January 29, 2009 9:29am CST
Tea has been an indispensable part of daily life in China for at least 1,500 years,and there seems to be no thread of it being replaced by coffee ,despite the crowded coffee shops of Shanghai.Tea was "invented " in China , as was China ,which serves as the perfect container for serving the drink .In the early days ,tea leaves were finely ground before being steeped,and this customer has passed over to the Japanese tea ceremony ,though nerarly all tea drunk today is sold in leaf form. There are many ways to classify tea ,but in terms of processing there are three general divisions :green or unfermented ;black or fermented;and semi-fermented ,which possesses the qualities of both green and black tea . Semi-fermented teas may be scented with jasmine buds to produce jasmine tea ,which comes in as many as fifteen or more grades . Tea is drunk before or ofter a meal ,but rarely during .It is also drunk at any time of day or night .Chinese people commonly brew their tea in cup, refilling the cup with hot water when it is one quarter to one third full.
3 Mar 09
People throughout China drink tea daily. Because of the geographic location and climate, different places grow various kinds of tea. In general, there are five kinds of tea classified. In the past dynasties, people not only formed a special way of tea-drinking, but also developed an art form called tea-drinking. This art form comprises of many aspects. The most noticeable ones are the making of tea, the way of brewing, the drinking utensils such as tea pot. The art of making tea is called "Cha dao", which was soon accepted as one of the most important cultures that Japan learned from China. In Hangzhou, there is a tea museum, the only national museum of its kind, where there are detailed description of the historic development of tea culture in China. China is the homeland of tea. Of the three major beverages of the world-- tea, coffee and cocoa-- tea is consumed by the largest number of people in the world. At present more than forty countries in the world grow tea with Asian countries producing 90% of the world's total output. All tea trees in other countries have their origin directly or indirectly in China. The word for tea leaves or tea as a drink in many countries are derivatives from the Chinese character "cha." The Russians call it "cha'i", which sounds like "chaye" (tea leaves) as it is pronounced in northern China, and the English word "tea" sounds similar to the pronunciation of its counterpart in Xiamen (Amoy). The Japanese character for tea is written exactly the same as it is in Chinese, though pronounced with a slight difference. The habit of tea drinking spread to Japan in the 6th century, but it was not introduced to Europe and America till the 17th and 18th centuries. Now the number of tea drinkers in the world is legion and is still on the increase.