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Tea Customs in Various Parts of China

As places vary, the weather and customs differ. As a multiethnic county, different customs of tea exist in different nationalities owing to various geographical environments and habits.

Han: pure drinking
Han highly regards of pure drinking, believing that pure tea soup can show tea's character at best. The method is to infuse tea directly in boiled water. There are different methods of drinking in distinct places, generally: Oolong tea in Chaoshan, Longjing tea in Hangzhou, morning tea in Guangzhou, stall tea in Beijing, and bowl tea in Chengdu.
Uyghur: milk tea and scented tea
In the north of Xinjiang area (north of Tianshan Mountain) people mainly drink milk tea and in the south, scented tea. All of Uyghur teas are brick tea.

Tibet: ghee tea
Tibetans mainly drink ghee tea. It is made by ghee and other ingredients. Ghee is the fat condensing on the surface of cooled and stirred milk after boiling. Teas are generally condensed tea, Pu'er tea or Jinjian tea. When making, put shredded tea into pot boiling for 20 to 30 minutes, then eliminate tea, put the soup into a long circular tea-caddy, and add moderate ghee into it. According to various demands, add cooked and mashed walnut meat, peanut and other ingredients, and at last salt and egg. Beat with a wood block for a while. When the sound of beating is changed, a cup of tasty ghee tea is made.

Mongolia: salt milk tea
Drinking salt milk tea is a special habit of Mongolian, forming in their long nomadic lives. It is to mash green brick tea or black brick tea first, put iron pot filled with water on the fire, after boiling put the brick tea into the pot, and inject moderate milk after 3-5 minutes and slightly stir tea soup and add proper salt again. When boiling again, the tea is available to drink.

Naxi: white spirt tea
White spirt tea is an antique and simple tea full of the beauty of wildness. When making, firstly put tea into a little terrine and stir the tea constantly. Inject water into the terrine when the tea turns sallow. Then boil the water until it is ropy. At the same time prepare a cup with less than half of white spirit and pour the boiled tea into the chinese tea cup, then a pleasant sound appears which is regarded as the auspicious omen. The louder the sound is, the happier people are. When the sound disappears, people began to drink the tea. Natives often put peppers into the tea for removing cold and dampness and curing cold.

Dai and Lahu: scented tea in bamboo tube
Scented tea in bamboo tube is a unique tea drink of Dai and Lahu. It originates in Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Region, Yunnan Province. There are two methods to make the tea. One is to pick the tender bud with two or three left and put the tea into bamboo tube after fixation and rolling. The other is to steam tea and glutinous rice together and then put the soften tea into bamboo tube.

Bai: three course tea
In Dali, Bai Autonomous Region, Yunnan Province, hosts treat their guests with three course tea in important moments like festivals, birthday party, wedding and visit. Three course tea means three cups of tea, the first tasted bitter, the second tasted sweet and the third is the taste of memory, which represents the gnosis of life.

Tujia: mashed tea
Tujia spreads in the neighboring area of Sichuan Province, Guizhou Province, Hunan Province and Hubei Province. People prefer mashed tea. It is made by fresh leaves, ginger and uncooked rice boiling with water.

Hui: pot tea
Hui people spread in the north west of China and prefer pot tea. Pot tea is middle and inferior fried tea. It is to put the tea and water into a local terrine boil it in the similar way of boiling Chinese traditional medicines.