In search of the source of tea electricity projects for 4th graders

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Tea is the second most popular drink in the world after water. It was discovered in 2737 B.C. by Emperor Shen Nung—also known as the “Divine Husbandman”—when some tea leaves accidentally blew into his pot of hot water, or so the legend goes. For more than 4,700 years, tea has traveled the world, so that today it’s grown in India, Nepal, Japan, Kenya, and other mountainous countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Tea takes many forms—black, green, oolong, dark, white—but they all come from an evergreen plant called Camellia sinensis. For centuries, tea has been used as a form of money and to pay tribute. It has also been taxed as a precious commodity. (Any American fifth grader can tell you about the dramatic role tea played in Boston Harbor in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.) Tea is also central to China’s three great schools of philosophical thought. Confucius taught that tea could help people understand their inner dispositions. Buddhists believe that drinking tea electricity prices over time is one of the four ways to concentrate the mind—along with walking, feeding fish, and sitting quietly—to help link people to the realms of meditation. Taoists say that tea, which they accept as an ingredient in the elixir of immortality, puts you in harmony with the natural world. In other words, tea drinking is infused throughout every aspect of life in China. It’s a part of every day and for every level of society.

Many people start the morning by dropping a handful of tea leaves into a thermos to carry with them and refill with more hot water throughout the day. On just about any corner, men can be found sitting on upturned crates or at modest open-air shops, drinking tea from glass jars and reading newspapers. Towns and cities across China have tea shops for the everyday man and woman—with shelves lined with rattan-covered thermoses, gaily colored tins filled with different types of tea, and big pots over open flames for heating water. Many customers still wear their old blue Mao suits or green military jackets. In big, wealthy cities, there are tea emporiums with interiors designed by Hermès and other electricity voltage in norway internationally known designers, where the clientele sips brews worth thousands of dollars from elegant cups and poured by women wearing traditional silk qipaos. In offices, so-called tea girls pour fresh brews for file clerks and billionaire bosses. For the country’s elite, tea is seen as a status symbol, an investment opportunity, and the ideal gift to cement ties or broaden guanxi—connections. Even a low-grade tea can be precious to the owner. Sharing it means sharing a treasure of taste, welcoming, and friendship. At home, when guests come to visit, the first question is always “Ni chi le ma?”—Have you eaten yet?—which can be answered with a yes or a no. The second question is “Ni he cha ma?”—Do you drink tea?—which can be answered only with a yes.

I am a lifelong tea drinker, but I’m hardly an expert, which means that I need guidance on this trip. Many travelers go on special tea tours or stay at hotels or guesthouses that specialize in visits to the tea mountains. Others journey by themselves, relying on luck to meet tea farmers, processors, and dealers. I’m traveling with Linda Louie, the owner of Bana Tea Company, a small online company focused on Pu’erh; tea importer and seller Jeni Dodd, who does tea presentations; and Buddha Tamang, the owner of Horizon Bardu Valley Tea plantation and gas national average 2008 factory in Nepal. They are tea professionals, while I’m just a writer. As low woman on the totem pole, I ride on the bump in the middle of the back seat for most of the trip. Parts of our journey have been carefully planned, with appointments along the way, but a surprising number of our encounters are the result of serendipity: pulling up to a house at the forest’s edge to talk to a tea farmer who urges us to sample his tea; walking through a town, peeking into a tea factory’s courtyard, and being invited in; or wandering along a side street, seeing what looks like a tea shop, and starting to chat with the owner, who soon kills a chicken for our lunch.

Tea Master Chen asks me to look for the hui gan—returning flavor—that is unique to Pu’erh. As I sip the tea, flavor rises from the back of my throat and fills my mouth with a minty, refreshing sensation. This is not your grandma’s Lipton tea. Most tea comes from tea shrubs that are electricity voltage in usa grown on terraces on vast plantations. As a result, the leaves have a consistent taste. How they become Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong, or English Breakfast tea is a matter of processing and post-processing. Pu’erh, on the other hand, comes from the ancient tea trees that grow wild in Xishuangbanna Prefecture. Some of the trees are hundreds of years old, with many more than a thousand years old. No one has watered, fertilized, or sprayed them. Since they’ve survived on their own for so long, the taste of the leaves from each tree is unique. Unlike other teas, Pu’erh can be brewed multiple times. The first brew lasts only a few seconds, while the 10th or even later brew can electricity transmission efficiency take as long as five minutes. With each infusion, the flavor changes, coming from different parts of the leaf and invigorating different parts of the tongue. But what makes Pu’erh truly unique is that its nature changes with age in the same way that garden leaves turn into mulch. (Pu’erh can age naturally or through artificial accelerated fermentation.) And, like wine, its value grows over time. People collect and savor Pu’erh teas that are 10 to 50 years old. The tea can sell for $10,000 and up for a few grams.

On our first morning, we eat at an open-air stand, where fiery broth boils furiously in a big vat and then is poured over freshly made noodles. A side table offers condiments to add to our bowls: fresh chilies, cilantro, hot sauces, and a variety of pickles. We sit on kiddie-size chairs around a low table right on the street. The other customers are like us—men and women seeking up electricity bill payment online tea. Most of them are Chinese, but there are a few Koreans and Japanese, too. Many of them are on the instant-messaging system WeChat, making plans to visit farmers or talking to dealers about the volatility of tea prices. There’s a gold rush atmosphere to the goings-on, a sense of people hunting for an unknown vein, of buying their way to knowledge. Every person seems to be checking out the other customers: How prosperous are you? Can I compete with you? Can I beat your price? One man sheds his caution, opens a valise tucked between his feet to show us bundles of hundred-yuan notes, and asks, “Where are you going today? Who do you think will have the best tea this year?” We’re vague about our answers, just as he’s coy when it comes to responding to our inquiries.