China is the home of tea and people in China have been drinking tea for over 4,700 years. Until now, Chinese people still have the custom of taking tea as gift. There are many kinds of tea in China, including Chaozhou Phoenix Dahongpao Tea, Taihu Smoked Bean Tea, Suzhou Fragrant Tea, Hunan Ginger Salt Tea, Chengdu Covered Bowl Tea, Taiwan Dongding Tea, Hangzhou Longjing Tea, Fujian Oolong Tea, and so on. According to the classification of Chen Zongqi's "Chinese Tea Classics", tea is divided into: green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea, yellow tea and black tea.
Chinese people lay emphasis on "tasting" when they drink tea. "Tasting tea" means not only to identify the quality of tea, but also to indulge in reveries and have fun. Making a pot of strong tea when the crowded calendar allows and choosing an elegant and quiet place to enjoy can allay fatigue, eliminate worries and keep up spirits; also, it can be sipped slowly to enjoy the beautiful time and sublimate the spiritual world to a noble artistic realm. The tea-tasting environment is generally composed of building, garden, decoration, tea sets and other elements. A quiet, fresh, comfortable and clean environment is required to drink tea. A teahouse with wooden pavilion and stools in the garden or natural landscape can create a poetic and picturesque environment for tea drinkers to relax, which can be quite interesting.
As an ancient civilization and a land of ceremony and propriety, China attaches great importance to etiquette. The etiquette of making and serving tea is indispensable when guests arrive. Chinese people would ask for advice and choose the most suitable tea and best tea sets to serve the guests. When serving guests with tea, it is also necessary to mix tea properly. When accompanying guests to drink tea, the host should keep an eye on the tea in cups and pots. Generally, tea is made and served in tea cups. Boiled water should be added when half of the tea has been drunk; consistent concentration and proper temperature of tea should be maintained. Snacks, candies and dishes can also be served with tea to regulate the taste.
In addition to the medicinal virtues of keeping fit and curing disease, tea is also full of appreciation value and able to uplift the mind and the spirit. Tea contains a lot of vitamin C, which can lower cholesterol. The chlorophyll in tea can exert the regeneration ability of blood and keep the blood clean and in weak base. The probability of stroke, stenocardia, myocardial infarction and death is significantly reduced among those who often drink tea. Tea can protect brain cells, delay brain degeneration and help maintain the health of cerebral vessels. Drinking tea can improve memory and prevent Alzheimer's disease. It also has anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects. The theanine in tea is a non-sedative relaxant, which can help control anxiety and improve focus, mental state and physical function.
Since ancient times, growing, processing, making and tasting tea have been considered to require a high degree of skills. In contemporary times, Chinese people have named the related skills ''tea ceremony''. A large number of art works related to tea keep emerging at all times.
Tea ceremony is an art of living, a kind of life etiquette with tea as the medium, and a life style of self-cultivation. It is a harmonious and happy ritual to promote friendship, learn etiquette and appreciate traditional virtues by making, enjoying, tasting and drinking tea.
Tea ceremony is a kind of culture and the foundation of Chinese culture. It extensively absorbs and uses other art forms for reference, and extends to the fields of literature and art, forming a strong national characteristic - Chinese tea culture.