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Drinking tea is not as much a culture to the Westerners as it is to the Chinese. Everywhere they go, drinking tea follows. The Chinese people were the first to discover tea leaves, and have therefore cultivated the habit of drinking tea for years.

Tea is an indispensable part of Chinese life. Made from young and tender leaves of the tea tree, there are many different types of tea available based on the processing methods. Tea leaves are roasted and fermented. Through fermentation, the tea turns reddish brown in color. The time of roasting and degree of fermentation determines the fragrance that the tea leave will give out. Tea that has not been fermented is known as 'green tea'. Each tea has a unique name and taste that would capture the pleasures of different individuals. Not everyone would enjoy the same tea. Some may prefer bitter tea, while others like it sweet.

There is a special method used for making tea. The quality of the water, its temperature, the amount of tea leaves used, and the type of teapot will determine the grade of the tea. Teapots range in sizes. There are big pots and there are tiny little pots that definitely would not satisfy the thirst of a Westerner. Tea connoisseurs often appreciate the beauty and feel of teapots. Small teapots are used to steep tea in most homes in Taiwan. The aroma and sweetness of the tea can be extracted when using a small teapot to steep tea. Normally, teapots are made using clay, but of late there have been other ways of making teapots that have received favorable response from the public.

Tea is China's national drink. It contains vitamins, tea derivatives, essential oils, and fluoride. It also has the ability to improve one's eyesight and increase alertness, so the Chinese believe that avid tea drinkers will enjoy a lengthy life span.

Tea is also an agricultural asset in Taiwan. Specialized tea shops all over the island promote the art of tea drinking, which attracts foreigners and locals alike. The price of tea varies according to the grade. The practice of tea drinking has become a fragment of a sophisticated spiritual life and is a tradition that will never disintegrate.

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