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Chinese Tea Culture

2008年4月23日 14:50:13 sz12 City Guide

Tea culture is an important part of Chinese traditional culture. With the social development and progress, tea not only has played a good role in driving the development in economy, but also has become a necessity in people’s lives. Moreover, it has gradually developed into resplendent tea culture and become a bright pearl of the spirtual civilizaion of the society. 

The emergence of tea culture brings the spirit and wisdom of human beings to a higher ambit. Tea has an extextremely close relationship with culture, covers a wide field and has very rich content. It not only has the embodiment of spiritual civilization, but also the extension of ideological form. No doubt it is beneficial in enhancing the cultural accomplishment and art appreciation level of people.

Chinese Tea History

 The history of Chinese tea is a long and slow story of refinement. Generations of growers and producers have perfected the Chinese way of producing tea, along with its many unique regional variations.

The original idea is credited to the Emperor Shen Nong. His far-sighted edicts required, among other things, that all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One summer day while visiting a distant region of his realm, he and the court stopped to rest. In accordance with his ruling, the servants began to boil water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from the near by bush fell into the boiling water, and a brown liquid was infused into the water. As a scientist, the Emperor was interested in the new liquid, drank some, and found it very refreshing. And so, according to legend, tea was created.

Chinese Tea Classification

Chinese famous tea is mainly divided into green tea, black tea, Wulong tea, white tea, yellow tea, black tea and reprocessed tea.

Green Tea

Green tea is also called unfermentated tea. With the new shoots of appropriate tea trees as raw materials, it is made by adopting the typical techniques of inactivation, rolling and drying. According to the different ways of drying and inactivation, it is generally divided into stir-fried green tea, roasting dried green tea, sun dried green tea and steamed green tea. Green tea develops the characteristics of "green leaves in clear soup with a taste of strong astringency". It is a tea category with the longest history of more than three thousand years and also one with the largest output in our country. The production areas are mainly distributed in provinces such as Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi. 

Representative teas include the West Lake Dragon Well tea, Xinyang Maojian tea and Biluochun tea.

West Lake Dragon Well Tea

The West Lake Dragon Well is called Dragon Well for short. It is produced in the mountainous regions around Longjing Village to the southwest of the West Lake in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. The Dragon Well tea has four wonders, color wonder, fragrance wonder, flavor wonder and shape wonder, namely, emerald in color, thick in fragrance, sweet and refreshing in taste and in the shape of a sparrow's tongue. The elements contained by the Dragon Well tea such as amino acid, catechu and vitamin have the effects of stimulating the production of body fluid, quenching thirst, refreshing, benefiting thinking, digesting food, removing greasiness, diminishing inflammation and detoxification.

Black Tea

It is also called fermentated tea. It takes new shoots of tea trees that are suitable for making this tea as raw materials. It is exquisitely made through the typical technical processes such as wilting, rolling, fermentation and drying. Its soup takes red as the main tone. Hence, it acquires its name. As the second largest tea category in our country, it is divided into small species black tea, gongfu black tea and smashed black tea.  

Representative teas include Dianhong black tea and Yixing black tea.

Wulong Tea

Also called blue tea, it is an unfermentated tea. It is a tea category with unique and distinctive characteristics among the several tea categories in our country. The Wulong tea, which blends the production of green tea and black tea together, has a quality between green tea and black tea. It not only has the thick and fresh flavor of black tea, but also has the pleasant fragrance of green tea. It enjoys a good reputation as green leaves with red edge. The pharmacological effects of the Wulong tea are profoundly manifested in decomposing fat, reducing weight and keeping fit, etc. It is regarded as beauty tea and fitness tea in Japan.  

Representative teas include Wenshan Baozhong tea, Anxi Tieguanyin, Dongding Wulong tea and Wuyi Dahongpao.

Compressed Tea

The product, which is made by taking basic tea categories such as green tea, black tea, Wulong tea, white tea, yellow tea and dark tea as materials and reprocessing them, is called reprocessed tea. It includes scented tea, pressed tea, extracted tea, fruity tea and medicinal and healthy tea, which respectively has different flavors and effects.

Representative teas: Scented teas include Jasmine tea and Pearl Orchid scented tea; pressed teas include Tuo Tea and Liubao Tea; instant teas include Green Source brand instant tea.

Scented Tea

Scented tea is made by mixing and fumigating tea leaves and scented flowers, letting tea assimilate the fragrance of flowers by taking advantage of the absorption of tea leaves. It includes Jasmine Tea, Pearl Orchid Scented Tea, Rose Tea and Sweet-scented Osmanthus Tea, etc. The tea dhool for fumigating scented tea is mainly roasting dried green tea and a small amount of slender and tender stir-fried green tea. When processing the scented tea, pile up tea dhool and fresh flowers giving off fragrance layer upon layer so that tea can assimilate the fragrance of flowers; when the fragrance of flowers is absorbed up, replenish new fresh flowers and fumigate  the tea according to the above method.  

The fragrance degree of scented flowers depends on the quantity of flowers being used and the time of fumigation. The more it is fumigated, the stronger the fragrance is. The ordinary scented tea sold in the market is generally fumigated merely once or twice. Scented tea has strong fragrance. Since it gives out a fragrant smell and presented a feeling of getting one’s ideas straingtened out after being drunk, it is especially liked by people in Huabei and Northeastern areas of our country. In recent years, it is also sold at abroad.

Chinese Tea Art

Chinese Tea Lore

The Chinese tea lore is several hundred years and even thousands of years earlier than that of Japan. It can be said that the Chinese tea lore places an emphasis on spirit and makes light of form. It also has different representations at different historical stages. Teas are also different but all embody the tea spirit of “clearness, respect, joy and truthfulness”.

Drinking tea:Tea is taken as a beverage to quench thirst.

Tasting tea:Emphasis is placed on the color, fragrance and flavor of tea, water quality and tea set. When taking tea, the taster should also be able to savor tea carefully.

Tea art:Attention is paid to environment, atmosphere, music, infusing techniques and interpersonal relationships.

The highest ambit—— tea lore:Philosophy, ethics and morality are blended into tea activity. People cultivate their morality and mind and savor the life through tasting tea, thereby attaining enjoyment of spirit.

ClearnessIt is namely cleanness, incorruptness, quietness and loneliness. The essense of tea art not only seeks the cleanness of the appearance of things, but also pursues the loneliness, tranquility, incorruptness and   shame awareness of the mind. In a still ambit, only through drinking clear and pure tea soup can one appreciate the profoundness of drinking tea.

respectRespect is the root of everything on earth and the way of having no enemies. People should show respect for others and be cautious themselves.

JoyThe meaning of harmony lies in form and method and that of joy is in spirit and affection. Sipping bitterness and swallowing sweetness when drinking tea can enlighten the spice of life and cultivate a broad mind and a far sight so that the disputes between others and self disappear. The spirit of joy lies in that people is not pretentious and haughty, dwell in mildness and nurture courteous conduct.

Truthfulness:It is namely truth and genuine knowledge. The supreme good is the whole formed by combination of truth and genunine knowledge. The ambit of supreme good is to retain nature, remove material desire without being tempted by advantages and disadvantages, study the physical world to gain knowledge and continually seek after improvements. In another word, people should use scientific methods to seek the complete sincerity of everything. The essence of drinking tea lies in enlightening capacity and conscience so that everyone can live a simple life to express their ambition and handle matters thriftily and virtuously in daily life, thus attaining the ambit of truth, good and beauty.

Tag:Chinese Culture  

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