Chinese Herb Tea
Chinese herb(al) tea, also known as medicinal herbal tea, is a kind of tea-soup made from purely Chinese medicinal herbs in Guangdong (Kwangtung), China. It usually tastes bitter or lightly sweet and its colour is typically black or dark brown, depending on what kinds of herbs are used. Although it is referred to as "tea", it seldom contains any part of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), and is considered a tisane or "herbal tea".
The climate of Guangdong is sub-tropical, with a primarily hot and humid climate. Cantonese people boil what are referred to as cooling herbs in Traditional Chinese medicine to made herbal tea, which is consumed in order to relieve the heat and humidity in the body. Therefore, Chinese herb tea is referred to as cold tea or cooling tea in the Chinese language.
There are many kinds of cooling tea. Different kinds of tea are purported to cure or relieve a variety of diseases. Some teas are consumed to alleviate sore throats, some for flu, and others for a number of ailments.
Cooling tea is quite popular in Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong, as well as other subtropical locales. Many families make their tea at home. Some families are herb tea specialists who open their own shops, selling different kinds of herbal tea. Some shops have been open for 150 years in Guangzhou and 50–60 years in Hong Kong. It is not hard to find these shops in Hong Kong.
In 1990s and 2000s, cold tea has been bottled, canned or boxed by some herbal tea specialists and is being sold in supermarkets in Asia and Asian markets overseas as fewer and fewer families have time to make them at home. These products are usually sweetened and do not have their original flavours.
Chinese herb tea plays a crucial role in the title and the plot of the 1961 novel Eat a Bowl of Tea by Louis Chu.
Read more about Chinese Herb Tea: History of Chinese Herbal Tea, Functions of Chinese Herbal Tea, Comparison of Chinese Herb Tea and Western Medicine, Relationship Between Chinese Herb Tea and Chinese Identity, Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage, Modernization of Chinese Herb Tea
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