Now that my challenge is over, I have to make up my own stuff to write, I guess. Since people seem to appreciate my writing about things that are different in China from the US, I'll start there. Let's talk Tea.
Here, anything can be tea. The Chinese serve hot water all the time, but if you are in your own home or office, you may add something to it. Not just tea! Flowers or dried fruits are common.
Right now, we are looking at a series of 100-degree days, and there was still a huge thermos of hot water in my office this morning. They believe that drinking warm water is better for your stomach - less of a shock to the system or something. I'm used to it by now, but in this heat? Ugh. I poured some, and left it to cool to room temperature during my first class.
|My tea, right now.|
However, now that I've come home and had a couple glasses of normal water, I'm actually having some tea. (I'll let it cool a bit.) I was turned on to Chrysanthemum tea by my tea lady. After trying it and deciding this mild, pale (not even as colorful as the palest pinot grigio), flower was something I could drink regularly, I did some research.
Chrysanthemum tea is not just mild and easy on the stomach (lack of tannins), but it is good for the heart, liver, and kidneys! Go me! Also, it has "heat-reducing" properties - good for fever or heat rash, or, I'm hoping just being hot from 100-degree temps!
So when you hear the phrase "all the tea in China" just remember that all the tea in China includes more than just tea! I've even made "tea" out of orange rinds and cinnamon sticks! It'll knock your socks off.