Interesting Chinese New Year Tea Traditions

In our previous post, we discussed the longstanding history tea has had in Chinese culture. Because of its significance, it’s only natural that tea is not just a part of everyday life, but also a part of important events such as Chinese New Year. In today’s post, we uncover some interesting tea traditions associated with the Lunar New Year! Jiangsu: Serving you Golden Tea In the Jiangsu, people serve their friends and families a special type of tea called 元宝茶 (yuan bao cha), or in English “gold ingot tea”. This is a tea with two green olives or kumquats inside and is used to wish guests a prosperous year ahead. If you’re wondering about the additions to the tea, the olives and kumquat are added because they resemble gold ingots. Incidentally, this isn’t the only new year tradition associated with gold in Jiangsu. In Suzhou, people will hide chestnuts in their rice on new year’s eve and dig them out,

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Why Is Tea So Important To The Chinese?

Chinese culture and tea are synonymous – everyone knows that. But how did a drink from the southern part of China conquer the vast plains of China and its culture? In today’s post, we’ll give you a brief overview of the history of tea in China and how it came to be so interwoven into Chinese culture. Although popular legend attributes the discovery of tea to Shen Nong, one of the early mythical emperors of pre-history China, there is surprisingly little evidence for this claim. According to Profession James A. Benn in this book Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History, the first mention of the legend of Shen Nong discovering tea is in Lu Yu’s seminal work, The Classic of Tea. As tea was still fairly ‘new’ at that time, Lu Yu would have wanted to give it ancient roots as a form of legitimacy. As such, Benn argues that “it is most sensible to understand tea as

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The History of Christmas Tea

Tea isn’t a traditional Christmas drink. Traditional Christmas drinks are things are egg-nog; mulled wine; and of course, hot chocolate. Perhaps the closest we get to tea at Christmastime is when we go for Christmas tea. But what if we told you that tea has a long history with Christmas? When the Temperance movement picked up steam in the 1830s, one of their targets was Christmas. Not so much the holiday itself, but the habit of getting terribly drunk during the festive season. To advocates of temperance, the consumption of alcohol was tied to less money for the family (as the men’s paycheck would go to drinks), as well as domestic abuse as women and children suffered at the hands of their drunken husbands and fathers [1]. But if you take away alcohol, what can you replace it with? Like the Chinese centuries before them [2], the temperance movement decided that tea was a good substitute, as it was seen

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