Tea culture is defined by the way tea is made and consumed, by the way the people interact with tea, and by the aesthetics surrounding tea drinking, it includes aspects of tea production, tea brewing, tea arts and ceremony, society, history, health, ethics, education, and communication and media issues.

Tea is commonly consumed at social events, and many cultures have created intricate formal ceremonies for these events. Western examples of these are afternoon tea and the tea party. Tea ceremonies, with its roots in the Chinese tea culture, differ among eastern countries, such as the Japanese or Korean tea ceremony. However, it may differ in preparation, such as in Tibet, where tea is commonly brewed with salt and butter. Tea plays an important role in some countries.

The British Empire spread its own interpretation of tea to its dominions and colonies including regions that today comprise the states of India, Hong Kong, and Pakistan which had existing tea customs, as well as regions such as East Africa (modern day Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) and the Pacific (Australia, New Zealand) which did not have tea customs.

Different regions favor different varieties of tea ā€” black, green, or oolong ā€” and use different flavourings, such as milk, sugar or herbs. The temperature and strength of the tea likewise varies widely.
Due to the importance of tea in Chinese society and culture, tea houses can be found in most Chinese neighbourhoods and business districts. Chinese-style tea houses offer dozens of varieties of hot and cold tea concoctions. They also serve a variety of tea-friendly and/or tea-related snacks. Beginning in the late afternoon, the typical Chinese tea house quickly becomes packed with students and business people, and later at night plays host to insomniacs and night owls simply looking for a place to relax.

There are formal tea houses. They provide a range of Chinese and Japanese tea leaves, as well as tea making accoutrements and a better class of snack food. Finally there are tea vendors, who specialize in the sale of tea leaves, pots, and other related paraphernalia. Tea is an important item in Chinese culture and is mentioned in the Seven necessities of (Chinese) daily life
Tea served before the Ming Dynasty was typically made from tea bricks. Upon harvesting, the tea leaves were either partially dried or were thoroughly dried and ground before being pressed into bricks. The pressing of Pu-erh is likely a vestige of this process. Tea bricks were also sometimes used as currency.[1] To improve its resiliency as currency, some tea bricks were mixed with binding agents such as blood.[citation needed] Serving the tea from tea bricks required multiple steps:

Toasting: Tea bricks are usually first toasted over a fire to destroy any mould or insects that may have burrowed into the tea bricks. Such infestation sometimes occurred since the bricks were stored openly in warehouses and storerooms. Toasting likely imparted a pleasant flavour to the resulting tea.
Grinding: The tea brick was broken up and ground to a fine powder. This practice survives in Japanese powdered tea (Matcha).
Whisking: The powdered tea was mixed into hot water and frothed with a whisk before serving. The colour and patterns formed by the powdered tea were enjoyed while the mixture was imbibed.
The ground and whisked teas used at that time called for dark and patterned bowls in which the texture of the tea powder suspension could be enjoyed. The best of these bowls, glazed in patterns with names like oil spot, partridge-feather, hare’s fur, and tortoise shell, are highly valued today. The patterned holding bowl and tea mixture were often lauded in the period’s poetry with phrases such as “partridge in swirling clouds” or “snow on hare’s fur”. Tea in this period was enjoyed more for its patterns and less for its flavour. The practice of using powdered tea can still be seen in the Japanese Tea ceremony or Chado.



General Description About Asian History of Tea

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