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Chinese tea Tea and Silk
   
 

China's Tea

With its history of thousands of years,Chinese tea-culture has been influenced by the orthodox ideological trinity of Confucianism,Buddhism and Daoism. In ancient times of China, people pursued, appreciated and created tea-sipping as an artistic activity,because tea-sipping ,in their eyes,could show pursuers'accomplishment, give them spritiual sustenance and help them achieve self-actualization.That is the reason why "elegance" becomes the essence of the traditional Chinese tea-culture.

Long Jing (Dragon Well tea)
Type: Green Tea
Origin: Xi Hu (West Lake)10 Most Famous Chinese Teas
Description: Very gentle and sweet, these teas can be quite expensive. The tea leaves can be eaten after infusion.

Dragon Well Tea, as an important part of Hangzhou culture, expresses the living attitude of locals as well as the Chinese people.
Generally speaking, it takes 6 hours for the Dragon Well tea to pluck, it takes more than 4 hours to fry and make this one that shows dragon well green tea squarely is wonderful. The Dragon Well tea, line with having yellow again in the color and luster is completely green, green. The tea form is flat, smooth, after washing bubbles, each is hung in water, the bud stands upright, tea is fragrant and lasting, dark brown and dark green and bright, flavor glycol.
Dragon Well name derives from a local spring that legend has it is the lair of a dragon. Also known as Longjing, it is the best known of China's green teas, justifiably so. It had been presented as tribute to many generations of Chinese emperors, and was the tea served to Richard Nixon in his memorable encounter with Mao Tse-tung. In local parlance, it is praised for its "four characters": jade color, vegetative aroma, mellow chestnut flavor and singular shape.

Huangshan Maofeng Tea (Yellow Mountain Fur Peak)
Type: Green Tea
Origin: Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain)10 Most Famous Chinese Teas
Description: Clean needle-like tea with a slight floral overtone
Huangshan Maofeng Tea is a kind of green tea produced in Anhui Province in China. It is one of the most famous Chinese teas and can be always found in the list of China’s Famous Tea.

The tea is grown near Huangshan, also named Yellow Mountain, hence the name. Yellow Mountain is also the home for many famous Chinese green teas. Huangshan Maofeng is also called “Yellow Mountain Fur Peak” in English, because the leaves are covered with white hairs and the processed leaves looks like peaks of mountains.

For this kind of tea, the best teas should be picked in the early spring before Qingming Festival (A Chinese festival in middle spring). Only the new buds which look like orchid buds on the tea trees and the leaves near by the buds are picked for making the tea.

Biluochun tea (Green Snail Spring)
Type: Green Tea
Origin: Dong Ting Mountain of Taihu, Jiangsu Province
Description: A green tea with a strong aroma.10 Most Famous Chinese Teas
Seven grades in decreasing order of quality: Supreme, Supreme Ⅰ,Grade Ⅰ,Grade Ⅱ,Grade Ⅲ, Chao Qing Ⅰ, and Chao Qing Ⅱ.

Biluochun, a famous Chinese green tea, is grown in Dong Ting Mountain of Taihu in Jiangsu Province. The tea is also known as Pi Lo Chun. As it is a kind of green tea rolling in to a tight spiral which looks like snail meat and it is cropped in early spring, its English name is "Green Snail Spring".

The tea is features by its exquisite appearance, floral aroma, showy white hairs and early cropping. It is said that it was discovered by a girl tea picker. The girl put the tea between her breasts instead of put it in her basket. And the tea warmed by her body heat and emitted a floral aroma.

Biluochun tea in Dong Shan in Dong Ting of Jiangsu Province is considered as the best. And the tea is also cultivated in Sichuan and Zhejiang Provinces. In these provinces, the leaves are larger and may contain some yellow leaves. Teas here are taste nuttier and smoother.

Tieguanyin(Iron Goodness)
10 Most Famous Chinese Teas
Type: Oolong Tea
Origin: Anxi County, Fujian Province and others
Description: fruity, sometimes even berry taste and aroma

Tieguanyin is a kind of oolong tea in China. It originated in Anxi in Fujian Province in 19th Century. Producing in different areas of Anxi, the tea has different tastes.Tieguanyin is named after the Chinese Buddha-- Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, female embodiment of Avalokite?vara Bodhisattva. It is also called “Iron Goodness” in English. The process for making the Tieguanyin Tea is complex and need professional skills. The leaves must be of high raw quality and plucked at ideal time. There are 8 main processes: 1.plucking tea leave; 2.sun withering; 3.cooling; 4.tossing; 5.withering, this includes some oxidation; 6.fixation; 7.rolling; 8.drying. And after drying, some kinds of teas have to go through roasting and scenting which are added processes.

Junshan Yinzhen Tea
Type: Yellow Tea
Origin: Junshan Island, Hunan Province
Description: One of the Famous Chinese Teas.
Junshan Yinzhen Tea is a kind of yellow tea originated in Junshan Island of Hunan Province in China. It is also planted around Dongting Lake where the Junshan Island located.The other names of Junshan Yinzhen Tea are “Mount Jun Silver Needle”, “Superfine White Tea”, “Yin Zhen”, and “Superfine Silver Needle”

Keemun Tea (Qimen Hong Cha)
10 Most Famous Chinese Teas
Type: Black Tea
Origin: Qimen County, Anhui Province
Description: Fruity with hints of Pine
Varieties: Keemun Gongfu or Conggu, Keemun Mao Feng, Keemun Xin Ya, Keemun Hao Ya, Hubei Keemun

Keemun Tea or Qimen Hong Cha is a kind of black tea originated in Qinmen County of Anhui Province. Relatively speaking, it has a short history of about 137 years. The Tea was first produced by a failed civil servant, Yu Quianchen, in 1875. Before that, there was only green tea in Anhui. When Keemun Tea was produced, the result exceeded Yu’s expectation that the tea even was popular in England. It gradually became ingredient of the breakfast tea in England.The tea features by it fruity, little pine, dried plum and floweriness aroma. As it also tastes a hint of orchid fragrance, it also called “Chinese tea sweetness”. These make the taste of the tea very distinctive and balance. Depending on different varieties, the tea can made more bitter or smokiness.

Da Hong Pao (Large Red Robe)
Type: Oolong Tea
Origin: Mount Wuyi, Fujian Province
Description: The most famous oolong tea of Wuyi teas.

Da Hong Pao or Large Red Robe is the most famous tea in Mount Wuyi. It is a kind of oolong tea which less than 1 kg of tea was harvested each year.There is a legend of Da Hong Pao that a Ming Dynasty King’s mother was cured of an illness by a certain tea. The King sent great red robes to drape on the four tea bushes to show his thanks. Now there are 3 original bushes still growing on the rock of the Mount Wuyi which is said that can be dates back to Song Dynasty. The Da Hong Pao is picked from these bushes. The tea was very rare and so it is expensive.

Pu-erh Tea10 Most Famous Chinese Teas
Type: Black Tea
Origin: Pu’er County, Yunnan Province
Description: It is a Chinese specialty. The flavor of the tea depends on where the tea is grown and the grade. Old Pu-erh tea, born tea, dry warehouse natural aging, and soup was yellow red, Chen fragrant odor
Pu-erh tea from Yunnan province in China has long been considered a special delicacy and an indispensable part of daily health care. Unlike other types of tea, which are consumed not long after harvest, Pu-erh tastes better with age.
Pu-erh Tea can be divided into cooked and raw types. The cooked types are the varieties that have gone through a process which accelerate post-fermentation, while the raw types are the varieties that have gone through the process of gradually darkening by exposure to the environmental elements instead of fermentation. And this is why the teas are labeled with the region and the year it was produced.

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China Silk

Empress Leizu,the inventor of sericulture"A silkworm spins all its silk till its death and a candle won't stop its tears until it is fully burnt." This Tang poem accurately describes the property of the silkworm. Despite technological development, a silkworm can only produce a certain amount of silk---1000 meters (3280feet) in its lifespan of 28 days. The rarity of the raw material is the deciding factor of both the value and the mystery of silk.

History of Silk
China is the birthplace of silk. Sericulture (the raising of silkworms for silk production) has a history of over 6,000 years. Legend has it that Lady Hsi-Lin-Shih (wife of the Yellow Emperor Huangdi) was having tea under a mulberry tree when a cocoon fell into her cup. As she watched, the cocoon spun a strong white thread. She unwound the strand onto her finger, realizing that it could be used as weaving thread. Thus an industry was born. She taught her people how to raise silkworms, and later invented the loom. Silk production reached a high level of craftsmanship during the Shang Dynasty (1600BC-1046BC).

For more than two thousand years, the Chinese kept the secret of silk to themselves. It was one of the most zealously guarded secrets in history. Anyone found guilty of smuggling silkworm eggs, cocoons, or mulberry seeds was put to death. Silk garments were worn by emperors and royalties and became an indication of wealth. Common people were prohibited from wearing silk. With increased travels and trading, sericulture slowly reached the outside world, first to Korea, then to Japan, India and finally Europe. See introduction to Silk Road or Silk Road Tours.

Silk production peaked during the Han Dynasty when the manufactured goods were transported as far away as Rome from Chang'an (today's Xian). The overland trade route was to become famously known as the Silk Road. However, there was also a Marine Silk Road extending from Xuwen, Guangdong or Hepu, Guangxi to Vietnam. An outward bound voyage lasting five months would arrive in Vietnam; it would take another four months to reach Thailand; while a further twenty days would carry the merchants on to Burma. Two months later they would arrive in India and Sri Lanka, from where the silk would be eventually transported to Rome via the Mediterranean. After such a long journey, the price of silk was equivalent to that of gold. Legendary as it seems, tender silk connected China to the rest of the world.

Silk Production
Silk is a delicately woven product made from the protein fibers of the mulberry silkworm cocoon. Silk production is a lengthy process that needs close monitoring.

The silk moths lay around 500 eggs during their life span of four to six days. After the eggs hatch, the baby worms are fed a diet of mulberry leaves in a controlled environment. They have voracious appetites and their body weight can increase substantially. After storing up enough energy, the worms surround themselves with a white jelly like substance secreted from their silk glands. These cocoons resemble white furry balls. After eight or nine days, the worms are killed. The cocoons are lowered into hot water to loosen up the tight protective filaments, which are then unraveled, wound onto a spool and later spun into silk. Filaments can be from 600 to 900 meters long. Several filaments are twisted together to make a thread. The silk threads are woven into cloth or used for fine embroidery.