Home: Chinese Society and Culture: Chinese Herbal Tea

A Little Guide About
Chinese Herb Tea

Chinese have a long history of drinking tea. Tea actually originated in China where it spread throughout the rest of the world. It is still a very popular drink in China and Taiwan and is served with most meals at restaurants for free.

Types of Chinese Tea

Ancient Chinese herb tea can be separated into a few different categories. These include black, oolong, white and green. There are also some other types of Chinese teas including scented and red teas although these are not as common.

Teas made with flowers are very popular, although these aren't strictly teas even though they are called White Tea in China. The most common type of Chinese tea consumed in China and Taiwan is Green Tea. Most of the tea produced in China and Taiwan is consumed locally and not exported.

Growing Conditions

The growing conditions and the location where the tea was grown will have an impact on its flavor. The other differences are a result of the techniques used to process the tea once it has been picked. Both green and white Chinese herb tea are heat treated after they are picked. The purpose of this heat treatment is to prevent it from oxidizing and fermenting.

Chinese Oolong tea leaves are oxidized slightly. While black and red teas are allowed to fully oxidize. There are also many differences in the steps of processing which can make the tea taste different.

History of Chinese Herbal Tea

Tea was first created during the western Zhou period of China. Tea was often used as a ritual offering to give to the gods. Tea leaves can be eaten, made into a drink, or even made into a traditional Chinese medicine.

Farming Chinese Tea

Chinese farmers really increased tea production during the Song Dynasty. During this period there were 242 counties which had a tea farm inside. This included many different types of tea. Most of this tea was drunk within China, but small quantities were exported to Arab Countries and Southeast Asia.

Health Benefits of Chinese Tea

Chinese herb tea has become increasingly popular throughout the whole world. There are several reasons for this. Some people just like the taste, but quite often people are also interested in the health benefits. Chinese green tea in particular has anti-oxidizing properties. This mean that it can be used to slow down the signs of aging.

Some people have even suggested that drinking Chinese green tea or any Chinese herb tea can prevent cancer and many other incurable diseases. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.

Buying Chinese Herb Tea

Buying Chinese herb tea should be very easy. This can be purchased at many stores throughout the world. It can be bought in the form of teabags, or as loose tea which can be infused with hot water.

Tea bags are preferred by many people in the western world because it will remove all the bits. However, in China, the leaves are normally added directly to the cups or pot and then it is drunk slowly to avoid swallowing the tea leaves.

Alishan and Pinglin are two very popular Taiwanese destinations where Chinese herbal tea is cultivated.