Asian Tea
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Asian Tea Introduce


EasternTea.com is pleased to introduce to you a range of popular Asian tea. These articles are well researched and organised to provide you a deeper understanding to teas found in Asia. We hope you will like it.

In addition, we would like to invite writers to contribute their articles to us, which we will give due credit to. This is one our ways of providing interactive exchanges with our viewers.


Oolong

Oolong is semi-fermented. It is grown specially in the southern regions of China like Taiwan, Guangdong and Fujian. One of the most famous tea regions in Fujina is Anxi. This is where one of the founders of our website originted from. His father was a tea farmer from Anxi. There are 11 main types of Oolong.

1. Tie Kuan Yin
2. Taiwan Oolong
3. Oolong with orange pekoe
4. Anxi Oolong
5. Japanese processed Oolong
6. Teochew Oolong
7. Yunnan Oolong
8. Sweetened processed oolong tea only availabe in Singapore and Malaysia
9. Infused Fragrant Oolong tea
10. Kinmen or Jin Men Oolong
11. Virgin Fujian Oolong tea leaves

Japanese too love Oolong tea. They buy them in prepared containers and these are processed tea. Oolong is also a favourite drink amongst Southeast Asians. Very often, the tea is consumed together with Cantonese style dim sum or Hokkien/TeoChew style Bak kut teh (a dish of pork stewed with spices like pepper, cloves, nutmeg etc.).

Some westerners feel that Oolong is bitter. However, others feel that it leaves a sweet aftertaste after drinking it.

Japanese people like to drink Oolong cha tea. It is especially so during the summer as they believed that this oolong tea actually soothes the body during the heaty months of the summer. Most of the oolong tea found in Japan are imported from China. Oolong tea is fermented and most of it comes from Fujian Province. They are also sometimes panfried.

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Black Tea

Black Tea is another type of tea that is grown in China, and South Asia. The tea is called black tea because of its dark colour. It is a popular tea in the west.

In Chinese, however, it is called red tea when translated literally. To the Chinese, the colour resembles red more than black.

Black tea is fermented and there are about twenty main types of black tea in China.

In Africa, black tea is sometimes drunk with mint leaves. In the west and in Singapore, they are drunk with milk and sugar. Chinese innovation have resulted in a new type of delicacy - Black tea eggs. Lovers of this dish say that black tea eggs taste better than tea eggs cooked with Chinese tea leaves. You be the judge.

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Scented tea

Scented tea is processed tea by infusing tea leaves with the scents of flower petals within a closed compound.

Basically the formula is x tea + y flowers = yx tea.

Thus in Chinese language terminology:

Oolong tea + Jasmine flower= Jasmine Oolong tea

Thus, the classification of scented tea is according to the categories of tea and flowers that it originated from.

Scented tea is excellent for people who are not used to the strong taste of tea and is excellent accompaniment for meals. They are also drunk often with light meals like dim sum. It is also a habit for many Chinese to add a sugar cube or two to enhance the taste.

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White Tea

White tea is slightly fermented. Its taste tends to be described as light with a sweet aftertaste. However, different people have different interpretation of its taste.

White tea is only grown in China and no where else. It is produced in the province of Fujian. Fujian is the main tea growing region in China as its climate is suitable for cultivating such tea. The history of tea cultivation in Fujian is long and one of the founders of this website is a direct descendent of Fujian tea growing civilization. The other well-known tea produced in this region is Oolong tea.

White tea is complicated in its origins as it is classified according to the degree of maturation of leaves. There are four main types of white tea leaves. They include white peony, Kung mee.

The tea leaves of white tea is unique in its shape. When you open the container you will see many white tea leaves in the shape of eye brows. That is why they are often described as eye brow tea leaves by the Chinese. This applies to most but not all white tea leaves.

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Compressed tea

Compressed tea is found mainly in the south. It is the oldest form of tea made in China. It is still used by some tribes in the southern part of China as a form of medication or Shamen magic.

It is made by high pressure compression into shapes resembling bricks. Thus, they can also be known as brick tea. In fact, this is the direct translation of its original Chinese terminology.

Compressed tea is classified according to the type of tea that it originated from. For example, if Pu Er tea is compressed then it is called compressed Pu Er tea. Alternatively, it can be known by its generic name Compressed black tea as Pu Er is a form of black tea. Sometimes, Pu Er can be spelled as Puer.

Some classifiy tea leaves according to the nature of compression.

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Ginseng tea

The Chinese have been ginseng tea for their health for thousands of years and they were followed suit by Koreans. Thus, you can often find Korean, Chinese ginsengs in any of the Chinese medicine shops. However, of recent years (i.e. in this century), it was discovered that the weather and soil conditions of US and Canada were suitable for growing ginseng. As a result, there has been great exports of such ginseng to China or overseas Chinese communities as well as Korea.

Ginseng has multiple benefits according to Chinese medicine. It could bring heatiness down for example. Heatiness is caused by hot weather, stress or spicy food. Its symptons could be sore throat, rashes etc. There are many other purposes of drinking ginseng tea.

The principle ingredients of American ginseng tea are panax quinquefolium, herba lysimachiae, radix glycyrrhizae. Usually half of the contents would be the first item and the latter two items would usually be mixed in almost equal proportions. American ginseng is gown in North America, mostly found in the temperate belts of North America in states such as Wisconsin. American ginseng is also sometimes referred to as quinquefolium.

Experts in Chinese medicine recommend that it should be drunk daily or whenever one is feeling unwell. However, it should only be a secondary boost to health and not used as a primary form of cure for any illnesses, particularly serious ones. It should be used for maintaining health and not curing diseases or illnesses.

Sometimes, other ingredients such as chrysanthemum or rock sugar is added to the drink to sweeten the drink or to lower the bitterness of the tea.

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Lasi tea

Lasi is a form of south Asian tea which consist mainly of fermented milk. Most of the time, goat's milk is used as cows are considered sacred animals in South Asian countries, particularly amongst the Hindu states.

It consists of fermenting the milk in a big pot and leaving for days , using traditional techniques. (warning, do NOT try this at home as there are several traditional techqniues involved). The resulting mixture is sour in taste and reportedly good for health and has been drunk by South Asians for a very long time.

Such drinks are available in places as isolated as Nepal where the mountainous regions enable mountain goats to be bred and they provide the ingredients for Lasi.

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Kuma Saza tea

EasternTea.com consistently updates you with news about new exotic teas that we find. This week we would like to introduce the bamboo leaf tea from Hokkaido, Wakkanai.

It is made from a bamboo species that grows in Hokkaido or the north part of the Japan. It is called the Kuma Saza tea. It is green in colour and is known to be alkaline and rich in amino acids and vitamins.

It is a good tea for those who are having digestion problems or for those who drink a lot of alcohol and want to cleanse their livers. It is light in taste and many have said that it taste a little like green tea but lighter in taste.

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Lei Cha tea

There is a tea that is special to the Hakkas in China (Or Ke Jia in Hanyu Pinyin). It is called Lei Cha. It is basically tea that is mixed with beans (called mame in Japanese), kidney beans as well as various other herbs to form an interesting infusion tea. They usually served it in a cup with a chopstick and you can use the chopstick to stir the ingredients in the cup for maximum taste.

Hakkas are northern Chinese who have migrated southwards to the hilly lands in the south due to constant warfare in the north. They have settled down in the hills and through sheer hard work cultivated padi fields, tea as well as other agricultural products.

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Green tea

Green tea in Asia is almost as popular as coffee is in the West. Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese green teas are filled with polyphenols which phytochemicals that are almost as 100 times as powerful as the antioxidant found in Vitamin C. Tea's polyphenols is primarily known as catechins that prevents the uncontrollable growth of new blood vessels. This, many believe,help to stop cancer by preventing newly-emerging tumors from growing by robbing them of their sustenance for growth. Catechins can also stop DNA deformations caused by carcinogens or cancer-causing substance from coming up in the first place.

Chinese scientists believe that green tea daily dosages help to bring about lower probablities of cancer in the oesophagus, stomach and liver. Japanese scientists show that drinking up to ten cups or more in one day on a daily basis may also cut down the risks of heart and coronary diseases. Some have even suggested that merely gargling the green in the mouth may stop bacteria from gathering in the teeth cavities. Experiments with lab animals yielded the result of lower incidences of skin cancer when green tea was applied to their epidermal layer. The results are still inconclusive for black tea but some suspect that they can be the same in terms of results.

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