More than the odd cup of tea was knocked back during the first international tea fair in Fuzhou, capital of East China's Fujian Province.
The four-day festival, which ended yesterday, attracted tea lovers, producers, researchers and traders from more than 10 countries and regions throughout the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia and Thailand.
Tea is one of the top three consumed beverages in the world and is downed everywhere across the globe.
People from more than 160 countries and regions enjoy drinking tea, according to the Chinese Tea Society.
And it not only tastes good but is healthy. The latest tea tests and products related to tea health care were displayed at the fair.
Tea is also a cultural carrier, as art performances at the fair showed. A series of activities such as a "king of tea" competition and an auction were held.
One of the main tea producing centres in China, Fujian has a warm climate and is known as "the kingdom of tea variety."
It is the birth place of red tea, black tea, white tea and jasmine tea.
The east coastal province has a long history of producing tea and Fujian people have used it for medical purposes since the Western Jin Dynasty (AD265-316).
Fujian tea products have been sold outside China since the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907).
Official statistics show that more than 3 million Fujian residents are involved in the tea industry, which is equivalent to 10 per cent of the province's population.
( China Daily September 16, 2002)