Tea Culture in China
China is the homeland of the tea, it is the country that finds and utilizes tea first in the world. In China, the history of tea had more than three thousand years old. Over one thousand years ago, Chinese people began to have the habit of drinking tea. Now, tea is a part of Chinese people's life.
Seven most important things in daily life of Chinese people are expressed in a proverb often recited when people talk about their family budget. "Seven elements face you on opening the gate: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea." Tea is regarded as one of the top urgent matters in home live. Wang anshi (1021-1086), the famous political reformer and literate of Song Dynasty once said: "Tea is as indispensable in daily life as rice and salt."
Tea is always offered immediately to a guest in the Chinese home.
Serving a cup of tea is more than a matter of mere politeness; it is a symbol of togetherness, a sharing of something enjoyable and a way of showing respect to visitors. To not take at least a sip might be considered rude in some areas. In previous time, if the host held his teacup and said, "please have tea", the guest will take his conge upon the suggestion to leave.
And now, just as coffee in the west, tea became a part of Chinese people's daily life. You can see many teahouses on streets like cafes in the west. Tea has such a close relationship with Chinese that in recent years, a new branch of culture related to tea is rising up in China, which has a pleasant name of "Tea Culture". It includes the art of making and drinking tea, and some customs about tea.