Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chinese Tea as Olympic Gifts

Tea is cosy, comforting, easy to brew, and can be enjoyed anywhere at any time. Chinese green has more varieties than any other tea in China as well as any other country in the world.

Many tea-related items have been specially made for the Olympics

VIP's to the Beijing Olympic Games will also be treated to a special gift. The Beijing Organizing Committee commissioned the Indian-based Lochan Tea Limited Company to produce 5,000 special gift packages that will include Assam and Darjeeling teas. Along with these limited edition gifts, tea from the famed Makalbari estate will be served alongside Chinese teas at the games. The inclusion of these beautiful Indian teas at the Beijing Games can be seen as a symbol of international cooperation and the sharing of each culture's take on the nearly-universal beverage.

With all this tea, you'll definitely need some special Olympic tea set to go along with it. The official Olympic merchandise being sold worldwide features a variety of glass and porcelain ware for everyday use- teacups, teapots, travel mugs, cafe mugs, all featuring the Olympic logo, or printed with those adorable little Fawa creatures. For the tea connoisseur, for whom a simple souvenir mug won't cut it, they will be pleased to see yixing-like pots produced alongside the regular tabletop wares. A variety of designs and colors are available

Tea Much Enjoyed among Chinese

When friends pass their casual time together, they may choose to drink tea to add atmosphere. Drinking tea becomes a habit for many old people in China.

There are 4 basic types of tea you will find at the mall. Green tea most people are familiar with, a lightly oxidised tea. Oolong, a semi oxidised tea is often pretty close in flavour to green tea and is my personal favourite, at it's best grassy and almost sweet. Red tea, or what we know as black tea, is more heavily oxidised. Pu'er is special tea, actually from a different type of tea plant, and is the Bordeaux of the lot. Aged pu'er teas are sought after and are extremely pricey, fetching more than 50 rmb per gram. You'll see dinner plate sized cakes of this tea, wrapped in identifying paper, adorning the walls of many of the shops.

I think pu'er tastes like ashtray water but it's worth giving it a go just to say you have. Add to this all of the different grades of tea, the different methods of rolling and drying, flavored teas (lychee, rose, ginseng, etc... ), herbal teas, etc... and it would take you a solid week of tasting to conquer them all. Finding a tea you like is a lot like finding a wine you like, having a sample of one or two of the above will give you a jumping off point from which to explore further, and the staff will be more than willing to keep you sampling until you're jacked beyond belief in the hope that you'll purchase.

We all remember Tea Culture Expressed in the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony. The Olympic tea gifts is so special that it's so welcomed. This gift is full of culture flavor.

1 comment:

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