Authentic Teaware from around the world

Chinese tea basic

Posted on October 07, 2014 | 0 comments
Anyone who has any interest at all in tea recognize the fascinating links between modern tea drinking and Ancient china. Tea is deeply woven into the history and culture of China. The beverage is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar. Recognized from the earliest days as a tonic herb, tea was taken internally by the Chinese as a digestive aid and applied topically in ointments to alleviate skin troubles and rheumatism.

The history of Chinese tea
According to popular legend, tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shennong in 2737 BCE when a leaf from a nearby shrub fell into water the emperor was boiling. For a long time, tea was used as an herbal medicine. During the Western Zhou Dynasty, tea was a religious offering. During the Spring and Autumn Period, people ate fresh tea leaves as vegetables. With the popularization of Buddhism from the Three Kingdoms to the Northern and Southern Dynasties, tea’s refreshing effect made it a favorite among monks in Za-Zen meditation. Tea as a drink prospered during the Tang Dynasty, and tea shops became popular. A major event of this time was the completion of Tea Classics, the cornerstone of Chinese tea culture, by Lu Yu, Tea Sage of China.
Tinted by the cultural style of the Song Dynasty, tea culture at this time was delicate and sumptuous. New skills created many different ways to enjoy tea. The Ming Dynasty laid the foundation for tea processing, tea types and drinking styles that we have inherited. During the Qing Dynasty folk art entered tea shops, making them popular entertainment centers. This habit is still practiced in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

Jasmine Yinhao(Silver Tip)
Chinese Tea Types
There are several types of Chinese tea, which vary in degree of fermentation and processing. Chinese tea can be classified into five distinctive categories: white, green, oolong, black and post-fermented. Within these main categories of tea are vast varieties of individual beverages. Some researchers have counted more than 700. Others put the number at more than 1,000. The names by which the different teas are sold can be confusing. Names may give information about the garden where the tea grew, the time of year when the leaves were picked, the village or province, the method of manufacture used, and additional flavourings blended with the leaves, and also a legendary name.
Tea growing regions
In the early days of cultivation in China, small plantations were often tended by Buddhist monks on land around their mountain-top temples and monasteries and, since the Chinese have always believed that ‘famous teas come from high mountains’, these plantations often produced some of the finest and best know teas. Today, tea is grown and produced in 16 different regions. Many of China’s finest teas are still made by hand and the skills needed for their manufacture are passed down from one generation to another.
Tea drinking customs

Chinese wedding Tea Ceremony
The Chinese drink tea throughout the day, including during meals, as a substitute for plain water, for health, or for simple pleasure. There are several special circumstances in which tea is prepared and consumed.
In Chinese society, the younger generation always shows their respect to the older generation by offering a cup of tea. Inviting their elders to go to restaurants and having some tea is a traditional activity on holidays. In Chinese culture, people make serious apologies to others by pouring tea for them. For example, children serving tea to their parents is a sign of regret and submission. In the traditional Chinese marriage ceremony, both the bride and groom kneel in front of their parents and serve them tea. That is the most devout way to express their gratitude.
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