As one of the most important parts of Chinese culture and tradition, tea is present in many households in China. As the country of china has progressed and developed throughout the years, tea has played a vital role in assisting China’s economic development. And of course tea consumption has remained a part of the daily life of the Chinese people. Tea is not just a simple beverage for the Chinese people, it has become an art which governs their daily lives as well as a traditional method of maintaining their health. It is also almost always paired with dim sum.
Chinese Tea in a Historical Standpoint
Chinese tea goes back centuries ago and has gone through extended periods of refinement since then. Multiple generations of families that grow and produce tea have mastered the art of manufacturing Chinese tea. China is also famous for having multiple regional variations that have also made its dent in tea production. China’s production of tea have never been predictable since China is a very large piece of land having numerous numbers of people that have their own ideas in making tea. These people have all experimented and have innovated ideas in tea production which led us to the large variety of Chinese tea that we all know today.
Originally, the oldest principles of tea-making are credited to the legendary and famous Emperor Shennong who people say have lived five thousand years ago. During those days, his requirements included that all drinking water must be boiled as a means of sterilization. One of many stories about him say that one day, while visiting a certain part of his land, water was started to be boiled by his servants. Beside the cauldron of boiling water was a bush that had dried leaves falling from its branches. These leaves fell into the water and the water started to become infused with a brown substance. As a person of utmost curiosity, the emperor wanted to know what the liquid was. He drank this and thought that it was very refreshing. This was said to have happened in 2737 BC making it the era of the creation of tea.
Types of Tea in China
Known for it being so prominent in Chinese culture, tea also has many health benefits. This has made it to be known not only in china but in different parts of the world as well. Chinese tea has many different kinds which vary in how they are processed and fermented. Here are the main classes of tea in China.
This is the most popular and oldest version of tea in China. Its fame in Chinese culture has stood for several thousands of years. This kind of tea is manufactured from the shoots of the tea plant. The leaves of this plant are dried and later on processed depending on the desired type of tea.
In contrast to other kinds of tea, yellow tea is produced by naturally letting dam tea leaves dry naturally. Yellow tea has a certain aroma that is distinctive to its kind. This aroma is a little similar to the smell and fragrance of red tea, however, is more similar to green and white tea when it comes to flavor.
This version of tea is somehow a branch of green tea. This is due to the reason that it is the same green tea plant however is uncured, unfermented and dried quickly. It is also specific to the province of Fujan. Flavor-wise, it has more of a delicate and subtle flavor unlike the other types of tea. The name of this tea came from the old story of poor people in China offering just boiled water to guests because they had no tea. They then called this, “White tea”. Some famous brands of this version of tea are Silver Needle and White Pony.
Blue Tea otherwise known as Oolong tea is a unique version of Chinese tea which is unfermented. This blend of red and green tea combines the best qualities of aroma and flavor from both classes. Oolong tea has been said to assist in reduction of fat and is consequently used for losing weight and beauty enhancement as well. this works well with most dim sum dishes too.