All the Tea in China

Us British know the importance of a good cup of tea. Ours normally consists of the controversial Yorkshire or PG Tips debate, then milk and maybe two sugars. But in China they take Tea even more seriously, whether that’s in their culture, customs and even medicine. Tea was first used medicinally between 30th Century BC and 21st Century BC. It was considered to be the most beneficial of all herbs and one that should be consumed on a daily basis. Chinese tea can be classified into six distinctive categories: white, green, yellow, oolong, black and post-fermented. The two most medically beneficial are Oolong Tea and Green Tea. 

Oolong tea comes from the same plant as green tea and black tea, yet is fermented for a little longer than green tea, and a little less than black tea is. There is not one set flavour for oolong tea, as its taste can be quite diverse based on its production style. The flavours can range from sweet and fruity to woody or fresh. Oolong has many different benefits, and is rich in antioxidants. In the West, it tends to be marketed as a diet tea, as it increases metabolism, lowers cholesterol and has a beneficial effect on hyperglycaemia in people with type 2 diabetes.

Green tea is made from the unfermented and unoxidised leaves, making it one of the least processed type of tea available. As such, it contains the most antioxidants of all of these tea types, making it great for boosting health. Like the other tea plant teas, green tea is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as a dietary aide. It also helps to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of stroke and boosts brain function. They also have a cooling characteristic that has anti-inflammatory purposes, fitting for warmer body types.

Culturally tea plays an very important role, young couples would offer it to their elders, scolded children would offer it to their parents as a peace offering or from younger people to their elders as a sign of respect. Tea culture in the UK is less formal, but I don't know about you guys, in our house, the answer to any question, is a cup of tea.