Join us for the finale of The Classic of Tea! Click the video below to get a notification when we go live!
Sip-a-long with Tian Jian or grab enough tea for the whole season and SAVE!
Chapter 7 – History
Yan Emperor, Shen Nong.
Zhou Gong of Lu, named Dan. Yan Ying, the prime minister of Qi.
Daoist figures, Dan Qiu Zi and Huang Shan Jun. Wen Yuan Ling (govenment title) Sima Xiangru, Zhi Ji Lang (government title) Yang Xiong.
Wu (Three Kingdom era)
Gui Ming Hou (noble title) Sun Hao,Tai Fu (GT) Wei Hongsi.
Empora Jin Hui Di, Si Kong (GT) Liu Kun, Yanzhou Ci SHi (GT) Liu Yan. Huang Men (GT) Zhang Mengyang, Si Li (GT) Fu Xian, Xi Ma (GT) Jiang Tong, Can Jun (GT) Sun Chu, Ji Shi (GT) Zuo Taichong, Lu Na the Tai Shou (GT) of Wuxing, Kuaiji Nei SHi (GT) Lu Shu, Guan Jun (GT) Xie Anshi, Guo Pu the TaiSHou (GT) of Hongnong, Huan Wen Yangzhou Mu (GT),She Ren (GT) Du Yu, Monk Fa Yao of Xiaoshan Temple in Wukang, Xiahou Kai of Peiguo, Yu Hong of Yuyao, Fu Xun of Beidi, Hong Junju of Danyang, Ren Yuchang of Xin’an, Qin Jing of Xuancheng, Shan Daokai of Dunhuang, Chen Wuqi of Shanxian, Lao Mu of Guangling, Shan Qianzhi of Henei
Northern and Southern Dynasties, Hou Wei
Wang Su of Langya.
Northern and Southern Dynasties, Song
Xin An Wang (NT) Liu Ziluan, Yu Zhang Wang (NT) Liu Zi Shang, Ling Hui the sister of Bao Zhao, Monk Tan Ji of Bagong Mountain.
Northern and Southern Dynasties, Qi
Shi Zu Wu Di Empora.
Northern and Southern Dynasties, Liang
Ting Wei Qing (GT) Liu Xiaochuo, Tao Hongjing.
Ying Guo Gong (NT) Li Ji.
Shen Nong Shi Jing (神农食经) says, drinking tea often makes people energetic and happy.
Er Ya (尔雅) by Zhou Gong (周公) says, jia (槚) is bitter tu (荼).
Guang Ya (广雅) says, in the Hubei and Sichuan areas, people use fresh tea leaves to make tea cakes. If the tea leaves are mature, rice milk needs to be added to make the cake. When it’s time to drink the tea, first roast the tea cake until it’s red, then crush it into particles and put it in porcelain. Add boiling water and close the lid. Put in green onion, ginger, orange, etc for flavouring. Drinking this tea helps one sober up if drunk, and makes it hard to fall asleep.
Yan Zi Chun Qiu (晏子春秋) says, when Yan Ying (晏婴) was the prime minister of Qi Jing Gong (齐景公), he ate brown rice with several meat dishes, tea and vegetables.
Fan Jiang Pian (凡将篇) by Sima Xiangru (司马相如) records medicinal herbs, wuz huo, jie geng, wan hua, kuan dong, bei mu, mu bo, lou, ling cao, shao yao, gui, lou lu, fei lian, huo yin, chuan cha, bai lian, bai zhi, chang pu, mang xiao, wan jiao, zhu yu, etc.
Fang Yan (方言) records, people from southwestern Sichuan call tea as she.
Wu Zhi: Wei Yao chapter (吴志·韦曜传) records, everytime Sun Hao hosts party, all the guests have to drink at least 7 liters of alcohol. Even though they don’t have to drink it all, they have to refill the cup and do a toast. Wei Yao can’t drink more than 2 liter of alcohol. Sun Hao treated him especially well at first, secretly swapping tea for alcohol for him.
Jin Zhong Xing Shu (晋中兴书) records, when Lu Na was the official of Wuxing, General Xie An often visited him. Lu Na’s nephew fretted that his uncle doesn’t prepare for Xie An’s visits, but was afraid to mention it to his uncle directly. So he secretly prepared food for dozens of people. When Xie An came, Lu Na only served Xie An with tea and fruit. Lu Na’s nephew Lu Shu presented the great feast he prepared. After the guest left. Lu Na beat his nephew with a stick 40 times, saying, you not only can’t bring glory to me, but have ruined my long reputation of frugality.
Jin Shu (晋书) records, when Huang Wen was the official of Yangzhou, because of his frugality, whenever he had a party, he only served guests 7 dishes of tea and fruits.
Sou Shen Ji (搜神记) records, a family member of Xiahou Kai called Guo Nu, he can see ghosts and gods. Xiahou Kai died of disease. Gou Nu saw Xiahuo Kai come back to fetch his horse and made his wife sick too. You Nu also saw Xiahou Kai wearing his usual hair band and a single layer of clothes, sitting on the big bed against the west wall where he used to sit when he was alive, asking people for tea to drink.
In a letter from Liu Kun to his nephew Liu Yan, the official of Nanyan Zhou, Liu Kun says, I’ve received the An Zhou’s gan jiang 500g, gui 500g, huang qin 500g that you mailed. All of these I need. When I feel dizzy and out of breath, I drink real good tea to help releive the symptoms. You can buy some for me.
Si Li Xiao Wei (GT) Fu Xian says in jiao shi (a form of literature, 教示), I heard that there’s an old lady from Sichuan who sells tea porridge in the south market, a policeman broke her tools and vessels, so she had to sell pancake instead after that. Why did they had to be difficult with an old lady and forbid her from selling porridge?
Shen Yi Ji (神异记) records, Yu Hong from Yuyao goes to the mountain to pick tea. He came across a taoist priest stringing along 3 bulls. This priest brought Yu Hong to the Fall Mountain, and said I’m Dan Qiu Zi. I heard you are very good with boiling tea. Could you please share some of your tea with me? There are big tea trees in the mountain. You may pick as you wish. If there’s extra, please share it with me. Therefore Yu Hong used tea to perform the sacrifice, and then came with his family to the mountain to pick tea. They indeed found the big tea trees.
In the poem Jiao Nv (骄女) by Zuo Si, for speeding up the tea boil, blow towards the stove.
In Deng Chengdu Lou (登成都楼), the beautiful aroma of tea makes it the best beverage, and its lovely taste has made it popular among people.
In Qi Hui (七诲) by Fu Xun, he mentioned 8 precious food, one of which is tea from Yunnan.
In Shi Xi (食檄), Hong Junju says, when the guests are visiting, after the initial greetings, the host should serve tea for the guests.
In Sun Chu’s poem, ginger, cinnamon and tea comes out of Ba Shu.
In Shi Lun (食论) by Hua Tuo, it says, drinking tea for a long time promotes the ability to think.
In Shi Ji (食忌), Hu Ju Shi says, drinking tea for a long time makes the body feel light. But if eaten with jiu cai, it will make the body heavy.
In Er Ya Zhu (尔雅注) Guo Pu says, the tea tree is small like gardenia. The leaves don’t fall in the winter. The leaves can be boiled as asoup or a beverage. Now the early pluck is called cha, and the late pluck is called ming or chuan. People from Sichuan called it ku tu.
In Shi Shuo (世说), it records, Ren Zhan, also name Yu Chang, had a high reputation when he was young. But later on he couldn’t achieve what he had hoped. When drinking tea, he asked whether is this cha or ming? He felt that his company gave him a weird look, so he emphasized that he just asked about if this tea is hot or cold.
Xu Sou Shen Ji (续搜神记) records, during Jin Wu Di era, Qin Jing from Xuancheng often visits Wuchang mountain to pick tea. Once he came across a hairy man who was over 3 meters tall. The hairy man guided Qin Jing on the mountain to the tea bushes and left. After a while, the hairy man came back and gave Qin Jing an orange that he had been concealing. Qin Jing was very afraid, so he carried away the tea and head home.
During the Jin Dynasty’s political riot, Emperor Hui had to escape for safety. When he came back to Luo Yang, Huang Men used a stoneware bowl to serve him tea.
Yi Yuan (异苑) records, the wife of Chen Wu from Shan Xian, depite her youth lost her husband. She lives with her two sons, and enjoy drinking tea. There is a ancient tomb on their land, and everytime before she drinks tea, she sacrificed some tea first. Her sons didn’t like her doing so. They say what does the ancient tomb know, this is a waste. And they wanted to remove the tomb. The mother tried her best to convince them not to do it. That night she dreamed of a person saying to her, “I’ve been in this tomb for over 300 years. Your 2 sons want to ruin the tomb. To thank you for the protection and for serving me good tea, though I’m just a set of rotten bones in the ground, I feel I must pay you back for your kindness? The next day, she found 100,000 coins. They look like they’ve been buried for a long time, but the thread that bound them together was new. The mother told the sons about this and they both felt embarrassed. After that, they sacrifice even more sincerely.
Guang Ling Qi Lao Zhuan (广陵耆老传) records: during Jin Yuan Di era, there was an old lady who brough a vessel of tea to market to sell. People rush to buy her tea. From dawn to dusk, the tea in her vessel never gets lower. She also gave all the money she made from selling tea to the beggars on the street. Some people found this disturbing. The police arrested her and threw her in the jail. That night, holding onto her tea vessel, the old lady flew out of the prison window.
Yi Shu Zhuan (艺术传) records: Shan Daokai from Dunhuang is not afraid of hot or cold. He often eats little stones. The medicine he eats has the aroma of pine resin, cinnamon and honey. He only drinks perilla and tea.
In Xu Ming Seng Zhuan (续名僧传), Shi Dao Yue: Monk Fa Yao in Song of South Dynasty, original last name is Yang. He is from He Dong. He came to the south during Jin Dynasty Yong Jia era. He came across Shen Taizhen who invited him to Xiaoshan Temple in Wukang. Fa Yao was old at the time. He drinks tea when he has meals. When it was Qi of South Dynasty Yong Ming era, Qi Wu Di ask the local official of Wuxing to invite Fa Yao to the capital. Fa Yao was 79 year old at that time.
Song of South Dynasty in Jiang Shi Jia Zhuan (江氏家传) records, Jiang Tong, also called Ying Yuan. When he was the Jin Dynasty’s Min Huai Tai Zi Xian Ma (GT), he suggested to the emperor that the west royal garden’s selling of vinegar, flour, veggies and tea was really bad for the country.
Song Lu (宋录) records, Song of South Dynasty, Xin An Wang (NT) Liu Ziluan and his brother Yu Zhang Wang (NT) Liu Zishang went Bagong Mountain to visit Tanji Dao Ren (taoist monk). Tanji Dao Ren served them with tea. Liu Zishang tasted the tea and said, this is sweet dew, how can this be tea?
In Za Shi (杂诗), Wang Wei’s poem says: Empty and lonely buildings, waited but you are still not back, retreat and drink tea instead.
Bao Zhao’s younger sister Ling Hui wrote a poem Xiang Ming Fu (香茗赋).
Qi of South Dynasty Shi Zu Wu Emperor says in his will, after I die, don’t sacrifice animals for me, just some cakes, fruit, tea, rice, alcohol, and dried fruits are sufficient.
Liang of South Dynasty, in a thank you letter from Liu Xiaochuo to Jin An Wang (NT), Li Mengsun has passed along the king’s mind. I’m honoured to receive eight food items, rice, alcohol, melon, bamboo shoots, pickled veggie, dried fish, vinegar and tea.
In Za Lu (杂录), Tao Hongjing says, drinking tea can make the body light. In old times, Dan Qiu Zi and Huang Shan Jun often drank tea.
Hou Wei Lu (后魏录) records, Wang Su from Langya loved tea and chun cai soup when he was an official for the South Dynasty. When he returned to the north, he enjoyed lamb and yogurt. Someone asked him, how is tea compared to yogurt? Wang Su says, tea is not inferior to yogurt.
Tong Jun Lu (桐君录) records, Xiyang, Wuchang, Lujiang and Jinling area, people love tea. When guest visit, host served them with tea. The foam of tea is very beneficial to body. Most drinkable plant, we use their leaves, except tian men dong and ba jia, which we use their roots. Both are beneficial to body. In Badong, there is another really good tea. It impossible to sleep after drinking it. Locals also use sandalwood leaves and da zao li boiled together for drinking after it’s cooled. There’s another gua lu wood in the south. It also looks like tea but the taste is bitter. Grind the leaves then boil for drinking. It also makes people sleepless all night long. Salt makers rely on this drink when working, especially in Jiaozhou and Guangzhou area. When guests comes, they serve this beverage first. Usually they add some spice when boiling the beverage.
Kun Yuan Lu (昆元录), on the Wushe mountain 175 km northwest of Chenzhou Xupu Xian, the minority group has the custom of dancing on the mountain whenever it’s a good day. There are many tea tress on the mountain.
Kuo Di Tu (括地图) records, 70 km to the east of Linsui Xian, there is a tea brook.
In Wu Xing Ji (吴兴记) Shan Qianzhi says, 10km to the west of Wucheng Xian is Wen Mountain where they produce royal tea.
Yiling Tu Jing (夷陵图经) records, Huangniu, Jinmen, Nvguan and Wangzhou Mountains all produce tea.
Yongjia Tu Jing (永嘉图经) records, 150km east of Yongjia Xian is a white tea mountain.
Huaiyin Tu Jing (淮阴图经) records, 10km south of Shanyang Xian there is a slope of tea.
Chaling Tu Jing (茶陵图经) records, Chaling means the valley that produces tea.
Ben Cao · Mu Bu (本草·木部) records, ming is ku tu, sweet and bitter in the taste, slightly cold property. Not poisonous. It cures hemorrhoids, is a diuretic,clears phlegm, quenches thirst, cools the heat in the body, reduces sleeping. Plucked in the autumn, it’s bitter, but helps with circulation and digestion.
Ben Cao · Cai Bu (本草·菜部) records, ku tu, also called tea, xuan, you dong. It’s grown in the valleys in Sichuan. It won’t die even in cold winter. Pluck on March 3rd and dry.
Zhen Zhong Fang (枕中方) records, for curing lingering hemorrhoid, use ku tu and centipede roasted together. Once you smell the roasty aroma, take equal amount of each, smash and sift. Wash the effected area with boiled gan cao soup, then cover it with this powder.
Ru Zi Fang (孺子方) records, for kids’ convulsions without a clear cause, boild a ku tu and green onion root soup and drink it.