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A Po Cha

A Po Cha (grandmother’s tea) of Zhouzhuang is fairly famous in the southern Yangtze River area. In Zhouzhuang, men and women would gather together, eating and chatting. This specific folk custom is known as taking A Po Cha.

A Po Cha

This custom has been practiced in Zhouzhuang since early times. During the Yuan Dynasty period, the ancestors of Chen Qubing moved to Zhouzhuang from Zhejang Province. They made a living by hammering smoking stoves and processing copper and tin teapots. To date, the town remains to host a few tea warehouses built by Anhui merchants in Ming and Qing dynasties. Among them, the warehouse of Wu Qingfeng was opened in early Qing Dynasty, and that of Cheng Yitai was set up during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty.

Old people of Zhouzhuang continue to keep the centuries-old and unique mode to drink tea – stewing tea. They would place a big water vat at home to store up Tian Luo Shui (water falling from sky). To prepare to drink tea, they would ladle such water into a pottery kettle, put the kettle upon a stove, and boil the water with tree branches. They will make tea with sealed covered bowels or purple clay teapots. They will put some tea, pour a little boiling water for Dian Cha Niang (make preparations), cover the bowel or teapot with a lid and, after a while, pour more hot water. Tea made in this mode exudes a delicate fragrance and tastes very refreshing.

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