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Chinese Tea
Tea in China
China Information - China Food and Drinking


According to Lu Yu, known as "Tan Sage" and wrote "Tea Scripture" during Tang Dynasty, Chinese tea has enjoyed a history of more than 4000

Tea is a kind of tree or bush, its leaves, and the beverage made form the leaves. Its blossoms are white and fragrant. The plant likes hot, rainy
tropical climate, but the finest tea is grown at altitudes of 3,000 to7,000 feet (910 to 2,124m) because slower growth in altitude improves the flavour
of the leaves. In its native state it grows to a height of about 30feet (9. lm), but in cultivation it is repeatedly cut back to keep it from growing into a
tree and encourages the growth of more side branches. Usually the bush is 3 to 5 feet (91 to 152cm). At low altitudes it's ready to harvest in 3
years while 5 years in the hills.

Tea was first used medicinally when it was found in ancient China. Legend has it that Emperor Shen-Nung, who was called the Divine Healer, had
a transparent belly, so what he had eaten could be seen very clearly. One day, he happened to eat some green leaves on a tree. Later he found the
leaves swam up and down his stomach as if they were examining it and soon the stomach was washed thoroughly. So he gave the trees the
name "查" , which means "examine" and after many years the word became the one we use now: "茶".

That is only a fairy tale, but at least it tells us that tea is good for man's health. Drinking tea regularly can refresh the spirit, strengthen the heart, and
improve eyesight and digestion. Some teas can even help you lose your weight, too. This is because it contains caffeine, pigmentation, aromatic
oils, vitamins, minerals and protein. Caffeine is tea's most important constituent: slightly bitter in flavor, it can stimulate the central nervous system,
clear the mind, increase the elasticity of the muscles, and reduce the harmful effects of morphine, nicotine and alcohol. It is made by infusing
tealeaves in boiling water. It has a somewhat bitter and aromatic flavour. If you have a cup of hot tea in hot weather, it can not only quench your
thirst but also make you feel cool.

There are many kinds of tea, but they are all divided into seven categories: green tea, jasmine tea, Oolong tea, keep-fit tea, black tea, white tea and
brick tea. Generally speaking, green tea is roasted almost immediately after gathering and often naturally coloured. Jasmine tea is very popular in
Northern China. When teas are scented by exposure to fragrant flowers such as jasmine and rose, they finally become jasmine teas. Oolong is a
very special and famous kind of tea for its use of reducing weight. It is made in Fujian, also in Guangdong and Taiwan. Black tea is made through
fermentation before roasting. White tea isn't familiar to many people. It is made in Fujian but popular in Southern Asia. Brick tea is made from tea
dust or inferior tea pressed into blocks.

Tea is very important thing in Chinese lives. And the Chinese give great attention to their tea and the way they drink it. People have high
requirements for the quality of the prepared tealeaf, the water they use to brew tea and the wares they use to prepare and serve tea. Normally, the
finest tea is grown at altitudes of 3,000 to 7,000 feet (900 to 2,100 meters). People select their water carefully. The Chinese emphasize water
quality and water taste. Fine water must be pure, sweet, cool, clean, and flowing. Water from good springs is always considered best, as is
rainwater from autumn and the rainy seasons. Chinese prefer pottery wares to wares made of metal or other materials. The best choice is the
purple clay wares made in Yixing and Jingdezhen, Jiangsu province. The purple clay of this region gives the wares their internationally-known
purple color.


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