Chinese Tea Culture

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Tea in China is not only a beverage, I 've come to understand that it is a great deal more than that; it 's an art, a custom, and above all a lifestyle. For over 3000 years humankind has been developing a plant that has incited poems, led to the foundation of trade routes and molded human civilization. With its foundations in China, the tea plant has a rich history, and is encompassed by a fascinating culture. During my travel to Hangzhou, my Chinese friends told me interesting stories of China, and the legend of Shen Nong, the “divine farmer”, who taught the Chinese the art of growing tea leaves and agriculture as a whole. The official origins of tea can be traced down to southwestern China in the Yunnan province, where it was first used…show more content…
Tea then began its global journey, and was spread across the world. The first documented cultivation of tea in Taiwan began in 1717 in a region called Shui Sha Lian (水沙連) (Allee, 1994). The British were later responsible for bringing tea to my own home country, India, where the tea culture is also very strong and significant. My own country’s strong tea culture allows me to look at China’s tea culture with much more depth and understanding. Tea was popularized as a beverage by the Tang dynasty, and the Europeans including the Portuguese and the Britons who brought the tea to the west. Due to the globalization of tea, its remarkable value in the European and Asian markets, as well as the deep interconnection of tea in the Chinese lifestyle, tea quickly became an intrinsic part of Chinese culture. The history behinf the gōng fu chá however is not very clear, as some historians and scholars argue its origin in the Chaoshan area in Guangdong, while others believing it was originated in Wuyi in the Fujian…show more content…
Having covered a brief and beautiful history about the tea, it’s worthwhile to see what role tea plays in the daily life of the Chinese people, and how it influences its culture. Tea is a part of life in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. It is a staple and is available in every form, from cheap invigorating plastic bottles sold at supermarkets and convenience stores, to the sweet and delicious Earl Grey milk tea with pearls, to the costliest rare high mountain leaves served in the customary gongfu style. oday, tea is ubiquitous in China, and is everywhere, even on the HKUST campus, from the cheap canteens to the expensive restaurants, it’s a staple with almost every meal of the Chinese people. Most chinese families as well prefer tea over other beverages like coffee, and the preparation of the tea is meticulous and careful. Small factors like frying, boiling and preparing the leaves is done with utmost care and precision. Many types of tea is consumed throughout China, HK and Taiwan, one of the most popular ones are white tea (bái chá), green tea (lǜ chá), oolong tea (wūlóng chá), black tea (hóng chá) and Pu-Erh Tea (Pǔ ěr chá). Tea is also appreciated as one of the seven necessities of the Chinese life, and is consumed throughout the day. It is most commonly taken as a substitute for water in the daily life of the Chinese people, and consumed with other drinks during meals. Big jugs of tea are also used by many of my classmates, who say it helps them relax in a pressured

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