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A celebration of all the tea in China (2)

By Chen Ye (Shanghai Daily)

09:22, May 07, 2012

Long history

Tea drinking has a long history in China and is an integral part of the culture. Tea processing was underway in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

Traditional Chinese medicine holds that each type of tea has different properties and benefits for the human body. Drinking black tea (often called red tea, or hong cha) in the morning can help rid the body of chill, and increase the circulation of blood, which is sluggish after sleeping. It sharpens mental faculties.

Drinking green tea at midday helps to suppress anger and control excessive "liver fire." Tea's polyphenols are powerful antioxidants with many health benefits.

Additionally, drinking dark tea (hei cha) like Pu'er in the evening is good for digestion and dissolving fat. Pu-erh is famous for helping to metabolize fat.

"Chajing," also known as the "The Classic of Tea" is the world's first monograph on tea, written by Lu Yu in 758. It's a bible for tea enthusiasts.

"Drinking tea every day is my attitude for enjoying life," Li says. "'The Classic of Tea' teaches that tea symbolizes harmony and the mysterious unity of the universe. For Buddhists, Taoists or Confucians, tea expresses something universal."

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