Fun Facts with Tea in Chinese Culture
Tea originated in China around 4,500 to 5,000 years ago and popularized nationwide 1,500 years ago.
Chinese tea culture, including tea etiquette, making skill, morale, book, couplet, tea set, painting, story, tea art, usage, and activities, was formed since after.
In the tradition of China, it is believed that drinking tea is good for health; different types of tea serve different functions, such as detoxification, aid digestion, weight loss, anti-age, cancer prevention, stimulation of the metabolism, etc.
It is not good to drink tea before dinner or sleep, or during the period of taking medicine. Women who are on their period or pregnant should try to avoid drinking tea too.
Water used for making tea is very important.
In ancient China, it was generally believed that water from a spring on the mountains was the best, from a river was OK, and from a well was the worst for tea-making.
Dew, rain, and snow before dropping on the ground, are popular water in the history of China as well.
The tea trees can only grow from seeds and cannot be transplanted, which made it the representative of loyalty.
Also, tea is the symbol of elegance, politeness, harmony, persistence, and modesty in Chinese culture.
Therefore, it was used to serve as a tribute, reward, betrothal presents, as well as an important drink in nearly all important ceremonies and activities in the history of China, for both royal and civilian families, such as the Coming of Age and traditional Chinese Wedding ceremonies.
Different time periods and minority groups have different tea cultures.
Classifications and Functions of Chinese Tea
Green tea is the most productive and common type in China, which doesn’t need fermentation in the making process.
It is good for reducing inflammation, keeping fit, anti-aging and improving digestion, etc. However, it is not suitable for neurasthenic people.
Black Tea needs fermentation in the making process, whose leaf and water are all red; so in Chinese it is named the Red Tea.
Black Tea is believed good for digesting, warming the stomach, and allaying fatigue, but not good for women who are pregnant, on their period or going through menopause.
Dark Tea needs a long time to ferment and is especially popular among people in northern China, where the main food is lamb, beef, and other types of red meat.
Dark tea is very good for eliminating oil and fat, digesting, decreasing blood sugar and blood pressure, antioxidants, and anti-aging.
Scented Teas are made out of tea leaves with flowers or fruits. Special techniques are used to mix tea leaves with flower or fruit, to make sure those scents can be absorbed and combined perfectly.
There are many types of combinations of Scented Teas, whose products can be tea leaf, flower, fruit, a mix of leaf and flower, or a mix of fruits.
Some common Scented Teas are rose, jasmine, lily, chrysanthemums, honeysuckle, violet, lavender, osmanthus, lotus leaf, lemon, haw, fig, momordica grosvenori, etc.
Oolong Tea is half fermented, whose leaf is green in the middle and red in the edge.
It has the best effect on losing weight among all types of teas, which is also good for digesting, refreshing, anti dysentery, etc.
Yellow Tea is slightly fermented and has one more heaping step than making Green Tea, so its leaf and tea water are yellow.
It is believed good for preventing cancer, sterilizing, digesting, and anti-inflammation.
White Tea is a special type in China, which has the most natural and simplest making process.
It is believed good for protecting the eyes and liver.
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