Chinese Teas - IntroductionAcupuncturist Damon Lee

Tea drinking is part of the daily routine in Chinese culture. It is not only a habit or routine, but also a way of entertainment and a communication process. More than 3000 years ago, the Chinese started using tea leaves and gradually developed the "Tea Art".

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Tea Time: Quick facts about Tea
* Acts as an antioxidant, which has anti-cancer effects
* Anti-aging
* Increases metabolic, cardiac and gastrointestinal functions
* Cleanses and detoxifies; absorbs toxic materials from our bodies
* Acts as a stimulant that could cause mental alertness and acuity

Common Herbs and Recipes
The word "TEA" is not restricted to using tea leaves. Different herbs may be replaced tea leaves, or herbal materials may be mixed into tea making. Generally these kinds of products are called "Herbal Tea" in the market

Caffeine, Anyone?
Green tea has a small amount of caffeine, about 25mg per cup, black tea contains about 50mg of caffeine per cup, and coffee 80mg per cup.

Tea is Cool (and warm)
According to the food functions, green tea belongs to the "cool" side, and black tea will go to the "warm" side. "Cool" and "Warm" have special meanings in the Traditional Chinese Medicine because they have different effects on the metabolic functions and the equilibrium of the body "Qi" (life energy) operations.

Tea is usually made by putting tea leaves in boiling water. Sometimes, young twigs from tea plants are used together with the leaves and, of course, different kinds of flowers are mixed into this Art.

There are many kinds of tea depending on the geographic distribution of the types of tea plants grown; most tea plants are cultivated by tea farming. The most expensive tea leaves are collected by hand in the wild, especially in certain mountainous regions. The quality of tea leaves depends on many factors, including weather patterns, soil conditions, picking time and refinement process. Some of these special tea leaves may cost a few thousand dollars for a single pound.

When the Chinese discovered that tea could be used in healing different physical problems, other herbs were mixed with the tea leaves in order to produce better and stronger effects. Usually tea is used as a stimulant and a cleansing agent. Many tea recipes have also been written for prevention and / or intervention of different illnesses.

Some common household herbs, foods and spices are added to the teas. Although the provided tea recipes are very helpful for alleviating common and mild physical discomforts, the relief may be masking other underlying problems. It is always advisable to see your family doctor and discuss those symptoms. You may be allergic to any sort of unfamiliar foodstuffs, so before consuming these teas, take a very small amount and wait about half and hour to test for allergic reactions.

Generally two major kinds of tea can be purchased on the market (i.e. green tea and black teas). Green tea is usually dried without undergoing multiple fermentation processes, unlike the black tea, which therefore has a stronger aroma and color. Green teas have a natural color and lighter taste whereas black tea vary in many different flavours. Jasmine and oolong are the most commonly enjoyed types of green tea.

How to make a pot of Delicious and Therapeutic Tea: