China has nearly 5000 years history and it is believed that Chinese people have enjoyed tea drinking for thousands of years! The ancient culture of China is attractive so the tea culture.This is article is going to introduce Chinese tea for you.If you love Chinese tea,this article is targeting at gaining you knowledge.And if you don’t love Chinese tea,this article may change your mind.Do you really know what is Chinese tea and why tea is so popular in China?Do you know the classification and the art of tea in China? Now,let’s begin.
1. The Funny History.
China is said to be the origin of tea.According to legend,tea was tea was first discovered by the Chinese emperor and herbalist Shennong – who is considered as the Father of Agriculture in ancient China in 2737 BCE.It is said that one afternoon,Shennong was tired and thirsty after a long way trip and decided to take a rest under a Camellia tree and boiled some water to drink.Dried leaves from the tree above floated down into the pot of boiling water and infused with the water. Intrigued by the delightful fragrance, Shennong took a sip and found it refreshing,and tea came into begin.
When Chinese people started to drink tea?There are various viewpoints.Base on the official data, Chinese people started to drink tea since Zhou dynasty.The Han Dynasty Used tea as medicine, in Tang dynasty tea became a popular drink.Tea drinking was regard as an art at that time.People even thought it was as important as the fuel,rice and oil.Many literati took it as essential while Studying,Writing Articles, meeting friends.Tea was integrated into peoples life completely.Many techniques in making tea leaves and brewing tea was developed from then on and continues to nowadays.
In 16 century,Potuguese visit the ancient China, and since then Chinese tea spread to the west and started it’s world wide journey.
2. The Classification
Tea can be mainly classified according to the following methods
the degree of fermentation
the degree of baking
the seasons of tea packing
the degree of tea leaves withering
Athough there are no unified classification method of Chinese tea, the more scientific one is based on the difference between the method and the quality of processing,especially the degree of oxidation of tea polyphenols, can divide Chinese tea into green tea,yellow tea,white tea,oolong tea,black tea(called “red tea” in China),dark tea(not the same as black tea) Green tea polyphenols oxidation is the lightest and the black tea is heaviest. This six major types are called basic tea classification.
Green tea is a variety of not fermented tea,leaves are fresh and appears in bright green color.It is the best drink for sultry summers as it is cool and fights off inflammation, or relieves fever. The famous varieties such as Hangzhou West Lake Longjing green tea,Jiangsu spring snail tea,Henan Xinyang City Xingyang Maojian tea,Anhui Mount Huangshan MaoFeng tea and Luan melon tea.
- Black tea
Black tea is fermented tea and the tea water is crimson,so it is also called “red tea” in China.Black tea can keep its fragrance easily so it is suitable for long-distance transportation.Black tea helps eliminate fat and is good for stomach.Usually,unblended black teas are named after the region in which they are produced in China.The well-known Chinese black tea include Wuyishan Lapsang souchong,Anhui Qi black tea and Yunnan Zhen Black tea.
Oolong tea is semi fermented tea.leaves are incompact,thick and big but the tea water after boiled is golden.China is well-known for its gongfu tea which is not a kind of tea but a method of tea making,gongfu means skilled,so gongfu tea just is Oolong tea.The best Oolong tea is Wuyi Rock Tea which produced in Fujian province Wuyi Mountain.
- Yellow tea
Yellow tea processed very similarly to green tea except a slower drying phase and tea leaves turn yellow-green.But it does not mean that the quality of yellow tea is bad.Oppositely,With the developed processing method,yellow tea has become independent from green tea and was favoured by more and more people.Yellow tea help Digestion and is good for spleen.Some well-known yellow tea: Junshan silver needle,GuangDong big leaf green etc.
- White tea
White tea is a kind of lightly oxidized tea which mostly planted in Fujian and Zhejiang province.White tea comes from the delicate buds and leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant.The leaves and buds are allowed to wither in natural sunlight before they are lightly processed to prevent oxidation or further tea processing.The name “white tea” derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the plant a whitish appearance. The beverage is pale yellow. Ningbo silver needle and white peony is famous in China.
- Dark tea
Dark tea is post-fermented tea mostly produced in Sichuan,Yunnan,Hubei province in China. Post-fermentation is a tea production style in which the tea leaves undergo a microbial fermentation process after they are dried and rolled. One of the most famous types of dark tea is pu-erh, produced in Yunnan Province.
- Scented tea
Scented tea is particular tea in China that tea leaves are smoked with fragrant petal or even mix with flowers.Tea leaves can be all above and flowers generally include rose,orchid,jasmine,plum etc.Different from other tea taste scented tea is sweet ,fresh and pleasant.The most famous tea is Jasmine tea produced in Fujian province.
Tea has penetrated into Chinese people’s daily life that tea means a lot to Chinese people especially in the social occation.From ancient to modern times,Chinese people has set up many tea social etiquette.
1) meeting friends. When meeting friends,chinese people will invite each other to teahouse and have tea means the friendship and keep contact.
2) representing manners. Chinese people is hospitable and always they shows their passion by offering you a cup of tea.
3) to show respect or gratitude. Younger people always offer a cup of tea to the old to show their respect and gratitude.And this can be applied between subordinateness and their leader.
4) apologizing. Chinese people may apologize to you by pouring tea for you.If you forgive him,then drink it.
5) to calm down and rise an art inspiration. Chinese people often drink tea when they are try to inditing something such as a painting,an article,a new song etc. And as all we know,tea is helpful in cool down your mood and keep you lucidum.
6) tea food. Chinese people added tea into their food in order to make a fresh taste.
7) tea medicine. Tea can be medicine with little side-effect. What’s more, often drink tea has a lot benifit.
Yes,tea is a very affluent and important part to China.It is hard to understand if you have nerver experiece before.Hope this article can give you some impression of Chinese tea. If you want to know more,Check out more article in this site