I recently read this post about different kind of tea that are popular in Chinese culture. It was definite the best representation of what people drink every day in China. Tea is still, even in modern days, the most popular drinks in China. Instead of soft drinks, tea products like green ice tea or green ice tea remains the best-selling causal drinks. At home, people drink quite a bit of hot tea even in summer.
The most popular kinds of tea include: green tea, yellow tea, white tea, black tea and Jasmine flower tea. Each of these kind tea can be produced in different location around China, but usually a specific location is more famous producing one of them because of the soil type and climate. There are also more specialized tea such as Oolong or brick tea from the southwest. People usually drink tea with porcelain cups with lids. My grandfather had one red cup that he used to drink Jasmine tea for decades. This is the only thing I asked to have after he passed away and it still smells like Jasmine.
It is quite important to Chinese to drink full-length, loose tea leaves produced from the most recent year. Most of the people do not drink tea bags and it is considered not in such good quality. Moreover, it is a pretty big deal to have tea from the most recent Spring. My parents buy new tea leaves every May because most of the tea are produced in March and April. And their last year’s tea is usually used for cooking instead of drinking. Since I moved to U.S. my parents have been getting new tea for me every spring and mailing it to the States. The postage is usually more expensive than the tea but it is just not possible to get this year’s new tea in loose leaves in U.S.
Drinking tea benefits my life in so many ways – it helps me to drink more water during the day, it prevents me from drinking soft drinks and therefore keeps me on a low sugar-diet, it also forces me into a habit of mini-breaks – I had to leave me desk and walk to a kitchen area where the hot water kettle is and it takes my eyes off monitor at least every an hour. It also helps me to stop drinking coffee. I drunk a lot of coffee during graduate school, but I never felt good after coffee. I felt short-breathed and more anxious. It was silly that I thought that I had to drink coffee to “fit in”, because all the graduate students from U.S. drunk so much coffee. (Just like I “had to” drink beer at parties.) Then I matured a bit and discovered no one cared how I lived my life, at least not as much as I thought. So I started drinking tea as my main beverage again. Now I drink coffee very sparsely – only when I am truly sleepy but cannot walk it off and coffee became more effective for me too.
Give tea a try if you are not drinking it regularly. I think it will change anyone’s life for better. I am here to answer all the questions from the type of tea and containers for drinking/carrying hot tea. Also, if you can find a store selling loose leave tea, definitely give it a try and ask for tea leaves from the most recent year. It will make all the difference in your experience!