An ancient Chinese proverb states, "Better to be deprived of
food for three days, than tea for one." Tea is, next to water, the
world's leading beverage. Although the exact origin of tea growing is
uncertain, it is said to have been initiated by a Chinese emperor over
4,500 years ago. Tea from China, along with her silk and porcelain,
began to be known all over the world more than a thousand years ago
and has since always been an important Chinese export.
Tea has been one of the daily necessities in China since time
immemorial. Countless numbers of Chinese like to have their
after-meal cup of tea. As the Chinese would often say it, after a big
meal "Let's drink tea to ‘wash’ the oil away from the system and ease
digestion." In general, Chinese do not serve tea at meals.
Chinese tea may be classified into three categories according to
the different methods by which it is processed. All of them may come
from the same variety of tea plant. Depending on the process, the
leaves are used to produce black tea (fermented), oolong tea
(semi-fermented) or green tea (unfermented).
The simplest way to make Chinese tea is the best. Just pour
boiling hot water over the leaves, let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes, and
you have tea. For medium-strength tea, use ½ to 1 teaspoon of tea
per cup. For stronger tea, add more leaves rather than extending
steeping time. After drinking the tea, leaving a small residue, you can
pour in more boiling water to make a second or third infusion. It will
probably be new to most of you that with good Chinese tea, the
second infusion is sometimes better than the first for green tea, and
always better for black tea. Expert tea drinkers in China often throw
away a quick infusion and only drink the second. The Chinese add
neither milk nor sugar to their tea.
( ) 1. In addition to tea, what have been the other two important products that were sold to westerners?
(A) Porcelain and silk (B) Chinese food and beverage
(C) Water and black tea (D) Fermented and unfermented tea
( ) 2. How is Chinese tea classified?
(A) According to how it is drunk (B) According to how it is prepared
(C) According to when it is drunk (D) According to where it is grown
( ) 3. When is tea generally drunk by the Chinese?
(A) Whenever they feel thirsty (B) During a meal time
(C) In the morning (D) After they have meals
( ) 4. Which of the following is considered by expert Chinese drinkers to be “the best”?
(A) Black tea with extending steeping time
(B) The simplest tea with ½ to 1 teaspoon of tea
(C) The second infusion of the tea
(D) Tea with milk and sugar