Zhegu Tea, a local Hainanese tonic that dispels heat
Visitors to Sanya will be intrigued to discover a special kind of tea tonic — Zhegu Tea, which has a rounded and refreshing taste, and a nice aroma of herbs, dried fruits, and licorice–with a touch of “herbal medicine." This tea tonic is enjoyed in many households, local Hainan restaurants as well as Laoba teahouses in the city.
The species possesses high adaptablity to the environment. Zhegu Tea, made of the leaves of wild tea trees, is grown mainly on the slopes of the Dongshan Mountain Range in Wanning.
When Zhegu Tea leaves are being picked, the pickers look for mature leaves of about 5 to 15 cm. The leaves undergo very little processing; they are sun-dried, and then steamed green and shaped.
As a result, the tea preserves its lush plantlike aromas, and has a very pleasant, naturally sweet taste that delivers a pleasant stimulating sensation to the tea lover or someone who love the healthy lifestyle.
Zhegu Tea is usually sold by the "string." On each string, there are about 15 to 20 Zhegu Tea "beads"–a ball of big, whole leaves carefully bundled together into a small parcel. One string costs 4 to 6 yuan.
As the tea smells slightly reminiscent of an herbal remedy, the Hainanese people affirm that Zhegu Tea can dispel "heat" and help prevent catching a cold, and that it can also detoxify the body and strengthen the spleen and stomach. It can also aid digestion and metabolism, so it is considered an ideal drink for a hot summer day or after a heavy meal.
In Sanya, Zhegu Tea is not only provided in fancy teahouses but also can be found at almost any ordinary-looking local restaurant. It is common to see Zhegu Tea served by local restaurants as a complementary drink.
Recommended drinking method: Keep it simple. Use a teapot or individual cups. The tea is commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over the tealeaves. Unlike less tenacious teas that lose their flavor by the second or third brewing, Zhegu Tea can withstand many infusions of boiling water and still yield its distinct aroma. For personal preferences, it is also recommended to blend up with some iced cubes or honey.
SOURCE: WOS Team