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.
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.
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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