Among the six major types of tea, the classification system of black tea is also very complex. According to the origin, production process and taste, various classification methods can be developed. Therefore, there is no unified and complete black tea classification system in foreign countries. Tea people can only appreciate the difference between different black teas in the continuous tasting and feeling.
1. According to the country of origin of black tea, black tea can be divided into two categories
1) Chinese black tea mainly includes Wuyi Souchong black tea, Yunnan Dianhong black tea, Anhui Qimen black tea, etc.;
2) Foreign black tea, including Indian black tea, Sri Lankan black tea, Kenyan black tea, etc.
Second, according to the taste of black tea, it can be divided into two categories: original black tea and flavored black tea.
1) Original black tea retains the original aroma and taste of black tea without adding spices and fruits other than tea leaves. It can be divided into origin tea and blended tea. Origin tea refers to black tea produced in a single production area, with unique characteristics of the production area, and teas from different production areas have different styles. The blended tea is to blend black teas of different qualities according to the proportion, and select the advantages of each origin for processing, which can improve the aroma, taste and color of the tea soup, making it more in line with the taste of the public, which is beneficial to the tea. Commodity and promotion, there are many black tea bags abroad that are of this type.
2) Flavored black tea has undergone a process of incense, allowing the aroma of flowers and fruits to enter the black tea, or adding spices, flowers and fruits to the black tea to make the taste of the tea more mellow. This kind of tea can be divided into incense tea and flavor blended tea. Incense tea is infused with the aroma of fruits, flowers or spices through craftsmanship, while flavor blended tea is carefully blended by a tea blender. Different kinds of black tea are used as the base material, combined with fruits, flowers and spices, so that the black tea presents innovative taste and characteristics. This is also the method adopted by many foreign brands of black tea.
Third, according to the size of the leaves of black tea, black tea can also be divided into three types: large-leaf black tea, middle-leaf black tea and small-leaf black tea. 1) Indian Assam black tea and Chinese Dianhong are the representatives of large-leaf black tea;
2) Keemun black tea is the leader in middle-leaf black tea;
3) The most typical of Xiaoyezhong black teas are China’s Zhengshan Souchong and India’s Darjeeling black tea.
Fourth, according to the completeness of the shape of the leaves, black tea can be divided into strip tea and broken tea.
1) The tea bar has been rolled during the production process to keep the leaves intact. Chinese Souchong black tea and Gongfu black tea are both of this type.
2) Fragmented tea has undergone processes such as cutting and tearing, so that the tea leaves are broken into pieces or granules, and black tea bags belong to this category.
In the classification of black tea, the focus of China and foreign countries is different.
1) The grading of Chinese black tea adopts self-issued standards. According to the origin, there are many special regulations for product differences. Our black tea grading combines the indicators from the inside to the outside. Chinese black tea does not indicate the grade on the package. Although some packages have the words “super-class” and “first-class”, it is still impossible to intuitively judge the quality of the black tea in the package. Need to buy tea experience to judge.
2) In foreign countries, the picking parts of the raw tea leaves and the strip size of the finished tea are used as comprehensive standards. This situation has led to a phenomenon that foreign black tea can see the English letters in the grade column to know the quantitative standards such as the picking position, shape, and brewing time of fresh black tea leaves.
In order to master the specific standards of Chinese black tea grades, and understand what it feels like to be “tightly tied”, “black in color”, and “mellow in taste”, it takes a lot of practice and learning to taste. In December 2012, the National Bureau of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued the sensory quality requirements for all grades of Zhengshan Xiaochong:
1) The super-grade Zhengshan Souchong requires the appearance of strong and tight ropes, the whole shredded evenly, the color black and oily, the inner quality requires pure and long aroma, with obvious dried longan or pine smoke, the soup color is orange-red and bright, and the leaves are bright. The base is soft and bronzed. 2) The first-class Zhengshan Souchong requires a strong appearance, uniform shreds, black and moist color, and pure aroma in terms of internal quality, with dry longan fragrance, bright orange-red soup color, and slightly darker bronze color at the bottom of the leaves.
3) The second-level Zhengshan Souchong requires a slightly thicker appearance, uniformly shredded, with stems and stalks, and the color is not dark. The inner substance requires a slightly lighter pine smoke fragrance, the soup color is not bright orange-red, and the bottom of the leaves is rough and hard. , coppery and slightly darker.
For small tobacco, the National Standardization Committee also has clear requirements.
1) The special grade tea requires tight and thin strands, evenly broken, black in color, strong pine smoke in the inner substance, mellow and refreshing in taste, and bright and bright in soup color. 2) The first-grade tea requires tight knots, more uniform, slightly tender stems, slightly moist color, pine smoke aroma in the endoplasm, mellow taste, and red and bright soup.
3) Grade 2 tea requires that the ropes are tightly knotted, still even and even, with a little stem, the color is not moist, the inner substance has a slightly lighter aroma of pine smoke, and the soup color is not bright.
But all these standards and requirements are not quantitative standards, but need to be screened and tested by tea people through their own feelings.
The black tea originating from China dances on the tongues of the world, guiding people who are in search of taste for centuries without stopping. The aroma of tea bred from the place of origin is spread to every corner of the world, and the most authentic flavor has also radiated a different brilliance, making people fascinated and calm. People and tea, in the pursuit of taste, feel the natural taste, let the taste constantly touch the extreme, and create a legend.