Saturday, October 22, 2011

TEA: The Yummy Antioxidant!

Anyone who knows me knows of my love for tea, green tea to be exact, and my love for China.  Why not combine both?! This is more along the lines as a trivial post for fun. China is definately known for thier tea being the country's most popular drink! In recent decades people have been drinking tea from modern glasses or cups as we do in the Western world.  However, traditionally they drink tea from a Gaiwan  or three piece cup.

The use of a Gaiwan  aids in the infusion of the tea leaves.  The lid keeps leaves in the cup and not in your mouth.  The saucer helps prevent fingers from burning.

Tea in Chinese is chá . The most popular types of tea people in China drink are as follows:

Green Lǜ  tea chá ; Green tea chá 綠茶
Green tea  uses leaves dried without fermentation and is the most common tea.  It is usually baked immediately after picking.

Black tea Hóngchá 紅茶Hóng  actually means Red and this is because black tea colors during fermentation into a brew that is red in color thus explaining its Chinese name.

Flower tea Huāchá 花茶; Flower Huā .  This tea is a mix of green tea with flower petals such as jasmine, rose and chrysanthemum.  So pretty!

Pu'er tea 普洱 is from Yunnan and is green or black tea that is compressed into blocks.  That's why it's also called Brick tea

Oolong wūlóng chá 烏龍 tea is highly prized in China and is a lightly fermented tea.  It is blue-green in color depending on the fermentation and tea leaves used and is also known as Black Dragon tea.

Eight Bā  Treasure bǎo  Tea chá ; Eight Treasure tea Bā bǎo chá 八寶 typically has about eight ingredients in it like Chrysanthemum, Green Tea, Honeysuckle, Licorice, Dates,Dried longan, Haw, Dried Tangerine, Rock Sugar, and Wolfberry.  All of these ingredients can be interchanged with each other and mixed to make up eight ingredients.  Definitely the most colorful of them all!

Yak butter tea is less popular than any of the other teas.  Tibetans are known to enjoy Yak butter tea mostly.  It actually looks really yummy!

Although most of these teas are traditionally served hot I prefer iced tea.  It's just more refreshing!  Even though I have to admit a nice warm cup of hot tea is perfect when it's cold out.

*sigh* I can't wait until the day I actually go to China and try all of these authentic teas for myself...until then I guess Starbucks will just have to do.  Oh wait, that's right I can get Starbucks in China too!  Starbucks Xīngbakè 星巴克