The Chinese ritual of tea drinking is one of the iconic phenomena of Asian civilization, variants of which are widely spread in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other countries. Despite the fact that each state has its own rules of ceremony, Chinese traditions are considered to be the oldest in the South Asian region.
A type of tea.
Green, Black, Yellow, oolong, Pu-erh… There are a huge variety of tea varieties, and each of them can also have its own specifics. Sometimes only professionals or true connoisseurs are able to distinguish the subtle taste notes of their favorite drink. In fact, the differences between these types are very simple: it all depends on the duration of fermentation, or oxidation. In this sense, almost non-oxidized green tea is comparable to milk, and highly oxidized black tea is comparable to kefir.
The ceremony’s paraphernalia: cracked porcelain and urinating boys.
Unlike Europeans, the Chinese are not limited to a cup and a teapot. During the ceremony, a special tray, a teapot, a tank for inhaling the aroma, a set of porcelain cups-bowls and many small accessories such as tongs and an awl for cleaning the spout of the kettle are used. The value of the latter, by the way, is determined by the beautiful pattern of cracks. At the same time, relatively new dishes can not boast of such quality. To give the” status ” of the cups, some owners boil them in a tea solution. Also, the tea sets include entertaining attributes like Buddha figurines and urinating boys. Miniature figures are able to change color when they are poured with boiling water or expel jets of water.
The order of the ritual.
The very procedure of tea drinking also differs in certain norms. In a classic tea ceremony, the guests are first shown the appearance of the tea, then passed around so that they can enjoy the aroma. Tea leaves are pre-washed with boiling water. Then comes the brewing. As soon as the broth is infused, the drink is poured into bowls. As a rule, the size of the cup is very small, so you can drink it in one or two sips. The constant pouring of hot water promotes meditative communication between the participants of the ceremony. By the way, the tea leaves themselves can be brewed several times. The Chinese believe that the second brew is the most delicious.
Tea is a weapon of culture.
Tea art, or “cha-i” is one of the symbols of China. Today, when the People’s Republic of China is trying to popularize Chinese realities all over the world, the Confucius Institutes, along with kung fu and calligraphy, actively demonstrate tea ceremonies . It is possible that over time, these relaxing treatments will become even more popular. In the meantime, the best way to touch the “cha-i” will be a trip to China!
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