Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tea; the basis of Chinese culture

Tea growing was perfected in China as early as 1,100 years ago during the Tang Dynasty. The Ancient Chinese quickly discovered that the tea trees only grow well in warm, slightly damp climates, with indirect sunlight, and they also knew that planting tea trees along hillsides with loose, acidic soil produces the best quality tea leaves.

The Ancients believed that the processes of picking tea leaves, preparing teas, drinking tea, and writing poems and songs about tea, formed the basis of Chinese culture. Today, many Chinese families still customarily use tea to greet guests.

Chinese teas fall into four categories: green, black, Oolong, and scented teas. These four types are distinguishable by their place of origin and their genus, but more importantly, by their methods of baking. Green tea retains its green color after baking, and the tea made from it is of a fresh green shade, making it a suitably refreshing drink for the summer. Black tea is baked until it is dark all over, and its flavor is more distinct; it is a winter beverage, preferred by older people. Oolong tea leaves are dark brown at the edges, and the tea has a more pronounced flavor. Fujian province is a major producer of this tea, so the local people are very biased in its favour! Scented tea is baked together with various aromatic flowers. The people in northern China, where tea is not produced, have a special liking for this type of tea.

1 comment:

  1. china tea is loose. They don't use tea bags or a strainer, so you have to manipulate drinking the tea so as not to swallow the leaves. They always have tops to the teacups to keep it warm and it's served with washcloths in order to wash your hands. According to the Chinese, tea bags show the worst quality of tea. It's considered tea dust. They compared it to drinking instant coffee.


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