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Xiao Ye Zhong

For almost all green and black teas, local Small Leaf Varietals are used. Names that often appear for these local tea plants are:
  • Lao Tu Cha (“Old Earth Tea”, or “Old-Fashioned Tea”), Dang Di Tu Cha Zhong (“Local Earth Tea Varietal), Lao #Name_of_tea, Lao #Place#.
  • Cai Cha (“Vegetable Tea”), #Place# Cai Cha, Ben Di Cai Cha etc.
  • Ben Di Qun Ti Zhong (« Local Colony Varietal ») or Ben Di Qun Zhong (“Local Colony Varietal”) or Qun Ti Zhong etc.
  • Qiaomu Xiaoyezhong (old tea trees): in the cradle of the tea plant (Xishuangbanna in the south of Yunnan province), one can find the Dayezhong but also old trees of the Xiaoyezhong variety (as well as the Zhongyezhong variety). Although it is a small leaf variety, this plant is probably none the less part of the Camellia sinensis var. assamica.
Examples:
  • Lao Long Jing (“Old Long Jing Varietal”)
  • Lao Chuan Cha (“Old Sichuan Tea”)
  • Fu An Cai Cha (“Vegetable Tea from Fu’an”)
  • An Hua Ben Di Qun Zhong (“Local Colony Varietal from Anhua”)


The traditional Korean tea bushes also belong into this category of local Small Leaf Varietals.

Some, however, are specially bred.

  • Jiu Keng Zhong ("Pigeon Pit Varietal"): is used for green teas (e.g. Kai Hua Long Ding); and as well for black tea (e.g. Yi Xing Hong Cha).
  • Long Jing 43 Hao is probably a cross-breeding from local Long Jing plants and Jiu Keng Zhong from Kaihua, it is being used for green teas (e.g. Long Jing No. 43, An Ji Bai Pian) and black teas (e.g. Jiu Qu Hong Mei).
  • Yin Shuang was bred in Hangzhou and is all for green teas (e.g. An Ji Bai Pian).
  • Qi Men Zhu Ye Zhong is used for Qi Men black tea and for Heicha (Lu An Cha).
  • Fu Yun 6 Hao (“Fujian-Yunnan No. 6”) and Fu Yun Shu Zhong Ya (“Fujian Yunnan Tree Varietal Bud”): varietals bred for black and green teas.
  • Hong Ye Xiao Cha (red-leafed little tea) is the result of continuous breeding of the local variety Cai Cha in Tan Yang. It has crimson-red leaves and an intense taste. The father of our producer of Gongfu black teas from Tan Yang has developed this varietal.
  • Meng Shan 9 Hao and Meng Shan 11 Hao are two varietals that were bred from old, small-leaved tea trees. They are used in the province of Sichuan at Mount Meng Ding for green teas (e.g. Meng Ding Gan Lu).
  • Bai Ye 1 Hao (“White Leaf No. 1”): The tea plant with the whitish leaves had already been described during the Song dynasty (960-1276) and it was regarded as a legend since. At the end of the 20th Century, such a tea tree was (re?)discovered. Cuttings were taken from this wildly growing tea bush with the whitish leaves for reproduction. Green teas of different forms are produced from this varietal (An Ji Bai Cha, Bai Cha Long Jing, Tai Bai Cha in the form of a Bi Luo Chun), and newly also for black tea (Bai Cha Hong Cha).
  • Wu Xing Guo You 6 Hao and Gao Xiang Xiao Ye Zhong were bred for very aromatic black teas in Zhaoping, Guangxi (e.g. Xiang Qi Shan Hong Cha, Qu Hao Hong Cha).
  • Jun Shan Yin Zhen 1 Hao is the result of breeding local tea plant varietals for the yellow tea named Jun Shan Silver Needle.
  • Feng Qing 3 Hao and Feng Qing 9 Hao (“Feng Qing No. 3 resp. No. 9”) are Xiao Ye Zhong varietals bred from Da Ye Zhong varietals.