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China’s culture in a cup

Huan Cao
Updated: Apr 22,2014 3:38 PM

China is the birthplace of tea, and drinking the beverage has long been an important aspect of Chinese culture. Today, tea has become the world’s most popular beverage.

China produces more tea than any other country, and Guizhou is the nation’s second largest tea producing province. This is due to the area’s cool and pleasant climate, high altitude and natural environment.

The unique and ancient tea tree, known as Camellia tetracocca Zhang, is found only in Pu’an county, Guizhou province.

The Buyi people of the autonomous region are one of the major ethnic groups in Guizhou. Every March 3, of the Lunar New Year, a traditional festival is held to pay respect to the mountain god and also to ancestors.

This year, in an effort to preserve the critically endangered tea variety, Camellia teteracocca Zhang, a new tea plantation was opened. During the opening ceremony, locals paid respect to the village’s most ancient tea tree in the morning, and performed a traditional tea picking ritual in the afternoon.

China is believed to have the earliest records of tea drinking, and tea was first used as medicine. In fact, it is still believed that there are many health benefits to drinking the antioxidant-rich beverage.

An amazing property of tea is that it blends well with many things, including milk, herbs, and medicine. Tea is a fusion of different cultures. You could say, it represents a harmonious balance of humans and nature.

Video: Huan CAO

Producer: Flora Yue