Chinese teas can be a fairly complex subject – from the different varieties and sub-varieties available to the taste profiles and complex production methods, right down to the way the character for tea is written. Chinese characters contain more meaning within them than just their words. There's a story and history behind each character and why they're written the way they are. Much like how the tea production process has evolved over centuries to its present day form, so to has the character.
Breakdown of the character
The highlighted part here is very similar to the character for "wood". This represents the tea tree, grown from the earth and the base that supports the tea plant.
Next up, at the top, we have the Chinese radical for "grass", which in this case, represents the tea leaves that sprout from the tree.
Finally, in the middle of it all, is the character for "man". Man takes the leaves grown from the trees, processes it and turns it into tea. Man also takes the leaves, brews it and turns it into the intoxicating liquor we know and love.
Each element is crucial and tea would not exist without each one of these elements. Because of this, the character for tea is the perfect embodiment of the harmony between nature and man.
Happy brewing :)