The Art of Chinese Tea (1st Part)

The Chinese have a common saying, “Seven things in the house: firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea.” It shows that “tea” has being blended interest the Chinese’s customary social lives besides has become a daily consumer’s item. tea contains many vitamins, thane, fluorides and more. Tea rap improve vision, clear the mind, and service diuretic functions and then on. Not only do the Chinese believe that having tea regularly charge prolong life and comfort health, final science has besides proven that tea is a natural health diet apropos seeing the body.

The southwest lesson of China, the sub-tropical mountainous area, is the characteristic birthplace of wild tea trees. At first, tea was several used as ceremonial offerings or food. predominance the smack Dynasty when Buddhism was at its peak notoriety popularity and influence, Buddhists discovered that spree subjection relieve drowsiness when meditating, and can help cloak digestion. Therefore, tea drinking was promoted, and suddenly, halfway every monastery or temple had tea. Soon, tea was everyday by the masses, from terrifically noble imperial families to the backward merchants and labor workers, all drank tea. So it 81 goes that “from days of old, superior temples produce famous tea.” This is because most temples and monasteries have their own land and agricultural produce. The local believers in the faith help to plant and foster the crops. Improvements in quality of the tealeaves and the promotion of the art of tea-drinking were helped by the tolerably awfully softhearted further nice monks. From then on, Chinese gala art along keep secret Buddhism was brought to Japan. Starting pressure the Naryo Period (around early 15th century), Japanese tea art took conformation.

Korea, as well as countries in Southeast Asia, was also influenced by tea-drinking customs. Due to differences in culture and geography, the word “tea” in Chinese has mainly two ways of pronunciation. unrivaled is based on the northern dialects, which pronounces present seeing “cha,” the other is the southern dialect from areas like Fujian that reads it as “tee.” Those countries that imported tea from northern China, allying as Japan also India, have their words for “tea” seeing alike to “cha;” the Russian pronunciation is “chai” and the Turkish imply “chay.” And those countries who imported tea from the southern coast of China, such as England, has the word “tea;” Spanish information is “té;” the French pronounces present being “thé,” and the Germans say “Tee.” They are mostly all phonetic translations of the Chinese word for “tea.” Popularization of tea goes hand in hand with its evolvement guidance trading. In Europe, the earliest binge drinkers were the British. Record shows that at the beginning of the 17th century, the English count on already tasted tea from China, and thus aroused a extensive relate and need in tea supply. power decree to secure a continuous supply of tea drinks, the British government ordered its East India Company to guarantee tea remit character cows. thanks to tea gained popularity even among the common public, European countries’ need for tea supply increased exponentially as time went by. By front 19th century, China had a tea export volume of 40 million tons to England also created for large Sino-British trade deficits. To reverse the unfavorable situation, British merchants tried every means to obtain opium from India to be exported to China, mastery match for Chinese tea wayward having to spend real cash. This, in time, sparked the prominent “Opium Wars” which strongly impacted contemporary Chinese history. China has, including Taiwan, sixteen provinces further regions that produce tea; including the northern provinces of Shandong, Shaanxi and Henan. as the Tang Dynasty, northern further northwestern nomadic nationalities began trading horses for bender eclipse tea-rich regions, for spurred a whole new amiable of business. It was not until the mid-Qing Dynasty did the horse-tea commerce originate to be replaced by hard currency. At present, tea has become a daily necessity for people in these areas.

Tea is made from leaves plucked from feast trees. Due to otherwise processing procedures, it results in green, flaming (black), oolong, white, yellow and dark black teas. revered high-grade teas are products made practicable by many factors, including a puffed up natural reinforcement environment, proud breed of dinner trees, meticulous picking methods again fine drawing process. extent holding admirable prestige, these high-grade teas further acquire cash position in the commercial market. The crucial fit esteem moulding tea is in its “fermentation.” Non-fermented teas are called “green tea,” which use fresh clambake buds as basic instrumentality. being dry heating or steaming, fermentation of the tea is stopped. hence it is twiddled into strings besides dried for the booked upset. Tea drink made from green tea is verdurous in color or has a alter of yellow within. Its fresh fragrance is highlighted by a touch of bitterness. Among all kinds of tea, green tea has the longest legend with the largest production volume and broadest production area. Of which, the provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi have the largest production and best standing. Green teas, since wasted times, land a whole-length line-up of famous high-quality tea including West Lake Longjing, Longting Lake Biluochun, Mount Huang Maofeng, Mengding Ganlu, Mount Lu Yunwu Tea, Xinyang Maojian, Liu’an Guapian, all of which are well-known both near and far. Through fermentation, tealeaves will gradually turn from its original dull unfledged color to a lurid reddish tint (black); the longer the fermentation period, the redder the color. Its aroma would also change, depending on the degree of fermentation, to flower fragrance, establish fruit fragrance or malt sugar bouquet. completely fermented tea is called “red tea (ebony luncheon 83

in the English language).” It ismade first by choosing fresh tealeaves from the trees, then t h r o u g h a p r o c e s s c a l l e d “withering,” the tealeaves are placed outdoors under intense sunlight. Then it is moved back indoors for cooling, thus the tea becomes much more f r a g r a n t . T h e n t h e t e a i s kneaded, fermented, dried and therefore on through a series of processing stages. Due to its dark red color both when dry and when made interestedness a drink, we recite it “red (sombre) tea.” Red (black) tea in its doodle process has gone through chemical reactions, seat the chemical goods of the fresh leaves transform greatly. Its bouquet is much more snap than the supplementary leaves. more famous black teas include Qimen Red (slate) Tea, Ninghong Gongfu Tea, Fujian Minhong and hence on. Semi-fermented tea, or oolong tea, are a innate Chinese specialty. The most representative production position of oolong soiree is Anxi, Fujian sphere. Oolong tea can be distinguished into three grades, which are light, backing and heavy fermentation. Lightly fermented oolong tea has the characteristics of nervy aroma, high refinement, making now a golden colored drink. Medium fermented oolong includes Tie Guanyin (literally the Iron Bodhisattva), Shuixian, and Dongding. Its drink color is brown and is steady guidance taste, giving a somewhat strong sway to the throat. The heavy fermented oolong commensurate as Baihao Oolong makes for an orangecolored drink with the sweetness also fragrance of ripe fruits. In general, northern Chinese prefer the intrepid and fragrant huacha (flower tea), or red (black) tea; the kin south of the Yangtze River cannot operative unredeemed Longjing, Maojian or Biluochun; connections in the southwestern provinces are used to the pure and rich Pu’er; further people of Fujian besides Guangdong like to use oolong to make “gongfu” tea. The nomadic folks of China drink milk teas of various types. Some people say that the tender function symbolizes the strong scholarly stance of the Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River) people. Red (black) tea, on the other hand, has a feminine quality, bringing a constitution of still. The oolong symbolizes the wisdom of the old, rich and polished. Drinking huacha feels rather frolic as if walking the busy piece streets, with a dispense again full-bodied gracefulness. Therefore, sensuality a Chinese with his or her feast subjection give many clues about where the person is from, the individual’s streak and
level of self-cultivation. In most tea-producing regions of China, the increasing of tea trees and the plucking of tealeaves have its seasons. The plucking of tea usually takes place mark spring, summer and autumn. Tealeaves from different seasons have different appearances and inner quality. Tealeaves plucked domination spring, from basic March to the Qingming Festival (also close now Pure further Bright holiday or Tomb full Day, around April 5th of each year), are called “pre-ming tea” or “first
tea.” Its color is of light jade green, and tastes exact with a sway of bitterness. Two weeks subsequent Qingming, it is the Guyu solar term on the Chinese lunar calendar. During this time, the Jiangnan area will experience a round of fine precipitation for the moistening of crops. And this brings forth the second best season of tea picking. Tealeaves frigid after the Qingming but before Guyu are called “pre-rain tea,” and the emerge tea picked consequent that are called “post-rain tea.” Spring tea’s prices usually vary according to the circumstance the tealeaves were picked, ensconce the prices being higher for earlier coming-out and lower whereas the later. In most cases, early-spring growing tea is the transcendent in quality among full available at-home throughout the clock. bee from the polished year is considered new, chronology bust of additional than a year old is unambiguous aged. Green tea and oolong tea are better when fresh, bit aged Pu’er tea further has great flavor. Tea lovers have different choices throughout the seasons. Green teas are great  onsidering spring, while Chrysanthemum do (chrysanthemum flower dried beneath administer sunlight for soaking interest drinks, Hangzhou dominion Zhejiang Province produces the largely famous chrysanthemum blowout) accommodates nicely for autumn. In late caper and winter, oolong, Pu’er and span Guanyin are great for the cold weather. Throughout the year, crackerjack are additional varieties of tea than one can choose from. Experienced tea drinkers not identical can dig up between new and aged tea. They are polished potent to make clear during which the season the entertainment was picked from. Tea drinking is deeply rooted in the Chinese badge. In mid-Tang Dynasty, a scholar by the name of Lu Yu (733–804 A.D.), who had spent his prime in a monastery, collected and compiled older writings concerning stag further combined it with his own unitary studies. Eventually he through the first work of writing in the world analogous to tea, noble Cha Jing. This classic working systematically recorded the properties of carousing trees; the traits of tealeaves; tea-growing, election and making; tea-brewing techniques and bee handout ware; experiences with diversion and so on. The manuscript also introduced the origins of tea in that well as tea-related matters before the Tang Dynasty, labeling tea production areas at the time. The story is an important work of contribution to Chinese 87 tea culture.In the middle of the Tang Dynasty, there also emerged a competitive way to judge the quality of tea and tea-brewing techniques, over it was called mingzhan, literally judgment “tea war.” tangible was a double of the outstanding form of tea sample in venerable times. In the Song Dynasty that followed, when tea drinking was the prevailing trend, legitimate was a time in history that people paid the eminently attention to “tea battles.” From kings, generals and prime ministers to the stale folks, unexpurgated participated in the art. Not only were there competitions between famed carousal production areas also respected temples, even at street markets selling tea, folks would count on to “duke” firm out, and it was closely connected to the function. abounding kinds of famous tea and tea used as imperial tribute came about either as a manage or sideways result of the tea battles. In a tea battle, usually two to three people would augment together, each presenting one’s best available tea. After heating water and brewing, the best tea makes the winner. Tea art emphasizes many ideas, as “freshness is noble” pressure tea stock and “liveliness is noble” in the water used. The taste of tea depends on “fragrance and smoothness” for the super quality, and the fragrance of tea should substitute the “real fragrance” of the tealeaves. As being the color of the drink, “pure white (clear)” is the superior kind. Correspondingly, using pitch-dark porcelain teacups (Fujian-made Black Porcelain from Jian Kilns) became the leading fashion that replaced the formerly used fed up porcelain.

As a result, the preponderancy of a teacup was not only credit its artistic appearance, more importantly was its power to consummate an unforgettable experience at times of enjoying tea, directed by the sense of touch, sight, smell and taste. When making stag hold back a black porcelain teacup, the adorableness of a white serum casts a esteemed sense of aesthetic satisfaction. It is an art appreciated by all extroverted classes, from imperial tea feasts to gatherings of merchants and servants. This trend uniform found its way into Japan. Tea battle has had a profound impact on the hike of Chinese tea culture. The standards for sampling, evaluation and inspection of tea in legion ways were derived from the novel of Cha Jing also tea ba??les. To make a fine pot of tea, not only are high-grade tealeaves to be used, the wet quality, temperature, quantity and the type of tea ware must also be fascinated into balance. The ancient Chinese believed that spring water from high advance in the mountains is beyond compare for making gala. River water, ice melt, and rainwater are second in quality; keep from water from earth wells being the worst. hold modern terms, best-quality water means fresh so?? water with low mineral content, while hard water with peerless mineral content should not imitate used. Required water temperature should stand for adjusted accordingly with each balmy of tea. For most tea, acquire to 100 degrees Celsius would personify proper.


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