TEA the Seventh thing after opening the door.(mandaringarden!)
Posted by: Mandaringarden
Date: November 14, 2013 08:46PM
Just as many Western cultures have become coffee dependent, tea is a necessity in Chinese daily life together with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar.
Over the years, tea has become an essential part of Chinese culture, in poetry, pictorial art, as well as the classification and customs attached to the pleasures of tea. Chinese people pay much attention to tasting tea not merely drinking it. They try to pursue the original taste of the tea and enjoy the fun during the drinking process. There can be little doubt that in a busy schedule a break for a refreshing cup of tea is sure to provide relaxation and refreshment. It is also a known fact that much depends upon the water used as it will have an effect upon the tea. Even the method by which the tea is infused or the wares used to prepare and drink it will have a vastly different effect.
You might have heard of Chinese teas like Oolong tea, green tea, red tea, etc. But you may not be able to count them all. Don't worry, now let's learn the type of Chinese tea first.
There are six most common types of tea branching into thousand kinds of tea, it is traditionally classified based on the degree or period of "fermentation" the leaves have undergone.
Green tea is the most natural tea class, only dried with heat and undergoes no fermentation process, and it is also believed to have the most medicinal value of teas and very low caffeine.
Example: Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing)
Oolong tea is a class of tea as well as a kind of tea, half-fermented and thus is relatively thick in flavor, very popular in South-East China such as Fujian, Guangdong and in Taiwan, the most popular tea for Kung Fu Tea, and it is an emulsifier for fat and cholesterol. Like a savior for today's junk food eaters.
Example: Tie Guan Yin
Black tea is a fully fermented tea class, the everyday tea of the west and northwest, good for cleaning up the digestive channel because it's an emulsifier for fat and cholesterol and it is called Weight-watchers' gospel.
Example: Pu'Er (Pu'Er is also a compressed tea)
Red tea in Chinese is sometimes translated to English as "Black Tea". Could be that the degree of fermentation for Chinese red tea reaches the international standard for black tea.
Red tea is not a major hit in China.
Example: Tian Red (Dian Hong Cha)
White tea is similar to green tea except that it's roasted, with the lowest caffeine content, so it is very light in color and aroma.
Example: Longevity Eyebrow (Shou Mei)
Yellow tea is most similar to green tea, but the smell is close to that of black tea.
Although yellow tea has a distinct taste, but there are some degree of similarities between yellow, green and white teas.
Example: Junshan Yinzhen (Silver Needles from the Emperor's Moutain)
Flower / Scented tea 花茶
Compressed tea 砖茶
Flower tea is sometimes called scented tea. The base of flower tea can be black, green or whatever the color. Then ingredients like flower petals might be added.
Flower tea is popular in Northern China.
Compressed tea is common in the West and South-West China, it should be stored in contact with air at room temperature to allow continuous fermentation. Pu'er ages like wine and after a few decades, it can really go up in value.
Although Kung Fu brewing is fine, best way to prepare compress tea is to boil (unusual way to prepare Chinese tea) it in order to extract full flavor out of the tea. Very "tough" kind of tea it is.
Expamle: Tuo Cha
In the 6th century, a Buddhist monk introduced tea to Japan and in the 16th century to Europe by a Portuguese missionary. And tea became an international drink.
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