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Tea Culture of China

Tea Culture of China

Tea, the most popular drink of China, has a long history which can date back to Han Dynasty. People throughout China drink tea everyday. In the past, 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.

The Homeland of Tea

China is the homeland of the tea, it is the country that finds and utilizes tea first in the world. Over one thousand years ago, Chinese people began to have the habit of drinking tea. Now, tea is a part of Chinese people's life.

Seven most important things in daily life of Chinese people are expressed in a proverb often recited when people talk about their family budget. "Seven elements face you on opening the gate: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea." Tea is regarded as one of the top urgent matters in home live. Wang anshi (1021-1086), the famous political reformer and literate of Song Dynasty once said: "Tea is as indispensable in daily life as rice and salt."

Tea is always offered immediately to a guest in the Chinese home. Serving a cup of tea is more than a matter of mere politeness; it is a symbol of togetherness, a sharing of something enjoyable and a way of showing respect to visitors. To not take at least a sip might be considered rude in some areas. In previous time, if the host held his teacup and said, "please have tea", the guest will take his conge upon the suggestion to leave.

And now, just as coffee in the west, tea became a part of Chinese people's daily life. You can see many teahouses on streets like cafes in the west. Tea has such a close relationship with Chinese that in recent years, a new branch of culture related to tea is rising up in China, which has a pleasant name of "Tea Culture". It includes the art of making and drinking tea, and some customs about tea.

Advantages of Tea Drinking

Chinese Tea

Tea has been one of the daily necessities in China since time immemorial. Countless numbers of people like to have their after meal tea.

In summer, tea seems to dispel the heat and bring on instant cool together with a feeling of relaxation. For this reason, there are many teahouses in towns and market villages in South China and provide elderly retirees with a place to meet and chat over a cup of tea.

Medically, the tea leaf contains a number of chemicals, of which 20-30% is tannic acid, known for its anti-inflammatory and germicidal properties. It also contains an alkaloid (5%, mainly caffeine), a stimulant for the nerve centre and the process of metabolism. Tea with the aromatics in it may help resolve meat and fat and thus promote digestion. It is, therefore, of special importance to people who live mainly on meat, like many of the ethnic minorities in China. A popular proverb among them says, "Rather go without salt for three days than without tea for a single day."

Tea is also rich in various vitamins and, for smokers, it helps to discharge nicotine out of the system. After wining, strong tea may prove to be a sobering pick-me-up.

The above, however, does not go to say that the stronger the tea, the more advantages it will yield. Too much tannic acid will affect the secretion of the gastric juice, irritate the membrane of the stomach and cause indigestion or constipation. Strong tea taken just before bedtime will give rise to occasional insomnia. Constant drinking of over-strong tea may induce heart and blood-pressure disorders in some people, reduce the milk of a breast-feeding mother, and put a brown color on the teeth of young people. But it is not difficult to ward off these undesirable effects: just don't make your tea too strong.

Tea of Chongqing

The most famous tea in Chongqing is Yongchuan Xiuya Green Tea. It is produced in Yongchuan County of Chongqing. It stands for green hills and beautiful rivers of Bashu and also reflects the charateristics of Chongqing. You can taste it when coming to Chongqing.