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The Philosophy of Tea

For Chinese, tea is for more than just a kind of drink. The spirit and verve of tea deeply branded in the national character of the Chinese people. When we look back to the developing journey of Chinese nation, we discover that, since the time of Shen Nong, every historical phase reflects the impact of tea; every ideological trend renovates the connotation of tea; every regional group has its specific understanding of tea; and every detail in life is wrapped with the thin aroma of tea. From picking. making, cooking to drinking, every step conveys profound cultural implication. The Chinese discover and make tea, and tea slowly changes the life of the Chinese.

Stemming from remote mountains, tea absorbs the essence of natural molding. Going through manual work, tea condenses human intelligence and talent. Tea in which nature and nurture co-exist in harmony and simplicity and sophistication combine m perfection, best symbolizes the unique Chinese culture of "integration of nature and man."

Confucius - founder of Confucianism who lived more than 2,000 years ago - said, "the bygone is like this, day and night without stop," regretting that time was like flowing water, endlessly going ahead. A Chinese folksay also has it, "a piece of time is like a piece of gold, but this piece of gold is not enough to buy this piece of Ancient Chinese accentuated the value of time and advised people to seize every chance because lost chance never came bade. This is well reflected in tea picking. Time plays an essential role in tea picking. Picked several days earlier, the leaves are peerless treasures. But if picked several days later, they are no better than common. What tea-picking requires is accurate grasp of chance.

Fame teas are mostly from famous mountains, Since "water and soil in a certain place raise certain kind of people," the development of humans is closely bound up with natural environment Northern people are generous and straightforward white southern people are reserved and mild. Tea leaves produced from different regions also take cm strong local characteristics, in response to the characteristics of local people.

Lu Yu said that good tea leaves didn't reply on producing places and that making techniques were the real key factor to decide the quality of tea leaves. Tea leaves should be deprived of their "green," like crude jade should be carved and refined. People also became tranquil and philosophical after a life of tempering. The ancients believed In "similar in nature but far apart in culture," saying that the power that shaped our personality and quality was postnatal experience and effort.

Tea frying demands the right degree of heating. Tea cooking asks for the right water temperature. The Chinese stress the right degree in everything. "For those walking 100 Li (a Chinese measurement in length about 500 meters), 90 Li is only half the distance." If tea is not heated enough or water isn't hot enough, tea fragrance can't be fully exerted."Better lack than shoddiness." "Excess is worse than inadequacy." If tea is heat?ed too much or water is too hot, the original taste of tea will be spoiled and thus affecting the taste of tea.

While cooking tea, water should be absolutely dean and apparatus should be repeatedly washed as well. This is in accordance with Confucius' theory of "three times of self-reflection a day," unremittingly striving for moral purification.

Tea ceremony, which agglomerates the marrow of Chinese culture, is not a complicated ritual but an enjoyment pleasant to both body and mind. All Chinese people, male and female, old and young, have a special affection for tea. Various kinds of tea can respond to various phases of life.

In adolescence, people are like green tea, immature and simple. They don't know much but start to understand. They are still natural and this naturalness is displayed in every movement. Although not so strong in flavor, they are pure and lovely upon careful savoring.

In youth, people are like flower tea, in their flowery years with flowery scent and flowery dreams- Countless possibilities are in store for them. Whatever we add in the tea - jasmine, sweet-scented osmanthus or rose, this cup of tea is always redolent, admirable and appealing.

In old age, people are like Pu'er Tea, the older the better. Filled with all kinds of stories, elder people minutely represent traces of age. Though dry, old and thin in appearances, they are very intense and mellow in taste, able to stand up to repeated appreciation.