Guilin Tea Culture

The Chinese people, in their drinking of tea, place much significance on the act of "savoring." "Savoring tea" is not only a way to discern good tea from mediocre tea, but also how people take delight in their reverie and in tea-drinking itself. Snatching a bit of leisure from a busy schedule, making a kettle of strong tea, securing a serene space, and serving and drinking tea by yourself can help banish fatigue and frustration, improve your thinking ability and inspire you with enthusiasm. You may also imbibe it slowly in small sips to appreciate the subtle allure of tea-drinking, until your spirits soar up and up into a sublime aesthetic realm. Buildings, gardens, ornaments and tea sets are the elements that form the ambience for savoring tea. A tranquil, refreshing, comfortable and neat locale is certainly desirable for drinking tea. Chinese gardens are well known in the world and beautiful Chinese landscapes are too numerous to count. Teahouses tucked away in gardens and nestled beside the natural beauty of mountains and rivers are enchanting places of repose for people to rest and recreate themselves.

China is a country with a time-honored civilization and a land of ceremony and decorum. Whenever guests visit, it is necessary to make and serve tea to them. Before serving tea, you may ask them for their preferences as to what kind of tea they fancy and serve them the tea in the most appropriate teacups. In the course of serving tea, the host should take careful note of how much water is remaining in the cups and in the kettle. Usually, if the tea is made in a teacup, boiling water should be added after half of the cup has been consumed; and thus the cup is kept filled so that the tea retains the same bouquet and remains pleasantly warm throughout the entire course of tea-drinking. Snacks, sweets and other dishes may be served at tea time to complement the fragrance of the tea and to allay one’s hunger.

        The introduction of Chinese tea
The practice of drinking tea has had a long history in China,having originated from there.The Chinese drink tea during many parts of the day such as at meals for good health or simply for pleasure.Although tea originates from China,Chinese tea generally represent tea leaves which have been processed using methods inherited from ancient China.According to popular legend,tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shennong in 2737 BCE when a leaf from a Camellia sinensis tree fell into water the emperor was boiling.Tea is deeply woven into the history and culture of China.The beverage is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life,along with firewood,rice,oil,salt,sauce[clarification needed] and vinegar.

Some writers classify tea into four categories,white,green,oolong and black.Others add categories for red,scented and compressed teas.All of these come from varieties of the Camellia sinensis plant.Chinese flower tea (花茶),while popular,is not a true tea.Most Chinese tea is consumed in China and is not exported.Green tea is the most popular type of tea used in China.

Within these main categories of tea are vast varieties of individual beverages.Some researchers have counted more than 700.Others put the number at more than 1,000.Some of the variations are due to different strains of the Camilla plant.The popular Tie Guan Yin 铁观音,for example,is traced back to a single plant discovered in Anxi 安溪 in the Fujian province.Other teas draw some of their characteristics from local growing conditions.However,the largest factor in the wide variations comes from differences in tea processing after the tea leaves are harvested.White and green teas are heat treated (shāqīng (杀青)) soon after picking to prevent oxidization,often called fermentation,caused by natural enzymes in the leaves.Oolong teas are partially oxidized.Black and red teas are fully oxidized.Other differences come from variations in the processing steps.

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