As we get older, we don't feel thirsty as easily and often forget to drink water. If no one is around to remind us to drink water, we can quickly become dehydrated. Developing the habit of drinking water, whether it be water, fruit juice, tea, coconut water, milk, soup or eating fruits rich in water, will help with this. Some people don't like drinking because they think boiled water is boring, so drinking tea could be a great alternative!
In China, the taste is everything when it comes to drinking tea. However, "tea tasting" is not only to assess the taste of the tea but to refresh the mind and reduce fatigue during a busy day. To brew some strong tea, it helps us take some time off whatever we are doing and by slowly sipping it, we can enjoy the tea’s distinctive tastes and the benefits it gives.
Basic teas can be divided into green tea, white tea, yellow tea, green tea, red tea and black tea according to the preparation method and the oxidation degree of tea polyphenols.
Different colors of tea have different effects
Green Tea (no fermentation) - Longjing Tea, Biluochun
White tea (mild fermentation) - Shoumei
Yellow Tea (mild fermentation) - Mengding Yellow Bud, Huoshan Yellow Bud, Junshan Silver Needle
Green Tea/Oolong Tea (semi-fermented Tea) - Tieguanyin, Frozen Top Tea
Black Tea (fully fermented) - Jin Junmei, Kung Fu Black Tea
Black tea (post-fermentation) - Pu-erh tea
Effect: Refreshing the mind, relieving thirst, clearing heat and detoxifying
Effect: Clearing heat and detoxifying, eliminating phlegm and relieving cough
Effect: Refreshing and helpful for digestion
Effect: Warming Yang and activating blood circulation, aids the stomach and stops diarrhea, disperses cold and dehumidifies the body
Effect: Warms and nourishes the stomach, eliminating stagnation and greasiness, disperses cold and helps to sober up
How to store tea
High oxygen content in the circulating air is conducive to the reproduction of microorganisms in tea and accelerates the change of typical leaves. Therefore, avoid placing it in enclosed environments, especially those with strong odours, such as kitchens and cabinets with paint smells, etc.
Maintain a constant temperature
The temperature between 20-30 degrees Celsius is suitable for the transformation of Pu-erh tea. Temperatures any higher will quickly ferment the leaves, becoming sour. If the temperature is too low, no fermentation will occur. Also, avoid storing in a place with direct sunlight.
Maintain moderate humidity
The ambient air humidity should not exceed 75% or drop lower than 20%. If it is too humid, the tea leaves will mould, and if it is too dry, the tea leaves will not ferment.
The matching of tea and food
1. White Tea
The texture of white tea is soft, silky smooth, and the flavour is light, so it is suitable for light flavour foods, such as vegetable salad and cucumber salad with no seasoning or light seafood and basmati rice. Avoid mixing it with flavourful foods, as it is easy to cover up white tea's aroma and subtle sweetness.
2. Green Tea
Green tea has a subtle, vegetable-like aroma and is perfect to accompany mild seafood or chicken. However, this does not mean that green tea is only suitable for pairing with these two foods. The three primary flavours of green tea are vegetal, smoky, and fruity. The grassy flavour of green tea complements seafood, and the smoky flavour makes it easy to match with pan-fried chicken; the fruity characteristics also make it possible to pair with sandwiches, fruit salads, wheat bread, and other foods.
3. Oolong Tea
The aroma of oolong tea is quite complex and can be paired with various foods. Whether it's a light flavour of fish or grilled meat, it has a good effect when combined. In addition, you can match a specific flavour of food according to the intensity of oolong tea. For example, light oolong tea can be paired with scallops, lobsters, combed biscuits or sweet and salty snacks; the rich flavour of oolong tea can be paired with duck, salmon, smoked meat, etc., or with pastries and crepes dipped in syrup.
4. Black Tea
The flavour of black tea is relatively rich and strong, which is suitable for pairing with foods packed with flavour. Like green tea, black tea has three pronounced flavours: fruity, smoky, and earthy. The fruity nature of black tea makes it a good match for desserts; the smoky flavour complements red, dark or sweet chocolate; and the earthy flavour pairs well with roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and vegetables dipped in gravy.
5. Pu-Erh Tea
Pu'er tea has a strong and apparent earthy flavour. It is best to match this tea with fried chicken, pork and other foods so that the fat can be balanced out.
Tea drinking precautions
It is advisable to drink less than 3 cups of tea (about 710 ml) a day. Like with everything, too much of it can be a bad thing. Drinking a lot of tea can cause physical problems, such as high blood pressure, digestive issues, increased anxiety, stress and mental instability due to the caffeine in the leaves. Here are some things to note:
Loose tea is better than tea bags
The tea leaves in the teabag are generally not carefully selected, so the quality of the tea leaves in loose tea is usually better. In addition, the cheaper the tea bag, the more likely it is made of cheap materials or bleached during production, so be weary when you purchase them.
The brewing time can affect the caffeine content of a cup of tea. Besides, prolonged brewing can release high levels of metals, such as lead. So, it is best not to soak the leaves for more than 3-4 minutes. Limiting brewing time reduces the amount of potential metal absorbed and reduces the chances of fluoride exposure.