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Sunday, 21 August 2011 00:00

Chinese tea was discovered for enjoyment first

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Chinese tea is an enjoyable beverage first, health benefits second.

The discovery of Chinese green tea

Tea was discovered by the Chinese more than 2000 years ago. It is believed that the Chinese emperor Shennong was resting under a tree while travelling, when some leaves fell from the tree above into the pot in which his servants were boiling water for him to drink. The brew turned out to be immensely refreshing and thirst-quenching and this marked the beginning of human tea consumption. Tale or not, there was one thing for sure, tea consumption did not start as a result of the health benefits reported by laboratory studies today; such as it being high in anti-oxidants and able to reduce blood cholesterol levels etc. The ancient Chinese needed a drink, and this leaf brew happened to serve the purpose. A supply met a demand and a new product was born.

The varieties of Chinese teas are a result of various drying processes

To preserve these leaves for later use, people started drying them. The various methods of drying have since produced hundreds of varieties of Chinese teas, beginning with the unfermented green teas. Chinese teas have always been categorised according to the level of fermentation during the drying process; for example green teas are not fermented; Oolong teas are semi-fermented and black teas are fully fermented. Through the modification of tea making skills, numerous tea varieties have been developed, taking many factors into account such as climate conditions, soil conditions, tea bush/plant variety and local diet etc.

Chinese tea was born to be enjoyed first, health benefits second

During the history of tea consumption in China, the Chinese have made a connection between tea drinking and better health. Part of my fond memory of my grandmother was that she always made a strong cup of tea first thing in the morning, often followed by the comment: ‘tea is good for you’, although she did not know how and why. There is no doubt that Chinese tea was born first as a drink to be enjoyed.

 

Read 183 times Last modified on Monday, 08 September 2014 10:59
En Jie

The founder and owner of Valley Green Tea

I grew up in the Fu-Jian Province – the tea country of China. Tea consumption has been part of our daily life for as long as I can remember.

While I was working as a public health researcher a few years ago, I read many research reports conducted over the last 30 years about the health benefits of green tea in fighting certain life style related challenges such as cancer, obesity, cardio-vascular and inflammatory diseases etc.

From my research, I realised there is a significant gap between what people consume (i.e. commercial tea bags) for assumed health benefits and the actual benefits that have been enjoyed by the Chinese for a long history from the premium loose leaf teas.

As well as being potentially beneficial to health, the premium loose teas (green tea being the biggest group) are most enjoyable beverages with a fascinating history, colourful culture and holistically dynamic in every aspect.

It is my passion to share, not only the products, but also the whole culture dynamics around the premium teas with the tea enthusiasts, here in Australia and around the world.

Valley Green Tea currently supplis a diverse range of premium loose teas to the tea drinking community that suit all tastes for all cultures and to pass on a deep understanding of the history and benefits of this wonderful beverage.

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