If you are not aware of China's fascination with tea, you got to be a little better updated. These are some of the facts that would help you understand why it is important to know about this Chinese and tea connection.
- Very own discovery: Chinese take pride in the discovery of this beverage which is now consumed all over the world in different forms and taste. It is said that like all other inventions, it was accidental when Emperor Shen Nung was lying under a tree and his servant was boiling water for him. Some of the leaves from the tree actually fell into the boiling water and tea was born!
- Largest producer of tea: If China would not have been in the world, the total tea production in the world would have gone down by a massive 30%. China yearly produces almost approximately 2.10 million ton of tea which is then most consumed domestically and some exported worldwide.
- Used as a medicine: Long before during 8th century BC, tea in China was used as a medicine. The Chinese believed that it removed excess heat in the body and also improves the eyesight. Even in today's time, white tea is consumed as medicine to cure measles in children.
- Different tea for different region and people: China is such a diverse region that tea grown at different places have different flavor and taste. For example, Hangzhou has the best green tea plantings in China. People also tend to have their own distinctive preferences depending upon their geographical location. For example, People in Beijing prefer scented tea and people around Shanghai prefer green tea.
- Investment opportunity: Yes, you read it right! Some of the high-end teas, especially those which improves as the time progresses have become as collectibles in China as valuable vintage Wine. Ripe Puerh tea is especially known for their capacity to not decay over a long period of time- in fact, the longer they are stored, more valuable it becomes. The top tier investment grade Puerh is valued more than 10K USD per kg!
Apologies and Marriages: Chinese take their tea very seriously. If ever someone wants to profusely apologize to someone, they do it by pouring tea for them. This is a sign of regret and submission.
To extend a vote of thanks to the elders in marriages, both bride and groom kneel down in front of elders and serve them tea. It is a Chinese way of saying “Thanks for bringing us together, we owe it to you”.
- Most complex processing tea: The processing of Tie Guan Yin tea is probably the most complex and requires expertise. Even if the tea leaf is of high raw quality and is plucked at the ideal time, if it is not processed correctly, its true character will not be shown. This is why the method of processing Tie Guan Yin tea was kept a secret. Its oxidization is somewhere between green and black tea. It is named after Buddhist deity Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy). This tea can be brewed for around 7 times before it loses its flavor.
- plucking tea leaves (Chinese: 採青; pinyin: cǎi qīng)
- sun withering (Chinese: 晒青; pinyin: shài qīng)
- cooling (Chinese: 晾青; pinyin: liàng qīng)
- tossing (Chinese: 搖青; pinyin: yáo qīng)
- withering, this includes some oxidation. (Chinese: 萎凋; pinyin: wĕi diào)
- fixation (Chinese: 殺青; pinyin: shā qīng)
- rolling (Chinese: 揉捻; pinyin: róu niǎn)
drying (Chinese: 烘乾; pinyin: hóng gān)
After drying some teas go through the added processes of roasting and scenting.
For more details, you can take a look at our process: https://www.borntea.com/pages/process