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Tea Culture In China Essay

3396 words - 14 pages

Tea Culture in ChinaChina is the homeland of the tea, it is the country that finds and utilizes tea first in the world. In China, the history of tea had more than three thousand years old. Over one thousand years ago, Chinese people began to have the habit of drinking tea. Now, tea is a part of Chinese people's life.Seven most important things in daily life of Chinese people are expressed in a proverb often recited when people talk about their family budget. "Seven elements face you on opening the gate: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea." Tea is regarded as one of the top urgent matters in home live. Wang anshi (1021-1086), the famous political reformer and literate of Song Dynasty once said: "Tea is as indispensable in daily life as rice and salt."Tea is always offered immediately to a guest in the Chinese home. Serving a cup of tea is more than a matter of mere politeness; it is a symbol of togetherness, a sharing of something enjoyable and a way of showing respect to visitors. To not take at least a sip might be considered rude in some areas. In previous time, if the host held his teacup and said, "please have tea", the guest will take his conge upon the suggestion to leave.And now, just as coffee in the west, tea became a part of Chinese people's daily life. You can see many teahouses on streets like cafes in the west. Tea has such a close relationship with Chinese that in recent years, a new branch of culture related to tea is rising up in China, which has a pleasant name of "Tea Culture". It includes the art of making and drinking tea, and some customs about tea.Tea History in ChinaTea had long history in China. It is believed that China has tea-shrubs as early as five to six thousand years ago, and human cultivation of tea plants dates back two thousand years. Tea from China, along with her silk and porcelain, began to be known the world over more than a thousand years ago. The history of tea in China can be divided in four periods.Classical Period (Before 618 A.D.)From legend, the first person to drink tea was a man named Shennong who was an herbal medicine scientist. One day, when he climbed a mountain to seek the herbshe felt thirsty and then he was feeling a leaf fell onto his foot. He picked this leaf up and twisted the leaf with his fingers. Then the juice of the leaf went out and he tasted the juice with his tongue. Because the taste of the juice was quite bitterSo he thought that this leaf could have medicinal value and could help quench thirst. Thus, according to legend, Shennong was the first individual to drink tea.From 350 to 600 A.D., the demand for tea dramatically increased and outstripped the supply of wild tea trees. Farmers began to grow tea plants in the Szechwan area, but soon tea cultivation had spread throughout China.Tea during this time was made of leaves boiled in water with ginger, orange or other produce added to it. And tea was mostly consumed for medicinal purposes to treat digestive and nervous...

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