Today, it has developed into a much higher level of significance in many tea drinkers' life than merely a beverage to crunch the thirst.
Following are the six levels of elevations:
- A beverage
- A social media. 以茶会友 (greeting friends with a pot of tea) is a Chinese tradition that represents hospitality and respect. It has become a media for socializing for the young generations in more modern time, similar to coffee.
- The appreciation of their physical qualities, such as appearance, aroma, flavor and aftertaste etc.
- A stage where a tea is experienced by one's body, but not just taste buds or nose. The senses of cleansing, balancing, calming and wellbeing. (These have been validated by the health benefits researched and reported by modern researches.) This is considered to be the point of not return - tea becomes an essential part of one's life.
- The art of tea. Tea drinkers start paying attention to the environmental conditions such as location, tea ware to use, water for brewing the tea and the people to enjoy the tea with. Many tea rituals have developed as the results, such as various tea ceremonies.
- The spiritual elevation and connection with the tea, when all is required is a cup of tea and the person drinking it. It is state of simplicity, purity, exclusiveness and focus. This is used by many, such as Buddhist monks, as an aid for meditation.