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Granny Tea: An Ancient Custom of Zhouzhuang

Updated: 2012-11-28 16:32
(chinadaily.com.cn)

Granny Tea: An Ancient Custom of Zhouzhuang

Zhouzhuang has an ancient tea custom for locals which involved drinking "Granny Tea".

There are various kinds of tea customs for different occasions in China. The Granny Tea is the most famous tea in Zhouzhuang and is important for female social events.

There's an old saying, "One hasn't felt the real Zhouzhuang culture until he drinks "Granny Tea". In Zhouzhuang, only when you drink Granny Tea can you feel the charm of this ancient river town.

A hostess must send out invitations to drink Granny Tea at least a week in advance. During the tea ceremony, the hostess will first put out snacks on the table, such as pickled cucumbers, fried beans, and so on. This is why the Zhouzhuang people like to use the words "eating tea" instead of "drinking tea". The guests must drink at least three cups of Granny Tea to be polite.

Many middle aged and elderly females in Zhouzhuang are fond of drinking Granny Tea. They sit around a table, eat snacks, do needlework and chat in the warm atmosphere.

In recent years, Granny Tea has gained popularity in Zhouzhuang. The San Mao Tea House, Zhangting Hall and other tea houses provide the tea all year-round. The San Mao Tea House is one of the most famous tea houses and is named after a prominent woman writer in Taiwan who came to Zhouzhuang and wrote many stories. The current owner of the San Mao Tea House is a native writer who keeps up regular correspondence with San Mao.

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