Tea-drinking is a constituent part of Chinese culture. China is an original producer of tea and is renowned for its skills in planting and making tea. Its customs of tea-drinking spread over to Europe and to many other regions through cultural exchange via the ancient "Silk Road" and other channels of trade. The Chinese nation has written a brilliant page for its tea culture in the history of world civilization. The development and promotion of tea has been one of China's principal contributions to the world.
First appearing as early as 5,000 years ago, Green Tea is the oldest category of Chinese Tea. The original processing of the tea was quite simple. People either boiled the tea leaves straight from the tree, or sun-dried tea leaves for future use. While the processing methods have changed over the centuries it still resembles its ancient ancestor in that it is not fermented and only very slightly oxidized. This allows the tea to retain more of the original taste of the leaf.
Traditionally, there are ten most famous teas, but not all "best ten" lists are in agreement.
Here is a typical list: Long Jing (Dragon Well tea); Bi Luo Chun (Green Snail Spring tea); Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess tea); Huangshan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Fur Peak tea); Junshan Yinzhen (Jun Mountain Silver Needle tea); Qimen Hong Cha (Qi Gate Red tea); Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe tea); Liu An Gua Pian (Liu An Melon Seed tea); Xin Yang Mao Jian (Xin Yang Hairy Tip tea); Tai Ping Hou Kui (Monkey King tea).
Find a teashop with a good reputation and you will be shown how to brew and drink tea properly to experience the full flavour; you will soon realise the pleasure and health benefits of the Chinese tea culture.
Tea and Chinese
Tea-drinking is a nation-wide custom in China. It is a daily necessity for the Chinese to have three meals and tea a day. When any guest comes, it is a rite to present a cup of tea to him/her. There are numerous teahouses in every town and city.
Tea-drinking is an art, a skill in China. In some places the way of making tea is very complicated. And the tea utensils-the teacup, tea saucer, teapot, tea tray-are works of art. Diansin(pastry), which goes with tea, both tasty and appealing, is loved not only by the Chinese but also by the people all over the world. There are hundreds of famous teas in China and there are a great many famous springs and streams to provide water to make tea. And the tea fields or tea mountains are also marvelous sights to add beauty to the scenery.
It is said that the literary artists of Ancient China were inspired either by tea or by wine. Those who were fond of wine were said to write in a passionate and heroic style; those who preferred tea tended to be sentimental and romantic. In China, one can discover that romantic spirit for oneself, enjoying a cup of imperial tea in a peaceful setting with good company.
Origin of Tea
According to Lu Yu's Tea Classics, tea-drinking in China can be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty (1100- 221 B.C.): Tea was discovered by Shennong and became popular as a drink in the State of Lu because of Zhou Gong.
Tea drinking in China has a history of four thousand years.
As the legend has it, Shennong, a legendary hero, tasted hundreds of wild plants to see which were poisonous and which were edible, so as to prevent people from eating the poisonous plants. It is said that he was poisoned seventy-two times in one day but was saved by chewing some tender leaves of an evergreen plant blossoming with white flowers. Since he had a transparent belly, people could see how the food moved throughout his stomach and intestines. When they saw the juice of the tender leaves go up and down in the stomach as if it were searching for something, they called it “cha”, meaning search in Chinese. Later it was renamed “cha” having the same sound of the present one.