The history of Chinese tea is a long and gradual story of refinement. Generations of growers and producers have perfected the Chinese way of manufacturing tea, and its many unique regional variations.
The original idea is credited to the legendary Emperor Shennong, who is said to have lived 5 000 years ago. His far-sighted edicts required, among other things, that all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. A story goes that, one summer day, while visiting a distant part of his realm, he and the court stopped to rest. In accordance with his ruling, the servants began to boil water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from a nearby bush fell into the boiling water, and a brown substance was infused into the water. As a scientist, the Emperor was interested in the new liquid, drank some, and found it very refreshing. And so, according to legend, tea was created in 2737 BC.
Originally, tea was valued for its medicinal qualities. It has long been known that tea aids in digestion, which is why many Chinese prefer to consume it after their meal. (Another interesting side effect for smokers is that tea hastens the discharge of nicotine from the body). The elevation of tea drinking to an art form began in the 8th century, with the publication of Lu Yu's "The Classic Art of Tea." The highly esteemed poet and former Buddhist priest had strict notions about the proper procedure for brewing, steeping, and serving tea. For example, only water from a slow-moving stream was acceptable, and the tea leaves had to be placed in a porcelain cup. The perfect milieu for enjoying the finished product was in a pavilion next to a water lily pond, preferably in the company of a desirable woman. (To be fair, his work also contained several practical tips for manufacturing tea, many of which are still in use today).
The custom of drinking tea widened its scope of influence at high speed and penetrated into nooks of peopleís daily life. Whenever a guest or a casual visitor arrived, the offer of a cup of Chinese tea to him/her would show at least respect, if not friendship and affection, at a cost which bespeaks emphasis on frugality rather than pretence of affluence. Therefore, for more than a thousand years, the serving of tea to a guest has been the universal etiquette in China, which has long enjoyed the fame of being a land of ceremony and propriety. However, in the last twenty or thirty years a change in peopleís behavior occurred in their capacity as visitors. In fact, guests generally refrain from drinking the tea offered by the host for fear of getting some infectious disease. It would be advisable; therefore, that the host sterilize the teacups and pour boiling water into them to steep the tea leaves in full view of the guests.
In the present-day world obese people tend to increase in number. The flavonoid, aromatic substances, and the ophylline that exist in tea can reduce the contents of cholesterol and triglyceride in human blood and also diminish the density of blood fat. Therefore, they have the power of reducing adipose. When a person is watching TV, it will do him/her good to drink tea at the same time. This is not just for simultaneous enjoyment of taste and sight. There is a scientific reason underlying this dual act. When the TV set is working, the fluorescent screen emits rays which are harmful to human health. Although the dosage of such rays is very small, it will play havoc with the person"s blood-making mechanism if the distance from the person to the TV set is very short and the time spent on watching the TV show is too long. Scientific experiments have shown that drinking tea can protect the human body from harmful effect of radiation. It can be inferred that tea leaves must contain material(s) which can defend the bodyís blood-making mechanism. For example, if a person has been engaged in work which obliges him/her to be subjected to radiation for a long period, the total number of leucocytes in his/her blood may become lower than 5,000 or even lower than 4,000 per cubic mm.
It will be necessary for him/her to persist in drinking a large amount of Chinese tea for three or four weeks in order to make the number of leucocytes per cubic mm rise to the normal level. A person who is fond of watching TV may need to drink every day three to five cups of tea, which should not be too dilute, to fend off the effect of radiation from the fluorescent screen.
There often appear on an old personís face and the backs of his/her hands what are called senile plaques. They are worse than wrinkles and hurt the personís dignity and self-respect. In order to get rid of them, the person needs to drink Green tea. Researchers say that they have discovered the chemical reactions underlying this ability of the green tea. We donít need to delve into the theory or doctrine they have put forward. What we deem it necessary to do is to advise you to drink Green tea.
The last thing we would like to tell you here is that drinking at least one cup of tea a day will reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack by at least 40%. This is probably due to the fact that tea contains flavonoid and certain vitamins which prevent blood to coagulate inside the human body.
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