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Tea Culture

The Chinese Art of Tea

The Chinese Art of Tea

  • Saturday, 05 November 2022
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What is The Chinese Art of Tea?

More than three millennia ago in ancient China, tea evolved from a medicinal drink or vegetable into its own unique beverage.Lu Yu, a Scholar from the Tang Dynasty wrote an influential book on tea called "The Classic of Tea" in 760 AD,which introduced many details about how tea should be planted and picked as well as processed. This is when true Chinese culture started to incorporate this beverage into their lives in addition for its nutritional benefits! Tea became popularized in Tang Dynasty and subsequent eras because of Lu Yu's excellent work in writing such a noble volume. His detailed instructions on how the beverage should be prepared, brewed and served led to its adoption as an art form by Precisely due this careful attention from one generation over another has made it so common today across globe!

In ancient China, tea was not only a beverage but also an art form since Song Dynasty. Up to today in China there is a new craze that has taken off with millions of people enjoying the simplicity and beauty behind cha yi (茶艺) or Tea Art inherited from the ancient Chinese.The art of appreciating tea is an elaborate process that requires special equipment and ritual. However, in a broader sense Cha Yi involves much more than just drinking the beverage; it also entails how people interact with their surroundings through social norms to create ceremony-like experiences for one another even when they are alone.The art of tea means the way to appreciate this delicious beverage requires proper utensils, procedure and rituals.

The Chinese tea ceremony is a time-honored tradition that dates back thousands of years,the following are the key points of the Chinese tea ceremony:

Water

The Chinese believe that only good water can show off the color, aroma and taste of tea. It's no wonder why the Chinese believe water to be an essential ingredient in tea.The perfect match of tea and water,Chinese described their relationship as "water is the mother of tea." In their literature, poems are written about how only good tasting water can showcase what tea offers in terms of aroma as well coloration or flavor profile.

Modern day science has confirmed that before spring water emerges from the ground, it's been filtered thoroughly and becomes crystal clear. The next step in its journey is to run through a stream where oxygen molecules within air are absorbed by these waters which increase their capacity for carrying oxygen as well mineral content since they've absorb minerals found throughout rocks near.

The water for tea should be clear and light, not stagnant or heavy. It must also have good taste so that you can experience the true flavor of your beverage without any interference from other factors.

Tools

There are many tools that you can use when preparing Chinese tea, but some of them serve an essential purpose while others just make life easier. Below is a list to help get started!

1.Teapot

Teapots come in all shapes and sizes. Some, such as the ones used for brewing Chinese tea can be very small; a hand sized one is already large enough! These pots were originally made out of clay without any glazing which makes them cool to touch even when hot (which means you won't burn yourself). There are also some Chinese teapots made of ceramic, such as white porcelain and blue-and-white porcelain. Most of the Gaiwan that we often see are ceramic.

Chinese tea lovers often "raise" several clay teapots, each for a different kind of tea. The verb that means to breed or raise animals in Chinese also applies in this instance.As the clay pores absorb some tea, they'll gradually fill up with oils from leaves which then shine through as you use your teapot again and again!New teapots should be bathed in hot tea before their first use to eliminate any smells that may have been on them during production. There is no need to wash your teapot with detergent. Just pour hot water in it and let the brew do its job!

2.Tea Cups

The teacups are a symbol of pure beauty. They come in many shapes and sizes, tall like miniature fruit juice glasses or short with stout bodies! One cup can typically fill four to four to six cups depending upon the size of your teapot.

3. Tea Pitcher

It is important to have a second teapot, called "tea pitcher"(公道杯)for pouring the tea when it's ready. Because the tea must not be left on the leaves more than a few minutes, and guests might not drink quickly enough.Sometimes they pour their drinks through small tea filters so leaf particles don't get through into servings.

4. Tea Utensils Set:The Six Gentlemen of the Chinese Tea Ceremony (茶道六君子)

The Six Gentlemen of the Chinese Tea Ceremony are a set of essential tools for making Gongfu tea. These pieces can be found on any traditional tea table and they each have their own unique function in this process:The Six Gentlemen of the Tea Ceremony consists of six tea utensils: tea utensils bottle, tea funnel, tea needle, tea clamp, tea tong and tea spoon.

The Origina of the Six Gentlemen of the Chinese Tea Ceremony

Why is it called the Six Gentlemen of the Tea Ceremony? In fact, this term "six gentlemen" refers to six people in Song Dynasty in China,they are Shi Dao,Zheng Ru,Zhang Yonghui,wu Chunweng, lv Yuanjun and Song Wenfu.When Emperor Shen Zong(宋神宗,1048-1085AD)of Song Dynasty had his monopoly on the tea trade, he imposed heavy taxes and regulations that caused many average people in southwest region of China to suffer. At this time six brave men decided they would rather risk their career future and lives; so these onward-thinking gentlemen submitted a proposal to the Emperor for how tea trade could help out southwest people. And the tea trade was finally approved by the Chinese Emperor. And then the tea farmers and tea merchants are grateful for the contributions made by these six people to tea and the average people, and people gradually called tea utensils set commonly used in the Chinese tea ceremony the Six Gentlemen of the Tea Ceremony.

5.Tea Utensils Bottle

The tea utensils bottle is like the perfect accessory for your desk. It's shaped like a pencil holder and has five pieces of other miscellaneous tea utensils items stored inside, playing its role in organizing them while also making any given space look neat with cleanliness!

6.Tea Funnel

The tea funnel has a small lower mouth and an upper compartment that can be filled with loose leaf. It's placed at the bottom of your favorite teapot so you don't have to worry about spilled leaves onto the floor!

7.Tea Needle

The tea needle, with its pointed end can clear all of that clogged up stuff in the spout of the teapot.

8.Tea Clamp

The tea clamp is primarily used to clip cups, clean them and pass on brews. It can also be employed as an incentives gift or just something fun for your kitchen countertop!

9.Tea Tong

The tea tong is used to take tea. Its handle can probe into the depth of your teapot, making it easy for you when handling tea leaves by hand! The big size tea tong looks like large bamboo tweezers.It also prevents water and stains on tea leaves that would ruin them before they're even brewable.

10.Tea Spoon

The teaspoon is the perfect tool for carefully and precisely transferring leaves from canister to pot, or removing dregs after drinking your tea.The Chinese tea spoon is often made from a small section of bamboo. It looks like the western large spoons used for measuring grains and coffee beans.It is used to measure the leaves before putting them in a pot. It also might prevent contact between your hands and these delicate tea leaves, which can spoil taste.

11.Tea Canister

The tea canister needs to stay sealed up tight, so that moisture and oxygen won't get in.Tea canisters come in many different shapes and sizes; they're often made of ceramic, tinplate or paper.

12.Tea Tray

The tea tray not only keeps your table clean and hygienic, but also provides a beautiful environment for tasting. The discarded leaves can be temporarily stored in this handy device which will help to protect the surface of the tea table!

13.Tea Cloth

The tea cloth is a small yet clever invention that makes sure your cup never gets dirty or holds any kind of residue. It can be used to dry off anything when you are drinking tea.

Temperature

As water for steeping tea should be hot, sometimes just boiling. But with very tender leaves like green teas such as Long Jing (dragon well), the temperature can range from 60-70°C without cooking them too much so they don't lose their nutrients and flavor profile in general.The concluded rule on tea-brewing is: the darker the leaves are, the hotter the water should be.

The leaves rolled in tiny beads after the first infusion shows that they were not hot enough so that the tea leaves do not open. If you can smell cabbage from your tea, then it's likely too much heat was used for this particular type of leaf!


Brewing Technique

First,the cups and teapot are washed in boiling water. Then they're turned around to dry for a few seconds before being filled up with 1/4 or 1/3 leaves from one single pot of tea.This ensures that each cup has its own unique flavor before the water is poured.When the tea leaves come in contact with hot steam, they will start to "exhale" their first fumes. You may notice something like fresh aroma that has a hint of fruity or floral fragrance about it- it is clear indication of good quality tea leaves. After the 4th or 5th time of adding water, your tea leaves should be ready to open up and fill that teapot completely.

The process of making a perfect cup begins with pouring water into the pot, up to its lid. Sometimes some on top is used for heating purposes too! The infusion time can be flexible depending solely upon your taste.

The tea is then poured into the cups and any leftover liquid has to be drained from leaves before drinking. If there’s anything left on them, it will turn bitter despite your efforts at preparing this wonderful drink!

When water is poured on the tea leaves, they have to release their fragrance. To do so requires several turns with each pour (about one minute per turn).When you're done brewing, do not empty the pot entirely and leave some tea liquid in there to strengthen your next round. Each infusion will develop a different flavor with stronger elements fading away until they are completly exhausted or consumed by other tastes altogether- this could take three to seven turns for teas according to the tea type and quality.

The Best Drinking Tea Time and Shenshi Tea(申时茶)

In ancient China, the day was divided into 12 Shichen(时辰,1 Shichen is equal to 2 hours), and Shenshi(申时)refers to the two hours from 3 to 5 pm.The traditional Chinese medicine believes that drinking tea at the Shenshi (3-5 pm) is beneficial to health.The ancient people of China have the habit of drinking tea at Shen Shi. Because 3-5 pm is the time when the bladder is most active, the body needs sufficient water to replenish, so there is a certain scientific basis for drinking Shenshi tea. Shenshi tea has a very good detoxification effect.At this time to drink more tea, help the bladder to eliminate body waste, promote metabolism, speed up the benefits of toxic substances and waste discharge in the body.

Tea has been drinking since ancient times, but it was originally cold in nature. The famous Chinese medical scientist Li Shizhen wrote Compendium Of Materia Medica (李时珍1518 - 1893AD,《本草纲目》),which notes that tea tastes bitter and is considered to be a healthy drink because its ability minimize internal heat in human body.The different production processes in nature have led to a variety of warm and cool teas.Fermentation makes the difference between hot and cold teas in nature. The lower degree of fermentation, the greater its chill; higher levels of fermentation bring more warmth to a drink.The non-fermented green tea is cold, the fully fermented black tea and puerh tea are warm, and the heavy fermented oolong tea and aged white tea are in between green tea and black tea.

During Shenshi period(3-5pm.), it is not advisable to drink cool tea, such as green tea, yellow tea, raw pu-erh tea stored within 3 years or white tea stored for 3 years, etc. The bladder is the most active time, and the bladder is where the yang energy is. Warm tea should be served during Shenshi period, such as Pu-erh ripe tea, aged white tea, black tea, etc. are most suitable for drinking at the Shenshi(3-5pm.).


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