Cha Dao “The Way of Tea”
In China drinking tea is so much more than just soaking tea leaves in water. From its origins in the ancient temples and sacred mountains of China. to the modern day customs, Chinese tea culture is awe-inspiring.
Chinese tea culture is more than 4000 years old. China has its own unique customs for making as well as drinking tea which is unique from that of Europe, Japan, and Britain. The main theme of Chinese culture revolves around the harmony of human beings with nature and their tea culture too; indicates the same. Tasting tea and tea wares should go with the environmental elements like breeze, moon etc, a respect for nature and the need for peace. Chinese Tea takes the central place in ceremonies like births and weddings.
The phrase ‘Cha Dao‘ meaning ‘the way of tea’ originates from the traditions of Daoism when tea will be using to awaken the mind, and sustain long states of meditation. It has even a deeper meaning than a mere preparation, as after sipping a cup of Chinese tea, one is saying to experience a state of serenity.
Gongfu Cha – traditional Chinese tea ceremony
Chinese tea ceremony will be called ‘Gongfu Cha‘, meaning ‘tea with great skill’. In this style, the tea master who makes tea for his group will regard as an artist in his or her own right. Chinese Tea master has his own style is making the tea, and pouring it for his group, which includes much practice and artistic manoeuvres. Tea will serve in graceful manners reflect through hand movements, facial expressions and traditional clothing.
Once a person’s cup is full, he will bend his index finger and knock on the table to express his gratitude to the person who serves his tea. ‘Yum cha‘ (drink tea) is a style of morning or afternoon tea usually taken with dim sum. While drinking Chinese tea, attention will pay to the environment, music, the techniques of infusing, and the interpersonal relationship with the people in the group.
The water from which Chinese tea will prepare also has special significance. Aristocratic friends will serve Chinese tea made with rainwater or from the snow water. collected from the snow on plum blossoms. Sophisticated interests were a privilege of the past! Isn’t it?
Chinese tea varieties
Chinese tea includes many varieties, with each of them having special virtues of their own. green tea is rich in antioxidants, has a sweet flavour and toasty aroma. It will prefer worldwide for its health benefits. Red tea (known as Black tea in other countries) is called so due to its amber hue when brewed. It has an intense flavour as it is let to ferment for a long time. Pu-Erh tea also known as vintage tea has an earthy flavour and is popular for its many health benefits. Oolong tea, ‘Oo’ meaning black and ‘long’ meaning dragon is the favourite of tea connoisseurs. Chinese also dry edible flowers and brew tea with it. When steeped in water, the flower petals unfurl into beautiful shapes. A mesmerizing; aromatic infusion.
Chinese Tea, which was once a sophisticated privilege of the royals. has now become a healthy and flavorful indulgence. and a preferred drink of the ordinary people. Harmony and respect are the main pillars of Asian culture, and this is reflecting in Chinese tea culture.