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Chinese Tea

China is known as the home town of tea. Chinese people are believed to have enjoyed tea drinking for more than 4,000 years. People throughout the country drink tea daily. Even a simple meal is finished off with tea so its importance is obvious. Tea not only has become a necessity in people’s lives , but also has played a good role in driving the development in economy. Moreover, it has gradually developed into resplendent tea culture and become a bright pearl of the spiritual civilization of the society.

The Chinese have innumerable teas of many grades and varieties. Teas are categorized by their production and the resulting color. Green tea is fired in a pan to prevent oxidation, leaving it light in color and taste. Black tea is fully fermented, with the leaves wilted then rolled to bruise them. The leaves then ferment and dry, leaving a dark and earthy tea. Oolong is partially fermented before firing, placing it somewhere between green and black. Floral teas are also popular.  Tea is seasonal, with spring pickings said to be the finest. Generally it will be picked every week or two, usually only taking the very top of the plant, which is the freshest and most delicate. Some drink teas for their medicinal properties; traditional China ascribes all sorts of benefits to various teas, while Western research has shown that teas can help prevent cancer and promote a healthy heart.

The most conspicuous content in China's tea culture is the popular phrase---Ke Lai jin Cha--when a guest arrives, a cup of tea will be brewed for him." In the past dynasties, people not only formed a special way of tea-drinking, but also developed an art form called tea-drinking. This art form comprises of many aspects. The most noticeable ones are the making of tea, the way of brewing, the drinking utensils such as tea pot.

Tea is brewed in very specific ways to maximize its flavor. Green tea is steeped for less time than black and is drunk very hot. Oolong tea, mostly grown in Fujian, has an elaborate ceremony known as "gong-fu". This involves cups, aroma cylinders, and two separate pots, all warmed. The Chinese always use loose tealeaves, instead of tea bags that are often used in the West.

 

For the Chinese, tea drinking and tea tasting are not the same. Tea drinking is for refreshment and tonic effect, while tea tasting has cultural meaning. Tea and tea wares should match surrounding elements such as breeze, bright moon, pines, bamboo, plums and snow. Teas are different but all embody the tea spirit of “clearness, respect, joy and truthfulness”. All these show the ultimate goal of Chinese culture: the harmonious unity of human beings with nature.

Tea is compared to personal character. The fragrance of tea is not aggressive; it is pleasant, low-keyed and lasting. A friendship between gentlemen is also like a cup of tea. With a cup of tea in hand, enjoying the green leaves in a white porcelain cup, you will feel peace. Fame, wealth and other earthly concerns are far away. Tea is the symbol of elegance. Also, tea is regarded as the most Zen-like drink.

 

Four Ambits of Tea Drinking:
Drinking teaTea is taken as a beverage to quench thirst.

Tasting teaEmphasis is placed on the color, fragrance and flavor of tea, water quality and tea set. When taking tea, the taster should also be able to savor tea carefully.

Tea artAttention is paid to environment, atmosphere, music, infusing techniques and interpersonal relationships.

The highest ambit—— tea lorePhilosophy, ethics and morality are blended into tea activity. People cultivate their morality and mind and savor the life through tasting tea, thereby attaining enjoyment of spirit.

 

Related Tours

3 days Tea farming area and Tulou Hakka building


   
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