Wednesday, March 9, 2011

中國茶的萬種風情 / Ten Thousand Characters of Chinese Tea


“Poem writes the plum flower moon, tea brews the rain in the valley in spring.” Tasting good tea is like appreciating a good poem - immortal and thought-provoking. China is the homeland of tea. The history of tea drinking and tea making has been several thousand years long. As a result of the affection of scholars and people of refined taste, rich tea culture developed and held pivotal status in Chinese history.

“詩寫梅花月,茶煎谷雨春” ,品茶就如欣賞一首好詩,雋永又耐人回味。中國是茶的故鄉,飲茶、製茶已有幾千年的歷史,由於文人雅士的喜愛,發展出豐富多彩的茶文化,在中國歷史上佔有舉足輕重的地位。

Some people have compared Chinese tea to paintings. West Lake Longjing tea is like the casual painting of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, presenting refined beautiful scenery of the south of Yangtze River. Oolong tea is more like the vivid-colored mountain stream and cliff in Song Dynasty's exquisite brush flower-and-bird paintings. Pu-erh can be compared to the carved stone of the Qin and Han Dynasties that went through wind and rain and experienced many vicissitudes of life, but still remains grand and massive.


Some people have described different kinds of tea with females at different ages. West Lake Longjing tea is like a ten year-old young girl, naive and romantic, brimming with youth. The fragrant aftertaste is sweet, like a crystal clear stream. Jasmine tea is like a 20 year-old young lady, with the first longing for love, pure and innocent. Tea fluid is clear and bright, with a delicate fragrant taste. Pi Lo Chun is like a 30 year-old woman, going through life, filtering through the negatives and retaining the positive aspects, maintaining the mature fragrance, and is quite unique. Dong ding oolong tea is like a 50 year-old woman, after the enormous changes wrought by life, carved by time, the taste is mellower as it ages. The silver needle white hair tea is like a 70 year-old lady; you can feel all the grace and glory by tasting even one sip. She is seasoned by life’s ups and downs, but is still dignified. The tea fragrance is mellow.


If chrysanthemum is like a gentleman in flower, then tea is like a recluse in the mountains, far beyond the material world. Tasting tea is also similar to savoring life. Among the great varieties of Chinese tea, you would definitely find your cup of tea. Perhaps when your mood and preference differ, you will realize that in the ten thousand characters unfolded by Chinese tea, each kind will be a pleasant surprise, a different life experience.


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