About Bao Ba Cha, 8-Treasure Tea, Eight Treasure Tea, GaiWan tea
The Hui people are a Chinese ethnic group, typically distinguished by their practice of the Islamic religion. In China the Islamic religion is also called “Hui Jiao” (the Hui religion). Hui is one of the biggest minorities in North China.
The Hui people live on the HuangTu Plateau. The weather is cold and dry. Mutton and beef is the major food for them. Vegetables are a luxury for many families. In order to compensate to the lack of vitamin, tea has become a vital part of the local people’s lives.
The Hui people have many styles of tea drink methods. Baoba tea is probably the most widely spread minority tea tradition in China. Baoba tea can be found in many big cities and every teahouse.
The meaning of Ba Bao Cha (八宝茶), a famous Chinese herbal tea originating from Yunnan China, is “eight treasures,” referring to the many ingredient of the tea. It is also called GaiWan tea. The equipment is the same to the SiChuan style GaiWan tea: A small dish-like tray, a cup and a lid attached firmly together to form a whole tea set. Green tea is mostly used for Baoba tea. The other ingredients include rock sugar, raisin, medlar, sesame, longan, walnut, jujube, and many other sun dried fruits and nuts. The drinker simply puts all of the ingredients together into a cup and adds hot water. Each brew of the Baoba tea has a different taste: the first brew is the taste of tea; the rock sugar will melt mostly in the second brew so the tea tastes sweet; during the third brew all the sun dried fruits will release their special aroma. A good Baoba tea can serve up to 5 brews.
History of 8 Treasure Teas:
Eight Treasure Tea, called Ba Bao Cha in Chinese, is originally from Yunnan, China and is considered to have medicinal properties and health benefits in Chinese medicine. Eight Treasures Tea is refreshing and it has medicinal properties that help to: decrease body heat, promote digestion, induce appetite, relieve fatigue, promote energy, circulation, tonify the liver, stimulate blood production, and to replenish ‘chi.’ The “Eight Treasures” refer to the eight main ingredients which include; goji/gogi berries, jujube (a type of red date), haw, dried citrus peel, dried ginseng root, rock sugar crystals, dried chrysanthemum flowers, organic green tea, dried licorice root, and dried longan fruit, to name a few ingredients.
Initially, Baobacha was concocted by the Hui Clan, an ethnic group from the region now called Ningxia, China. For over a thousand years, in china, Traditional Eight Treasure Tea was coveted by their royalty and only touched the lips of China’s hoity-toity.
In 1996, the tea became available to the public and is served in many restaurants in China. In these restaurants, customers are invited to sit back and let their tea waiter delight with his extraordinary tea pouring techniques. With the infamous long-spouted teapot, he will dazzle. Watch for his Crouching Tea~Hidden Teapot move or the “dragon asking for directions.”
More interesting links about 8 Treasure Teas: