Is China your Cup of Tea?

On August 10, 2011, in Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

Tea is a very popular drink which is drunk not only in China but around the world. Millions of cups of tea are drunk daily, ranging from herbal to flavoured as well as hot and cold, and China is where its rich history originated from. Book your China Tours with China Airlines and enjoy the vast yet extraordinary tasting tea which you will not find anywhere else.







Tea was first discovered by the Chinese Emperor and scientist Shennong in 2737 BCE. It was said that the Emperor was obsessed with hygiene and required his drinking water to be boiled before it was consumed to cleanse it. One day on a trip to a distant region, he and his army stopped for rest. His servant was making the Emperor’s hot water but a dead leaf from a wild bush fell into the water. It stained the water a light brown but the Emperor decided to try it non the less. The Emperor loved the tea and found it extremely refreshing. From that day ‘cha’ tea came into being and is loved by millions of people.

Lu Yu, Ch’a Ching was said to have been the first person to write about the different uses of tea bushes and this became the beginning of the Zen Buddhist form of tea service. It was believed that tea helped to improve concentration and thus made meditating a lot easier, which is how tea was introduced to Japan. Due to its religious influence tea was accepted by all hierarchy of the Japanese culture, from Imperial to ordinary people.

Tea became and still is so important that there was even a war regarding it. England was the last country to be introduced to tea, but the British Parliament had a monopoly on tea trade and they created the Tea Act. Many of you may have heard about the Boston Tea Party and this occurred as a direct result of England charging excessive taxes to British colonies in America. The colonist in Boston decided to take action against this, and this became the basis of the American Revolution which took place near Boston in 1775.

Many people drink tea purely because they like the taste or because it gives them a caffeine high, but in China there are many customs on why tea is drunk. One reason Chinese office workers drink a lot of green tea is because it contains catechins which help prevent computer radiation and provide moisture content to the human body. If a person pours an older person a cup of tea, it is a sign of respect. Pouring tea for someone can also be marked as an act of apology. In traditional Chinese weddings, the bride and groom kneel down in front of their parents and serve them tea, this is a way of gratitude for all that they have done for them. There are numerous other customs that tea plays on Chinese culture.

The different types of tea that can be found in china include but are not limited to; green tea, black tea, oolong tea, puer tea, flavoured tea, peppermint tea, lemon tea. Travel to Beijing or any other part of China to enjoy these exotic teas which are not only delicious and refreshing but also good for you.

Jack Li
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