Exploration of Chinese Tea

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Due to its popularity, Chinese tea gradually raises international interest, and leads China to be a more influential country in the world. As a result, more and more people start digging in deep about Chinese tea. There are mainly four aspects that best analyze Chinese tea: history, categories, tea set and culture, which are the elements that make tea an indispensable part of Chinese culture. Firstly, Chinese tea has a long and complex history, which has lasted over five thousands years. According to the article, The History of Tea by Indigo-tea Co. Here are mainly five stages of tea development in China. The earliest record stems from a myth that there was an ancient Emperor, Shoshone, who discovered the medicinal benefits of tea around 2700 BC. However, it was Just a myth; Based on the article, the first stage of tea development began from Sin Dynasty (221 BC?BBC). The use of tea in China began when the Sin Dynasty conquered the region of Baa Shush, which indicates that Baa Shush had already established the custom and production of tea around 221 BC. Its first appearance opened a way for tea to spread out.

People in ancient China started using tea as medicine, as Indigo-tea says “Tea spread through he subsequent Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220) as a widely used medicinal herb noted for its ability to clear the mind and cleanse the body of poisons, among other things”(indigo-tea). After 370 years of chaos, Chinese tea reached the second stage of development, and also called “Golden age of tea”, the Tang Dynasty (618-907). During the Tang period, tea spread throughout China as a popular beverage. People from all classes favored it, and the ruling classes treated drinking tea as an art form.

In addition, tea became so popular that the government began collecting a special tea tax. Beside, there was a special government bureau to regulate the tea trade, and tea was also used as a currency in trading with nomadic people living along China’s borders. After its golden age, the dynasty turned to its third stage of development, Sung (907-1279). During the Sung, green tea was minced into powder and mixed into a frothy drink with a bamboo whisk, and tea continued to be consumed by all classes. During the Sung, tea production expanded to the southeast region of Fijian, which is now a major tea growing area.

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Because of the high quality tea, an interesting custom f “competition tea,” grew popular, people competed not only over the quality of telltale, equipment, and water, but also the final skills of brewing tea. After the Sung broke up, the Mining Dynasty (1368-1644) adopted the tea culture perfectly; therefore Chinese tea climbed to the forth age of development. During the Mining Dynasty, blue and white porcelain was first produced at Jingled and the famous unglazed, Exploration of Chinese Tea By Assonating started spreading to the world.

Europeans visited at this time to purchase tea; therefore the west adopted the Mining custom of using teapots. The modern stage of tea started in 1912 till now, while it changed dramatically from thousands years ago. The rising income increased domestic consumption and the price of Chinese tea rose accordingly. Moreover, China began counterclaiming and globalization tea due the global popularity of Chinese tea. Other than history, category is also a key compound of Chinese tea. Chinese tea contains hundreds of small categories; however, there are mainly five kinds, black, white, green, long and PU-ere.

According to an interview from Daniel LU, a tea expert who has been studying the art of traditional Chinese tea for decades and set up his business in Vancouver Chinatown to teach others the art of tea, says “Virtually all teas are from the Camellia genesis plant. What determines the different varieties of black, green, white, long, and PU-ere are location, harvesting time, method of harvesting and processing”(Silver, 2011). These five kinds of tea have different colors and flavors because of their difference in location and harvesting method.

The first kind is black tea, which is also called red tea in China, is a post-fermented tea that produces dark tea water when steeped. This tea has various pure qualities, which blends easily with other flavors to create a rich and exquisite taste. As the second kind, green tea is light and refreshing. It contains the largest amount of caffeine and vitamins and has a subtle flavor and light color when steeped. The third one is white tea, which is light and delicately smooth. It has the least processed procedure that only undergoes steaming and drying, and leaving to its natural state.

The forth one is Long tea. Long Tea has flowery sweet aroma combine with a pleasantly sweet after taste; it never loses its appeal no matter owe often people drink it. And the last one is PU-ere tea, which is the strongest and most bold flavor tea. Unlike other teas, PU-era’s quality and taste improves with age. Following with telltale, tea set is also important. There are basically five kinds of tea wares of a typical tea set: teapot, teacups, tea tray, gain and pitcher. The first and most important one is teapot.

The taste of Chinese tea can be improved by using the right type of teapot. Hexing teapot is well known as the best pot for tea brewing in China. According to the article, “How to Choose A Teapot”, Daniel LU explains that the est. type of teapot is Hexing Teapot, “Any tea is best made in clay teapots and the best teapots are made from “Purple Clay’ (Aisha) from the Hexing (Ye-zing) area of China. Aisha clay has excellent porosity and heat handling properties that significantly improves the taste of tea when compared to tea made in glass, porcelain or glazed teapots” (Daniel LU, 2009).

The porosity and heat properties of Hexing teapot give tea a better taste, therefore, it became the perfect kind of teapot for Chinese tea. Moreover, in the Chinese tea brewing process, different kind of tea should be matched with different kind of teapot. Normally when making a Chinese tea, tea maker would choose an appropriate teapot in order to fulfill his or her goal of tea making process. According to Daniel LU, “A Hexing teapot should only be used for one type of tea. High-fired teapots with finer, thinner clay are excellent for use with any tea and a must for Green, White and Long teas.

Low-fired teapots that use a thicker and more porous clay work best for Black Tea and Pu-Ere Tea” (LU, 2009). Therefore, we can see that teapot is as important as tea leaves. After choosing the teapot, usually low and small with a particular shape, which allows guests to enjoy the high incineration of tea and avoid burning of hot temperature at the same time. Another ware, Chinese tea trays have built in water reservoirs or hoses to an external reservoir and come in beautiful traditional designs. The next ware, Gain, is the traditional porcelain cup that has a lid for making, serving and drinking tea.

The last ware to make Chinese tea is pitcher. By using a pitcher, people can pour the tea from the teapot into the pitcher to stop the brewing and serve the tea directly into the teacups. It ensures the tea is the same strength for each cup. These wares are usually designed as a set, which is not only for function, but also an art of decoration. Match with luxurious furniture in living room, an exquisite tea set can upgrade the taste of the owner. Moreover, some well-designed, elaborately manufactured tea sets can be a treasure collected in the museum.

The last and most import part of Chinese tea is its culture. Chinese tea culture is mainly considered as two parts, tea customs and tea ceremony. In the Chinese tea customs, there are several situations that tea should be prepared and served, and it usually serves as an action of respect. According to the book, Tea and Chinese Culture by Ling Wang, the writer says “Tea was used not only to serve guests, but also to show mutual respect and affection among family members, and the feudal older of importance or seniority in human relationship” (118).

Serving tea shows respect to others, which is suitable for many situations such as wedding, family gathering and friends meeting. When people visit each other, the host will make tea and serve the guests in order to show his/her hospitality and warm welcome. In return, the guest will appreciate the tea and show gratitude to the host. Besides, when people try to make serious apology to others, they would pour a tea and serve teacups with both hands to show sorry. In addition, on wedding day, the new couple should serve tea with both hands and kneel down in front of their parents to show their respect and gratitude.

Further more, when several people were drinking tea together, usually the younger or the subordinate should make tea and pass teacups to the older or the superior. From these customs, we can see that the tea custom is not only about spirit of sharing and mutual respect, but also about social relationships. It reveals the hospitality of Chinese people and their consciousness of class. Beside, another form of Chinese tea is tea ceremony, and the best representative one is Snuff tea ceremony. “Gung If” is typical Chinese vocabulary, which means hard work, labor, and dedication toward any task or any goal.

Snuff tea is the Chinese tea brewing process, which incorporates all these meanings. In the beginning of the ceremony, the host should get everything ready such as tea set, and rinse all vessels with hot water. After that, add several spoons of tealeaves to the teapot. And then, pour hot water from a certain height above the pot. Traditionally this first brew is poured into the cups but is not for drinking; instead, it is essentially a washing of the leaves. After the washing, pour the tea water into the gain and teacups to wash and heat them up.

In Snuff tea, the first infusion of the tea is used to rinse and warm the cups, not to drink. The pot is then refilled with fresh hot water until the water reaches the mouth of the pot. Next, the bubbles that appear above the water should be removed by waving the lid along the rim. Wait for 20 to 50 seconds. The duration depends on the type and quantity of the tealeaves. F same concentration. After the tea is ready, pour the tea water into several cups evenly. Then pass the teacups to the guests in a circular manner, or from senior to the younger. When appreciating tea, the aroma of the tea is enjoyed as well as the taste.

At this point, the guests should bring the teacup near the nose so that they can appreciate the fragrance of the tea by inhaling the steam. Finally, the guests will drink their tea in three sips, no less no more; the first is a small sip to savor it in guests’ mouth for a while to ensure to experience the complete taste of the tea, the second one is the main one, and the last one to finish what’s left in the cup. The ceremony ends with the used tealeaves being put into a clean bowl for the guests to appreciate, and the master rinse the tea set with hot water and allowed to air dry.

According to the web, addictiveness. Com, Snuff tea is a complex Chinese tea brewing process with skillful works, it says “In gong if the tea, master prepares and serves tea in a practiced and precise way, awakening the sense of sight, smell, and taste by viewing and smelling both dry and wet tea, and finally by tasting the prepared tea” (addictiveness). From the tea ceremony, it’s easy to tell several interesting highlights of Chinese culture. Firstly, Chinese adore hard working and skills. Even for small things like making tea, there are complicated procedures and demanding skills.

Furthermore, from the “fair cup” pitcher, which make sure every drinker can share the same quality tea, we can tell that Chinese culture pursue fairness and equality. However, when serving tea, Chinese prefer to follow the order of superior and subordinate instead of equally by turn. Finally, making tea and appreciating tea is a time-consuming activity. People drink tea in small sips, which valves their attitude of enjoying life slowly. What Chinese tea presents, is the extraordinary culture of China that offers a way for people to learn and understand China and its people.

As above shows, Chinese tea contains a long history of development, a variety of tealeaves, exquisite tea sets, and unique traditional culture. People can learn Chinese history from the development of Chinese tea and dynasty. They will also learn the Chinese tea art from the delicate tea sets and Snuff tea procedures. Furthermore, by understanding Chinese tea customs, people would know better of Chinese etiquette and culture. Works Cited Chin, Gammon. Shogun chaw Jinn = Shogun changing. Did 1 ban. De. Shanghai: Shanghai went huh chug ban she, 1992. Print.

Chin Gonads book supports the whole view of my research paper. It introduces the development of tea in different historic stages, and especially focuses on the culture of tea in different time. Moreover, it states Chinese tea from all the aspects such as tea’s category, how to drink tea, how to plant etc. This book is like a tea Encyclopedia that leads me into the world of Chinese tea. I have learned tons of tea knowledge from it, which helped me to make guideline and write my research paper. China gong if tea ceremony-history/steps to brew tea gong if style. China gong if This source is from a tea website called “The Tea Detective”, which focuses on uncovering and exploring the facts about tea. It mainly summarizes the ways to prepare and serve the Chinese Snuff tea. This summary supports my idea that tea- brewing process contains complex procedures and hard works. “Congou Tea Brewing Method. ” Congou Tea Brewing Method. N. P. , n. D. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. This article is from online tea library, which contains all the details of tea especially Congou tea. The article introduces the congou tea brewing method with specific steps.

I have learned a lot from it. By reading the article, I am able to explain the whole congou tea-brewing process clearly. ” The Chinese market of tea. ” Large-scale projects – Export. BY. N. P. , n. D. Web. 3 Mar. This article is from a database website called Export. By. The article mainly introduces the data about the Chinese market of tea. In the figure that shows on the article, “Fig. L . Dynamics of manufacture of tea in China, thousand tons”, it reveals a specific statistic that about 1,200 thousands tons of tea were manufactured in 2008.

By using that data, I am able to prove my point that Chinese people fancy tea and manufacture big quantities of tea every year. LU, Daniel . “How To Choose A Chinese Teapot- By Daniel LU. ” How To Choose A Chinese Teapot by Daniel LU. N. P. , n. D. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. This article was written by a tea expert, Daniel LU, who has been studying the art of traditional Chinese tea for decades and set up his business in Vancouver Chinatown to teach others the art of tea. It states different standards to choose a Chinese teapot, and inform the reader the meaning behind those teapots.

I used this article as my source to give evidence of my point that teapot is important in tea making process, and different kind of tealeaves need to be brewed with suitable kind of teapots. This source is helpful because it comes from a tea export, which makes my statement more credible. “Making Chinese Tea The Traditional Way. ” Making Chinese Tea The Traditional Way. N. P. , 5 Gag. 2011. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. This article records an interview from a tea expert, Daniel LU, who has been studying Chinese tea for decades. The article introduces the main categories of tealeaves in China, and states their functions and effect.

This source supports my statement perfectly that Chinese tea contains hundreds of small categories; however, there are mainly five kinds, black, white, green, long and PU-ere. Indigo Tea, “The History of Tea in China. ” History of Tea in China. N. P. , n. D. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. This article talks about the history of tea in China. It gives a time line that lists the development of tea in different historic stages. It not only gives me a general view of tea history in China, but also supports my statement that tea’s first appearance with more precise and mature view. Wang, Ling. Tea and Chinese culture.

San Francisco: Long River Press, 2005. Print. This book displays rich knowledge about Chinese tea and tea culture in terms of the origin of tea, its history, the methods and customs of drinking tea and tea brewing vessels. It explains the Chinese tea ceremony with an easy-to-understand approach and introduces the colorful teahouse culture, legends about tea, and the literature and art closely connected with tea. This book gives me a general view of Chinese tea customs, and confirms my understanding of Chinese culture. Moreover, it offers a valuable statement to support my point in the paper that tea is served as an action of respect.