Tea and Wine - by Zou Rouyan

Rouyan comes from Hangzhou in China, and in March she joined Les Deux Chevres for a four month training contract. 

We have been discussing with Rouyan the similarities between tea and wine drinking, both of which have ancient histories.  This is the note that she prepared on the subject.

A brief introduction of Chinese tea

Chinese tea is a beverage made from the leaves of tea plants and – depending on the type of tea – typically 60–100 °C hot water. Tea leaves are processed using traditional Chinese methods.

The practice of drinking tea has a long history in China. Although tea originated in China during the Tang Dynasty, Chinese tea generally represents tea leaves which have been processed using methods inherited from ancient China. According to popular legend, tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shennong in 2737 BCE when a leaf from a nearby shrub fell into water the emperor was boiling.[1]

Tea prefers a humid climate, and is widely cultivated to the south of the Yangtze River. After 3 years of planting, tea leaves can be picked. Around Qingming (a day marking one of the 24 divisions of the solar year in the traditional Chinese calendar), 4-5 leaf buds grow in the trees. Tea made from these buds could be considered a very special delicacy.

Chinese tea can be compared to French wine in the following ways.  Each has its own origin,  and there are many nuances in terms of flavour. For french wine, the selection of the glass is very important, especially for the grand occasions. Just like wine tasting, depending on the type of tea, the cup varies. In China, for example, for green tea, they prefer glassware, and for oolong tea, Chinese people would like the “Zisha” Pot.

The Ten Great Chinese Teas are the ten most notable Chinese teas. 

Adventages of tea-drinking

Drinking tea helps people get refreshed, enhances thinking and memory ability. Besides, it facilities the process of metabolism, thus helping to maintain the function of organs like the heart, blood vessels, and stomach. What’s more, tea has a function of controlling the malignant tumours, thus in a way controlling the growing of cancerous cells. And for women, tea has an effect of beauty. And for someone who is approaching retirement, tea is a drink to delay the ageing process.

[1]"Tea and the Chinese way of life". radio86.com. Retrieved January 9, 2012.