of Tea-The Origins of Tea
One Chinese legend says that Shennong(神農),
the Divine Cultivators, discovered tea accidentally about 3000 B.C.? He
was credited with inventing agriculture and herbal medicine. He was not
the first one to create, “ market “ place and? arranged for people
from all parts of China to come together in one place with their
products and their wares and exchange them according to their needs.
One-day leaves of the tea fell into water when he was in outdoor boiling
some water.? He loved the drink, and later found it to have medicinal
value.? Thus, tea was born.?
The other legend says an herbalist sampled various
plants to determine their individual effect.?? And he found out that he
could use tea as antidote to treat the boldness, which some times
resulted poisoning. Another legend came from a much later, from Japan,
Bodhidharma, or Dharuma, the Indian monk who brought Zen Buddhism to
China in A.D.520.? The Chinese emperor gave him a cave-temple just
outside the capital, Naming, and let him to proceeded to demonstrate the
benefits of meditation. He used the aid of tea to make him awake to do
long hour’s meditation.?? It indeed made monks became instrumental in
spreading its fame.
Some Chinese researcher has found evidence of the use of
tea much earlier that that.? Some thought as far back as twelfth century
B.C., King Wen, founder of Zhou dynasty. He is said to have received
tribute from trial heads in and around present-day Sichuan.? (This is
mentioned in a book after A.D. 347, “ Treatise on the Kingdom of
Huayang “ by Chang Ju.?? But the fresh leaves were not boiled with
water until the third century.? And the drying and processing of leaves
as a daily beverage started around this time.
In the third century, the well-known Chinese
doctor/anesthesia, Huatuo?? also said that the tea drinking increased
concentration and alertness.?? Even the China’s oldest medical book
Shennong’s Canon of Medical Herbs (Bencao Gangmu(本草纲目:
collection of herbal remedies first compiled around A.D. 500, or called?
“Great Herbal” at the Ming dynasty) includes mentions of tea.
Tu ,? is?? Chinese character, the early references for tea.?
“tu” also refer to snow-thistle.?? Later , Cha, got
its own characters in Tang Dynasty,? but the Chinese? word for tea ,
which was widely used in the Han Dynasty? originally meant any infusion:
sailors picked up the southern regional version of? “tsay ”,? which
later? changed to “ tea”
During the 5th century, tea drinking tea drink spread
very rapidly in the south and more slowly in the North. Tea then became
as a well-established beverage. Even a poet at the Jin Dynasty(晋朝
), “ Fragrant tea superimposes the six passions; the taste for tea
spreads over the nine districts (according the Chinese meaning, it
spreads the whole country)” according the Chinese records, the tea has
been used as barter trade with Turkic peoples in A.D. 476.? Those people
from Mongol, Turkic and Tibet found out that tea drinking in large
quantities can improve digestive system in their body because their meat
eating habits was very common in their daily life due to lack of
vegetables and fruit in their area
The Golden age of tea drinking in the Tang Dynasty (唐朝618-907)
soon became an art. It even spreads over the world from Mongolia to the
Caspian Sea. In the Tang Dynasty, there was a person, called Lu Yu, who
later was considered as the originator of tea drinking experts.? He also
found that tea from Yangxian, the mountains areas located in the border
of Jiangsu-Zhejiang provinces considered the best.? The Yangxian tea was
considered the regular list of tribute products to the Emperor. Soon tea
picking became a festival in the early spring in order to pick up the
best tea presented to the Emperor.? The tribute to the Emperor was quite
an honor to show his/her loyalty to the Emperor.
Lu Yu(陆羽) was quite often invited to do
the performance of the methods tea making?? m and tea drinking. Since
then he had chance to collected and edited of his work on tea drinking.?
Tea drinking had become widespread and he began to investigate the
process and its history in the 760. Later he was in 780 and published
the book of Tea (Cha Jing 茶经). The Chapter includes:
- Origin, Charactereristcs, Names, and Qualities of Tea.
- Tool for Plucking and Processing Tea
- Varieties. Plucking and Processing Methods
- Utensils for Making and Drinking Tea.
- Methods of Making Tea and the the Water of Various Places
- Habits of Tea Drinking
- Stories, Plantations of Tea as a Medicine
- Which Kinds of Tea Are Better in Different Locations
- Utensils Which May Be Omitted
- How to Copy This Book on the Scroll.
After his first book was circulated around the country,
this made him well known? and was considered as the patron saint of tea.
Later he spent his time on 10 more books of?? Tea in his final period of
his life.? But unfortunately all of them were lost.
During the Golden age of tea drinking in the era of Tang
and Song Dynasty(唐朝和宋朝), Tea testing
and tasting were a popular pastime among officials and all walks of life
especially in Sony Dynasty (宋朝960-1279) because of greater
farm of productivity of tea, it made tea as of necessity rather a luxury
item. even? among the poorest households.
The world’s greatest?? city of its time, Hangzhou(杭州)(
,? the capital of ?Southern?? Song(南宋), began to have
?many tea houses established serving soups and seasonal snacks? among
merchants. They also displayed flower arrangements according to season
in the teahouses as well as they displayed some of artists’ painting
on the walls of the teahouses.? Among the rich, tea drinking become a
popular art at the peak , they even built the fabulous beautiful gardens
to entertain high official their peers and their guests.
Source: from “ All The Tea In China “ by Kit Chow & Ione
Kramer published by China Book and Periodicals, Inc. and other
Most Common & Popular Tea
the name "TEA"
House & Shops
also: Tea Lore [茶道]
Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger when visiting
China drinks "tea"
Tea in China
|Book: About Tea