China's Tea Culture
• λ China, the Homeland of Tea
• λ Types of Chinese Tea
• λ Advantages of Tea-Drinking
• λ Tea Production
• λ Tea-Producing Areas
• λ Links to the tea sites
[pic] China's Tea Culture
People throughout China drink tea daily. Because of the geographic location and climate, different places grow various kinds of tea. In general, there are five kinds of tea classified according to different technique involved in the making of tea:
Green tea - Longjin
Scented tea - Jasmine tea
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. The art of making tea is called "Cha dao", which was soon accepted as one of the most important cultures that Japan learned from China.
In Hangzhou, there is a tea museum, the only national museum of its kind, in which there are detailed description of the historic development of tea culture in China.
China, the Homeland of Tea
China is the homeland of tea. Of the three major beverages of the world-- tea, coffee and cocoa-- tea is consumed by the largest number of people in the world.
China has tea-shrubs as early as five to six thousand years ago, and human cultivation of tea plants dates back two thousand years. Tea from China, along with her silk and porcelain, began to be known the world over more than a thousand years ago and has since always been an important Chinese export.
At present more than forty countries in the world grow tea with Asian countries producing 90% of the world's total output. All tea trees in other countries have their origin directly or indirectly in China. The word for tea leaves or tea as a drink in many countries are derivatives from the Chinese character "cha." The Russians call it "cha'i", which sounds like "chaye" (tea leaves) as it is pronounced in northern China, and the English word "tea" sounds similar to the pronunciation of its counterpart in Xiamen (Amoy). The Japanese character for tea is written exactly the same as it is in Chinese, though pronounced with a slight difference.
The habit of tea drinking spread to Japan in the 6th century, but it was not introduced to Europe and America till the 17th and 18th centuries. Now the number of tea drinkers in the world is legion and is still on the increase.
Types of Chinese Tea
Chinese tea may be classified into five types of teas according to the different methods by which it is processed.
Green tea is the variety which keeps the original colour of the tea leaves without fermentation during processing. This category consists mainly of Longjing tea of Zhejiang Province, Maofeng of Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province and Biluochun produced in Jiangsu.
Black tea, known as "red tea" (hong cha) in China, is the category which is fermented before baking; it is a later variety developed on the basis of the green tea. The best brands of black tea are Qihong of Anhui , Dianhong of Yunnan, Suhong of Jiangsu, Chuanhong of Sichuan and Huhong of Hunan.
This represents a variety half way between the green and the black teas, being made after partial fermentation. It is a specialty from the provinces on China's southeast coast: Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan.
This is the kind of tea which is compressed and hardened into a certain shape. It is good for transport and storage and is mainly supplied to the ethnic minorities living...