing sliced kombu seaweed into hot water. It is also called kelp tea.


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20. Daun Kopi tea

Translated as “leaf coffee tea” from Bahasa, this tea is produced by picking, withering, rolling and heating coffee tree leaves. In contrast to black tea, Daun Kopi tea has more antioxidants. What’s more, it greatly helps in lowering your blood sugar level.

21. Turmeric tea

Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange spice often used to flavour in curries and sauces. Because this spice is derived from the healthy turmeric root, it is prized for its medicinal, anti-inflammatory properties.

Similarly, Turmeric as a tea has amazing health benefits. First of all, it helps reduce arthritis symptoms. It also helps prevent and treat chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Try this type of Asian tea for a subtle and minty afternoon drink.


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22. Daun Salam Tea

This tea is also called bay leaf tea. Even if bay leaf is usually used as an aromatic for dishes, Indonesians found ways to enjoy it as a drink as well. What’s more, Daun Salam tea is great for enhancing digestion and it can also help cure related ailments.

23. Lemongrass tea

Lemongrass, also known as fever grass, is mainly used as a flavouring agent because it smells like lemon, but with a milder and sweeter taste. However, when it is prepared as  type of Asian tea, it can help your digestive system.

What’s more, it can control cholesterol levels and even soothe colds and flu. Enjoy it by adding a teaspoon of fresh or dried lemongrass in a cup of hot water.

Jasmine, Lychee, Keraton, Rosebud, the list for types of Asian tea is just endless!

What are your favourite types of Asian tea? Make it even more soothing with these flavours!

sources: coffeewarehouse, chinahiglights, japan-guide.com, factsofindonesia.com

Read also: 23 Asian coffee beans and brews to fuel your daily grind

Written by

Criselle Nunag