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   When we talk about tea, we should refer to the tea leaf family. After brewing or cooking, it becomes a fragrant thirst-quenching drink.

   The teabags that we often drink nowadays did not appear until the 20th century. The inventor of teabags was Thomas Sullivan, a tea merchant in New York. He saw the need for efficiency and developed tea bags as a time-saving method for drinking tea.

   The earliest reference about tea involves a legend from ancient times from around 2700 BC. It says that the Shennong clan were the ones that began to use the word “?” ( tea character in Chinese) to describe this beverage, although it is not confirmed. According to Chinese historical literature, tea is a medicine and not a beverage. A remedy capable of detoxifying the body, refresh the mind, improve eyesight, and other effects. In other words, tea originally was a kind of herbal medicine; who would have known?

 

   Tea has gone through a long development process from “medicinal” to “edible” to now drinkable. During the Tang Dynasty, the application of tea has expanded immensely.

Ming Porridge made with green tea

 

 

People used to eat tea much earlier than drink it; an example of this is Ming porridge, a porridge made with tea. 

   Nowadays, some ethnic minorities in China still retain the habit of “eating tea” such as the “cold tea” of the Jinuo people in Yunnan; using fresh tea leaves as raw materials; is very refreshing. If you ever travel to Xishuangbanna, you should give it a try.

   In addition to eating, drinking tea became more prevalent during the Tang Dynasty. At that time, tea makers usually made tea into a round cake compact shape, similar to the current Pu’er tea, but only one type of green tea. The tea-making process consisted of boiling it in a pot and then drink it with salt; this process is called “sencha,” which is very different from the current Chinese tea drinking method.

 

   The contemporary Chinese tea-making method has been the product of improvement after the Ming Dynasty. There were various kinds of rich tea products in the Ming Dynasty, such as most basic green tea, black tea, white tea, yellow tea, green tea, dark tea, and scented tea, that appeared one after another.

 

 

 

Teas are divided according to the production process, not according to the type of tea tree.

   For example, the same fresh tea tree leaves are green tea made according to the method of green tea, and black tea made according to the process of black tea, instead of green tea tree for green tea and black tea tree for black tea.

If you have enough time and interest, use traditional Chinese tea utensils to make a cup of good Chinese tea, no matter the freshness of green tea or the richness of black tea, you will get the most intuitive and beautiful feeling.

“There is a thousand Hamlet in the eyes of a thousand people.”

Some people think that tea is a magical oriental leaf; others believe that tea is a healthy and thirst-quenching drink. Religious believers think that tea brings awareness and many people in modern days take tea as a way of life.

So, what does tea mean to you?