My history of tea drinking

As a Chinese, I love tea. I always drink black tea because I am fond of the strong taste of fermented tea. However, I am not an enthusiast of tea, because I don’t use special tools for cooking tea, and I drink tea like people drink beer.

Green tea

As a person who was born in Jiangxi Province, when I was a child, the tea I drank was native tea of Jiangxi, as the milk I drank was produced in Jiangxi, too. From 1980s to 1990s, there was a transition from planned economy to market economy. In late 1990s, after a lot of privately owned shops took the place of state-owned shops’ monopoly, we had more choices.

Jiangxi is a producing area of green tea. In my childhood, the green tea that I often drank was produced in Wuyuan and in Lu Mountain. Wuyuan is a town that is famed for its traditional agricultural environment. Lu Mountain is a summer resort. The tea that grows in Lu Mountain is called Cloud tea (Yun Wu tea).

In 1990s, the West Lake’s Long Jing tea that is produced in Zhejiang Province and Bi Luo Chun that is produced in Jiangsu Province, two famous green tea varieties, are the first choices of tea gifts.

Oolong tea

With the market economy growing, Oolong tea that is produced in Fujian Province became more popular. Tie Guan Yin and Da Hong Pao were my favorites before I started to drink black tea.

Black tea

Black tea produced in Fujian also became popular. In the recent decade, my most favorite black tea was Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong and Jin Jun Mei. Sometimes I drank other varieties of black tea, such as Qi Men black tea that is produced in Anhui Province or black tea produced in India or Sri Lanka.

In the evening of March 31 2022, the last evening before the lockdown of Shanghai, I bought rice, but I couldn’t buy tea. The supermarkets had been closed. I went to a tea shop, but the tea shop was busy to sell eggs. Under the lockdown, the last tea I had was drunk. I then searched all of tea containers and collected the fragments of tea. When we were permitted to buy something through Internet, the first thing I bought was black tea.

Tea bags

After I came to Poland, I gradually was adapted to buy tea bags. In China, tea bags are regarded as the way to sell tea fragments which quality is not good. We always buy products which tea leaves are not broken. In Poland, I can also buy tea leaves, but in supermarkets the varieties of black tea are mainly from South Asia. The often-seen tea product which is from China is Pu-Erh tea (Pu Er tea). For tasting Chinese tea I bought Pu-Erh tea for the first time.

I write this article because I watched a Netflix documentary named “the Story of Tea”. When I lived in China, I never imagined that Chinese tea would be a part of homesickness one day.

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