When preparing tea for drinking, different countries have different methods. For example in Thailand, they will sometimes prepare tea in this way. First water is boiled and poured directly over the leaves in a clay pot. The pot is covered until the leaves sink to the bottom and then served with or without sugar. Once the pot is empty, more boiling water is often poured in to make a second batch from the same tea.
The methods of tea preparation in England will be different from China and Japan. Just as customs and traditions are different in each country, countries also have their own tea preparation methods that are traditional. Some countries like the United States may use many different methods because of the large number of different ethnicities living in the country. One thing that tea has in common everywhere is that it is greatly enjoyed by many people. It is meant to be flavorful and soothing.
The water source for tea is very important to traditional Chinese tea preparation. Water from running streams or springs is highly preferred, followed by rivers. Well water is considered the worst option. The custom was to find water that was well mixed with air. They would much rather travel to the nearest stream than use well water in the older days. The Chinese also do not add sugar or milk to tea usually. Many Chinese people drink tea three times a day, morning, noon, and in the evening. It is a large part of their daily life.
The teapot is a very important aspect of tea making in China. Some are ornately decorated, while others are simpler in design. There are single serving teapots and ones for a group of people.
People who are really into their tea often have separate teapots for every variety and flavor of tea that they brew. They feel that the clay of the teapot may absorb some of the flavor characteristics of the tea. They do not want to mix two flavors by brewing several kinds of tea in the same pot. Traditional teapots in China also generally follow a set of rules in terms of design. This can include things like height and size of the spout and lid.
Tea really has quite fascinating traditions and history. If you are really interested in tea, several books go into much more detail. Today, modern flavors are also sold by companies like iherb. These include ginger tea and hibiscus tea. Brands like Tazo Tea as well as Yogi Tea come up with many unique flavors as well.
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