China Tea

The History and Culture of Tea in China

While tea is thought to be a British or Indian drink, its roots are originally from China.

There’s an interesting story behind how tea was discovered. The Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, was taking his afternoon nap under a tree, when his servant started boiling water. The emperor was an herbalist and believed that water should be boiled before being consumed. During the boiling process, leaves from a nearby tree fell into the pot, and created a brownish substance.

The emperor was curious, and thus decided to try the substance. He found it very refreshing and it became a part of the court’s daily diet.  This dates back 5,000 years ago and the creation of tea is said to date back to 2737 B.C.

Types of Chinese Tea:

There are several types of Chinese tea that are not only delicious, but healthy as well. Unlike the tea consumed in South Asian culture, the tea served in China is light and healthy.

Here are a few common types of tea served in China:

Green Tea: Green tea the oldest form of Chinese tea, and its consumption dates back to thousands of years.  But unlike the processed tea ‘leaves’ available in the western part of the world, the Chinese like their green tea leaves to be fresh.

The most popular type of green tea is the West Lake Dragon Well Tea. It is produced in Hangzhou.

Yellow Tea: Yellow tea is produced by soaking tea leaves into water and once damp, drying them naturally. This type of tea has a very distinctive aroma and was served to emperors.

Yellow tea is popular in the Hunan province.

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Oolong Tea: Oolong tea isn’t just popular in China, it’s known around the world. But this type of tea was developed in China, being made by blending both green and red tea. It has a unique aroma and taste, and is consumed in China because of its beauty enhancing properties.

The Dingdong Oolong tea and Wenshan Baozhong tea are two renowned Chinese oolong tea brands.

Tips to Drink Tea in China:

There are a few ways to enjoy your tea when you’re in China. Here are few tips to effectively enjoy your tea:

  • Drink it hot
  • Don’t drink strong tea
  • The best time to drink tea is between meals
  • Don’t consume tea with medication

Chinese tea is best served hot and can be found in various restaurants. You can try different types of tea while vacationing in China.

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