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Tea Biography

Useful Information About Tea

History of Chinese Tea

It is believed that tea was discovered in 2737 b.c. by Shen Nong, a Chinese Emperor. There are two different stories of how tea was discovered. According to Chinese literature, Shen Nong was the founding father of today's Chinese herbal medicine and agriculture. Shen Nong was a scientist who invented and designed the way that Chinese's agriculture work for the past few thousand years. In many ways, Shen Nong was the person who started Chinese's civilization. The two stories about how tea was discovered are as follows,

1. Shen Nong suffered food poisoning after conducted experiments by tasting wild herbal medicine. His throat was dried and had severe stomach pain. While trying to recover from food poisoning, he found some leaves falling from trees. He picked some up and put in his mouth hoping that the pain would be disappeared. Not only did he find that the pain was disappeared, he also find the leaves to have special flavor that could hardly be described. The tea was not only a medicine, it was also a very good vegetable.

2. On one summer day, while visiting a distant region of Shen Nong's realm, Shen Nong stopped to rest. The servants began to boil water for Shen Nong to drink. Dried leaves fell into boiling water, and a brown liquid was infused into the water. Shen Nong drank the liquid and found it refreshing and tea was discovered.

Tea was always as one of the Chinese medicine until around 3rd or 4th centuries that tea became a beverage. Tea originally was for "rich and powerful" people only because it was rare and hard to get. Around 3rd centuries and 7th centuries, tea became more and more popular and affordable in China. After 7th centuries, tea finally took over wine's place and became the most popular beverage among Chinese.

4 Types of Tea

Simply said tea is the beverage made from the young leaves of the Camellia bush or tea plant. Beyond that, there are traditional choices and options. Tea leaves are fermented for different periods of time. The length of time is carefully chosen, for it will determine the tea's colour, taste, aroma and character. A short fermentation brings green and yellow tones to the tea. Longer periods produce a red tea - and if also baked, a deep red srong tea will result. Logically, the most natural tasting teas (green teas) are not fermented and baked.

Fermentation Produces Four Classes of Tea

Non-fermented:

Green Tea – Lung Ching (Dragonwell), Pi Lo Chun, Shen Cha

Semi-fermented:

(Light) Oolong, Chincha, Jasmine
(Medium) Donting, Ti Kuan Yin, Suei Shen & Wu Yi

Heavily-fermented:

Mandarin Oolong Penfun (or Oriental Beauty) & Pu Ehr

Fully-fermented:

Black Tea

Guide to Tea Fermentation

Many types of tea come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The different types of tea (e.g. Black tea, Green tea, Pouchong tea, Oolong tea) are the result of differences in the tea manufacturing process, and not due to different types of tea plants. However, from experience, tea manufacturers have discovered that certain varieties, locations, and seasons tend to produce Camellia Sinensis (tea plants), which produce better qualities of certain classes of tea.
One of the key steps in the tea manufacturing process, that is a factor in determining the type of tea that is produced, is the degree of fermentation the tea leaves are allowed to undergo. The term fermentation when applied to tea is something of a misnomer, as the term actually refers to how much a tea is allowed to undergo enzymatic oxidation by allowing the freshly picked tea leaves to dry. This enzymatic oxidation process may be stopped by either pan frying or steaming the leaves before they are completely dried out. One method of classifying teas are is based on the degree of fermentation: a) Non-fermented and Very Light Fermentation, b) Semi-fermented, c) Fully-fermented.

Non-fermented and Very Light Fermentation:

These teas retain quite a bit of their original flavor. Green teas fall in this category. Most green teas like Dragon Well stop the fermentation process through pan frying while a few will stop the fermentation process through steaming. White teas undergo very light fermentation during the withering process. Sometimes these non-fermented and very light fermented teas will be scented with Jasmine petals to give the tea an aroma of Jasmine. Examples of Non-fermented and very light fermented teas: Green Tea, Dragonwell Green Tea, Pi Lo Chun, Steaming Green (Sencha), Jasmine scented Green tea, Yellow Tea, White Tea.

Semi-fermented:

Tea which are allowed to undergo 10% to 80% fermentation fall into the broad category of semi-fermented teas. Tea brewed from semi-fermented tea leaves have a slight yellow to brown hue and possess a subtle fragrant aroma. These teas can be further classified into three categories based on their levels of fermentation:

bullet-bodyLight (10% - 20%):

Jasmine Tea (Pouchong scented with Jasmine petals), Pouchong Tea.

bullet-bodyMedium (20% - 50%):

Oolong, Tung-Ting Oolong, Ti-Kuan Yin, TenRen's King's Tea.

bullet-bodyHeavy (50% - 80%):

Champagne Oolong.

Fully-fermented:

Black teas are fully fermented. Tea from Black tea leaves have a dark red hue and a sweet aroma of malt sugar. Example: Black Tea.

Post-fermented:

Teas which are allowed to ferment and then have the processed stopped and later fermented again are known as post-fermented tea. Example: Pu-Erh Tea.

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24 Reasons to Drink Tea

With reference to TEA, ancient book of Chinese medicine indicated 24 health care values:

  1. Reinvigorate one's mind

  2. Soothe one's nerves

  3. Improve one's vision

  4. Heal headache

  5. Quench thirst

  6. Alleviate fever

  7. Relieve from heat

  8. Detoxify

  9. Aid digestion

  10. Relieve hangover

  11. Eliminate body fat

  12. Smooth stomach

  13. Diuresis

  14. Bowel movement

  15. Treat dysentery

  16. Reduce phlegm

  17. Dispel cold

  18. Solidify teeth

  19. Treat cardiac pain

  20. Cure skin ulcer

  21. Abolish hunger

  22. Strengthen body

  23. Prolong one's life

  24. Dispel insects

How to Prepare a Good Cup of Tea

With an Infusor Tea Cup

Ten Ren features an individual Brewing Kit with a cup and infusor for single servings. To use it, place about two teaspoons of loose tea into the infusor and place it in your cup. Pour boiling water over the tea and let it steeps for about two minutes (Steep longer for a stronger tea). Then take out the infusor and enjoy a delicious cup of tea. The leaves may be used two more times by simply pouring more water over the leaves.

With our Traditional Chinese Porcelain Covered Cup

Place about one teaspoon of tea in the cup (with Oolong or Pouching tea, use a heaping teaspoon -- for black or jasmine tea, a level teaspoon). Add boiled water and steep for two to three minutes. This beautiful Porcelain cup is the time-honored way of serving tea in Chinese culture.

How to Brew Tea in the Traditional Tea Ceremony Style

1. Measure out loose tea equal to two-fifth of the pot's volume into the tea funnel.

2. Warm the pot by filling it half-way with hot water.

3. Pour the water from the pot into the tea serving pitcher.

4. Put loose tea into the pot using the tea funnel.

5. Pour half a pot of freshly boiled water over the leaves. Immediately pour this water into the serving pitcher.

6. Pour this warm water from the pitcher into the cups to warm them.

7. Fill the tea pot with boiled water and let steep for one minute.

8. While the tea steeps, empty the water from the cups into the large water receptacle.

9. Pour the tea into the tea serving pitcher and serve each cup.

10. Then enjoy the tea -- its fragrance, its colour, and its flavour. Sip it slow -- the Chinese say that one should "taste" tea, rather than just "drink" tea.

11. After the first round, the host or hostress may refill the pot with boiled water and rebrew it -- up to five or six times more.

About Green Tea

What is Green Tea

Green Tea is unoxidized tea; therefore, Green tea is original and natural. Most of the tea flavor and elements are preserved; consequently you will experience the genuine taste of Green tea. Green tea leaves are mostly in thin-thread shape and in an emerald green or yellowish green color. Medical profession has Green tea as top recommendation for the good health of yours. In addition to rich Vitamin C, the merit of Green tea is verified in most anti-cancer research reports. Lung Ching Tea and Pi Lo Chun Tea are both most often conceive as green tea in Taiwan. Lung Ching tea is one of the representations of Green tea in Taiwan. Making its tea from selecting two leaves one sprout leaves, and using high temperature for frying refinement, tea leaves are then rolled into sword-like shape and in an emerald green color with radiance and white fur. The brewed tea is pure and refreshing with light grassy aroma and sweet taste.

About Oolong Tea

9 Procedures to Brewing High Mountain Oolong Tea

1. Prepare Water

Boil water to the appropriate temperature (90C~95C) for High Mountain Oolong Tea.2.

2. Warming Up Tea Pot

Pour boiled water into tea pot. The warm up tea pot will help tea leaves to stretch out and deliver its aroma.

3. Preparing Tea

Prepare proper quantity of tea leaves with tea funnel.

4. Warming Tea Container

Pour water from tea pot into tea container, it helps to reserve the fragrant.

5. Place Tea Leaves in Tea Pot

Use tea funnel to place proper quantity of tea leaves into tea pot. For High Mountain Oolong Tea, which is in tight ball form; therefore, the tea pot should be 30% full with tea leaves.

6. Warming Up Tea Cup

Pour water from tea container to tea cup. Warmed up tea cups will help to preserve aroma of the tea.

7. Making Tea(Timer)

Pour proper temperature water into tea pot and steep for 1 minute. As soon as the tea is ready, pour tea into tea container.

8. Pouring Tea into Tea Cup

Pour tea from tea container to tea cup and serve tea to guests.

9. Making More Tea

Additional serving of tea can be served, for 2nd brew shorten the time to 40 seconds and add extra 10-15 seconds for each following brew.

3 Reasons to Drink Oolong Tea

1. Element helps to reinforce memory and prevent aging

According to Jing Yi University Dr. Wang Ming Fu's research, Oolong Tea contains polyphenols and can eliminate free-radical. It also has the effect to prevent illness due to aging. It is also known to strengthen memory and increase learning ability.

2. Alleviating cholesterol and prevent diabetes

People who drink over 5 cups of tea a day are with lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The long term study performed on Japanese, Netherlanders, and Finns shows that drinking tea does help lowering blood pressure and blood lipoid, also prevents Arteriosclerosis.

3. A cup of Oolong Tea a day will help reduce 2kg a year

Jing Yi University Dr. Wang Ming Fu's study also confirmed, Oolong Tea's polyphenols compound can increase neutral fat to decompose and also increase basal metabolic rate. One cup of Oolong Tea a day can reduce 6g of body fat, which comes down to 2kg a year!

Oolong Tea Legend

Long ago, there was a hunter named Hu Liang in An Xi town. On his search one day, he discovered a small bush with elegant greenish leaves. He then decides to pluck some leaves and place in his basket. Afterwards he continued on his hunt, until sunset. When he arrived home, he has come across a light refreshing aroma, then found out the aroma came from the basket filled with leaves. Hu Liang then uses boiling water to brew the leaves, and realize the soup is mellow and as well as thirst quenching. Afterward, he started to try many methods for making fragrant tea, following by many attempts, he found the secret. The method to making fragrant tea was successful, people started to spread words about the fragrant tea and Hu Liang became well-known. Moreover, because in An Xi "Hu Liang" pronunciation is similar to "Oolong", therefore people started to call his fragrant tea "Oolong Tea".