Japanese tea culture is famous all around the world and Japanese tea sets are its true reflection. Tea is more than a beverage in Japan; it is a way to express thoughts and feelings while sipping a relaxing thing. What adds more to the beauty of tea culture are the Japanese tea sets or tea pots in which tea is served. The teapot designs found is Japan is exquisite, classy and elegant and this is the reason that they are in demand all over the world. In Japan tea sets are a status symbols and one can find a different design in every household.
Our Japanese tea sets and Chinese tea sets come in many different shapes, styles, and colors. From porcelain tea sets to cast iron tea pots, you are sure to find a tea set that fits your taste. You simply will not find a better selection anywhere else.
Enjoy Chinese tea or Japanese tea with your tea sets.
Chinese Tea History
In China, the practice of drinking tea has had a long history for Chinese people.1
Tea culture has become an important element of Chinese custom.3
For about 4,000 years, they are believed to have enjoyed tea drinking. There is a myth that Yan Di, one of the three rulers in olden times, tasted all the types of herbs to look for medical cures. He was poisoned by one herb that he tasted and a drop of water from a tea tree that made him well. It has been a long time that tea was used as an herbal medicine.2
It was during the Zhou Dynasty that tea became a part of religious offering. People ate fresh tea leaves as vegetables and due to the popularity of Buddhism for the Three Kingdoms to the Northern and Southern Dynasties, tea’s refreshing effect made it favorite in Za-Zen meditation among monks.2
The tea as a beverage prospered during the Tang Dynasty and tea shops became famous. The completion of Tea Classic book, the cornerstone of Chinese tea society is written by Lu Yu. This book contains the rules regarding the different aspects of tea, such as growth areas for tea tress, the processing tea, tea tasting, the history of Chinese tea and the comments on tea from different places.2
The tea production has become a part of driving the economic development as Chinese society developed and progressed, and the usage of tea has become a regular practice of the daily life. Tea has tremendous relationship to Chinese culture, and its study consists of wide field and has very wealthy content.3
The Chinese tea history is a long and gradual story of improvement. Generations of planters and producers have perfected the Chinese way of producing tea, and its many distinctive regional variations.
Types of Chinese Tea
Chinese tea can be classified in many ways such as through quality, method of preparation or place of production. Fermentation, heating, drying and addition of other ingredients like flowers, herbs or fruits are the main processing methods of Chinese tea. These methods help develop the special flavor of the unrefined tea leaves.4
The newly picked tea leaves only go through heating and drying processes, it does not go through fermentation or oxidation. This process makes the leaves to keep their original green color and maintain its most natural substances like polyphenols and chlorophyll contained within the leaves. Green tea is manufactured all over China and it is the most popular type of tea.4
Red Tea / Black Tea
This type of tea, its leaves went through the process of fermentation which gives them the strong flavor and produces dark color. When compared to other types of tea, its flavor stays longer and contains highest concentration of caffeine. In South Asia and Europe, this is the most popular type of tea.4
The tea leaves of this type are partially fermented, giving them the characteristics of both green and black teas. Its taste is more the same to green tea than black tea, but it has lesser "grassy" taste than a green tea. Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan are the three major producers of oolong-tea.4
Pu-erh or Puer tea
On this type of tea gives a distinctive earthy flavor due to number of years of fermentation. This tea is usually packed into different shapes such as bricks, discs and bowls.4
There are lots of mixtures of tea that consists of flowers and green tea, black tea or oolong tea. Jasmine, gardenia, magnolia, grapefruit flower, sweet-scented osmanthus and rose are some of the flowers used to mix with tea. There are restrictions about the ratio of flowers to tea. The most popular type of scented tea in northern China is the Jasmine tea.4
There are many preparation steps which can mean different tea may have different bioactive substances. Green tea has a limited processing method so it retains a reasonably high content of natural ingredients which means that green tea has stronger anti-aging, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. The partially fermented Oolong tea has the potential in breaking down protein and fat, aiding weight loss. The red tea which went through the full fermentation procedure has lost the 90% of its polyphenols but was able to retain its high caffeine content.4
Simple Chinese Tea Tips
Drinking tea offers various benefits and it refreshes your mind, clears heat within your human body and helps people lose some weight. In drinking your favorite cup of tea everyday here are some simple tips which can help you achieve the maximum health benefits.3
1. Drink your tea while it is still hot. After brewing, tea oxidizes so fast, and its nutrients diminish after a while. To get the best out of your favorite tea, it is advisable to drink it hot.3
2. Do not drink tea with too many strong ingredients. To avoid insomnia or sleepless nights and upset stomach, it will be good for you to avoid drinking tea that contains too strong ingredients. Try to check the content of the tea that you are taking and the total amount of tea leaves that you can have daily is only 12 - 15 grams (0.4 - 0.5 ounces).3
3. In between meals is the best time to drink your tea. It will be advisable not to drink tea as soon after or before meals, it can quench your appetite when your stomach is empty. It can also cause indigestion if your stomach is full as well.3
4. Do not drink with your medication. Tea can react with some elements of medicines since it contains large amount of Tannin, which can reduce medical effects. You can take your tea after a couple of hours after taking your medicine.3
5. Green tea is the best type of tea for office workers. It contains an ingredient called catechins that helps stop computer radiation and supplement moisture content of a human body.3