Chinese Tea Culture
Experience Peking Duck in Beijing or eat the food of the Ming emperors, explore the world of Chinese cuisine with China Highlights to get the real tastes of China. Join us to experience the real Chinese cuisine! Tea culture is an important part of Chinese tradition. Alongside social development and progress, tea has not only played a role in driving the development of the economy, but has also remained a feature of people’s lives. Moreover, tea drinking has gradually developed into a resplendent tea culture and become a bright pearl in the social life of Chinese civilization.
The practice of tea culture can bring the spirit and wisdom of human beings to a higher orbit. Tea has an extremely close relationship to Chinese culture, and its study covers a wide field and has very rich content. It not only embodies the spirit of civilization, but also the spirit of ideological form. There can be no doubt that it has been beneficial in enhancing people's social accomplishments and appreciation of art.
The legend of the Chinese tea
Tea is nearly 5,000 years old and was discovered, as legend has it, in 2737 b.c. According to legend, the Shen Nong (or Shen Nung) , an early emperor was a skilled ruler, creative scientist and patron of the arts. He was called "The Divine Healer." Numerous other medicinal plants were attributed to this legendary emperor. His far-sighted edicts required, among other things, that all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One summer day while visiting a distant region of his realm, he and the court stopped to rest. In accordance with his ruling, the servants began to boil water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from the near by bush fell into the boiling water, and a brown liquid was infused into the water. As a scientist, the Emperor was interested in the new liquid, drank some, and found it very refreshing. And so, according to legend, tea was created.
Chinese tea evolved from a palace treat to a common beverage during the Jin Dynasty and Nan Bei Zhao (265 AD - 589 AD). Later during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD), Chinese tea trading had become extremely busy. Techniques in tea plantation and processing advanced in great speed. Lots of famous teas were developed.
In the Tang Era, Chinese tea was processed and circulated in the form of tea cakes. People started to get serious about making tea. Specialized tea tools were used and tea books were published - including the most famous "Literature of Tea" by Lu Yue. The art of Chinese tea started to take shape. That was a big leap of Chinese tea into the cultural territory.
"Tea became popular in Tang and prospered in Song (960 - 1276)". In the beginning of Song Dynasty, Chinese tea was kept in the shape of balls and cakes. When served, tea was crushed and boiled with seasoning material. But as tea drinkers became more particular, they paid more respect to the original shape, color, and taste of tea leaves. Seasoning material faded out and loose leave tea started to take the center stage.The fame of Chinese tea was owing much to Chinese 'Tea saint' – Luyu and his literature Tea Book.
Chinese tea was proved to be beneficial for human body, not just lose weight. Do you know the origin and history of Chinese tea? If you are interested in Chinese Tea history and want to find some secrets, please continue reading. In part 1 of Chinese tea history, you will find how Chinese tea was found in the history.
China is the homeland of tea, taking a leading position in the planting, producing and drinking of tea. The discovery and usage of tea has had a history of four or five thousand years in China. From the earliest fresh-boiled tea taken as a kind of soup to later dried and preserved tea, from the simple Green tea to the blooming of six major Chinese tea, which started catching on in the Tang(618 - 906) and Song(906 - 1279) dynasties, has carried itself to the contemporary times. The flavor of Chinese tea, which is sometimes thin and sometimes thick, seemingly bitter but actually sweet. It has flown through the long history from ancient times up to now. What is more, with unique appeal, tea has broken the bound of fields and been brought to all parts of the world.
The origin of tea is lost among history and legends. What can be roughly confirmed is that tea originated in the southwest of China. In Yunnan and other places there still exist wild tea tree over 1,000 years old. It is said that the first man to discover what tea can do is Shen Nong - the father of agriculture and herbal medicine in Chinese legend. In time immemorial, people know very little about plants. In order to find out which plants could be eaten and which couldn’t, Shen Nong tasted various kinds of plants to find out their features as food or medicine. Fortunately, Shen Nong had a transparent stomach, which made it possible for him. One day, after walking for a long time, Shen Nong felt tired and thirsty, so he rested under a tree and started a fire to boil water. Suddenly, some tree leaves fell into the water hollowware on the fire. Shen Nong drank the water and found it not only sweet and tasteful, but freshening as well. He found his exhaust in all gone, so he finished all the water in the hollowware. Another tale is a little different from this one, but more amazing. It is said that Shen Nong tried 72 different kinds of poisonous plants in a day and he lay on the ground, barely alive. At this moment, he noticed several leaves dropping from the tree beside him, giving off gusts of fragrance. What with curiosity and with habit, Shen Nong put a leaves in his mouth and chewed them. After a little while, he felt well and energetic again. So he picked more leaves to eat and thus cleared all the poison in his body.Chinese tea interested Shen Nong and attracted him to do further research on its characteristics. The ancient Chinese medical book called Shen Nong Herbal, which is attributed to Shen Nong, says that "tea tastes bitter. Drinking it, one can think quicker, sleep less, move lighter and see clearer." That is the earliest to put down the medical functions of the Chinese tea. From that time on, the real Chinese tea history began.
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