Tea Customs in China: 3 Fun facts
If you’ve been to China, then I’m sure you would have noticed that Chinese people drink a lot of tea. It is a way of life.
Like the Western saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” in China they say, “one day without tea will bring illness”.
Drinking tea has become an important part of the Chinese cultural heritage. Today, it is common to see people carry flasks of tea at work or school. Indeed, the first thing that any visitor or guest will be offered after they sit down is a cup of Chinese Tea.
Did you know: When drinking tea from a small cup it is customary to finish the cup in three sips! The first is for tasting, the second is for drinking and the third is for savoring.
In this article we will be exploring three fun facts about tea, that we hope will deepen your understanding of tea customs in China!
#Tea started out as a medicine
The discovery of tea is often attributed to the legendary ruler of China, Shennong, who lived some 5,000 years ago. He is said to have been the first to discover the medicinal uses of tea herbs.
There are several health associated functions of tea that many Chinese people believe in. Some experts believe tea can improve your vision, dispel drowsiness, act as an expectorant (to clear the chest) and even prevent cancer.
Whilst these might not all be true, using tea as a medicine does have its benefits. For instance, some teas certainly aid digestion, and it is said that tea uplifts your sprits during mediation.
#Green Tea is the most widely consumed variety
Green tea (绿茶: lǜchá) is the freshest tasting kind of tea, and it is the most popular variety in China, particularly Long Jing (龙井: Lóngjǐng) otherwise known as ‘Dragon Well’ tea. It is grown in Zhejiang province and was declared by Qing emperor Kang xi to be fit for use as an official imperial tribute.
Did you know: The best time to pick Longjing tea is in early spring before the Qingming Festival.
#China has a ‘tea saint’
China has a ‘tea saint’ called Lu Yu (陆羽) who wrote a holy scripture all about tea called The Classic of Tea (茶经: chá jīng).
The work was written in the Tang Dynasty and roughly marks the period when tea ceased to be just a normal drink.
Tea drinking in China has a long history! There are many different types that you can enjoy such as: Red tea (红茶: hóngchá), Oolong Tea, (乌龙茶: wūlóngchá) and Pu’er Tea (普洱茶: pǔ’ěr chá).
Do you like tea? Comment down below what your favorite tea is in China. We love hearing from you, please feel free to share with us your experiences of drinking tea.