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Chinese Tea

China is the homeland of tea. Tea's origins can be traced back to around 2700 B.C., and human cultivation of teaplants dates back two thousand years. It is believed to have been first discovered in the mountainous regions of China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, in the far west of the country. In China there are five types of tea and classified according to different methods by which it is processed. The five categories are green tea, black tea, wulong tea, compressed tea and scented tea. Black tea is known as "red tea" (hong cha) in China. Green tea consists mainly of the Longjing tea from Zhejiang Province. Compressed tea is compressed and hardened into a certain shape. It is mainly produced in the Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. Wulong falls halfway between the green and the black teas, and is produced after partial fermentation. It is a specialty of the provinces on the southeast coast: Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan.
At present more than forty countries in the world grow tea with Asian countries producing 90% of the world's total output. All tea trees in other countries have their origin directly or indirectly in China. The word for tea leaves or tea as a drink in many countries are derivatives from the Chinese character "cha." The Chinese take their tea seriously. Everyone, from workers to company bosses, drinks tea every day. Worldwide, tea is consumed more than any other drink other then water. People of all races and ages have enjoyed the infusion from the Camellia Sinensis tree as a beverage as well as for its medicinal value. Research has shown that tea does indeed have many beneficial effects on health; and numerous publications extolling the benefits of tea have lead to a tremendous growth in tea consumption in the U. S.

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