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AS SOON as a medicinal value began to be attributed to tea by the
inhabitants of Southwestern China, a demand sprang up for supplies of
the raw leaf, a demand which the Chinese met by cutting down the wild
trees, sometimes thirty feet in height, in order to strip the leaves
from the branches. In time this destructive method threatened to
completely denude the forests of tea trees, so to offset the results
of such a practice, and to develop a more conveniently available
source of supply, a primitive from of tea cultivation was begun, based
upon the lessons learned from other agricultural efforts.
For instance, the tea plant was observed by those early husbandman to
be very like the walnut tree in that “its roots spread downward until
they encountered gravel, and then the tender plants grew up.” From
this they concluded that tea plants would best thrive in a soil
composed of disintegrated stone, with gravelly soil second best, and
clay quite unsuitable. Consequently, the first seeds were sown and
the plants cultivated in selected ground found in the hill districts
of Szechwan.
This was about A.D.350. By the time of the T'ang dynasty, A.D.620 -
907, tea drinking had become so general throughout the kingdom that a
rapidly increasing demand had induced farmers in most of the provinces
to plant small patches of tea in odd corners and on the hillsides. In
this way the cultivation spread from the Szachwan districts down the
Yangtze valley and thence along the seaboard. By the time of the Sung
dynasty, A.D. 960-1127, it had reached the Singlo hill district in the
present province of Anhwei, Chins's finest green tea area, and to the
equally celebrated black tea district of the Bohea Hill, between the
provinces of Fukien and Kiangsi.

2-2 The First Book Tea

During the greater part of the time while the cultivation was thus
spreading through China, such meager knowledge as existed regarding
tea culture and manufacture was disseminated almost entirely by word
of mouth. While it is true that some slight mention of tea had been
made in contemporary writings, most of these tea references were
fragmentary, and could furnish to the agriculturist little or no
practical guidance. In remained for Lu Yu, a Chinese scholar, to
compile, about A.D.780, the Ch'a Ching, the first book to be devoted
in its entirety to the tea. To Lu Yu the early Chinese agriculturists
were heavily indebted. And if their debt was heavy, how much more so
is the debt which all the world owes. But for the knowledge imparted
by the Ch'a Ching concerning the cultivation and manufacture of tea,
the world might have remained in ignorance of the joys of tea drinking
until long after the time of Jacobson, Gordon, Ball, Fortune, and
others who learned much from this work at a time when tight-lipped
Chinamen found it convenient to be mute. For it must be remembered
that tea, then as precious as the gold of Ophir, was not a subject to
be lightly discussed with foreigners, nor were the secrets of its
growth and preparation to be disclosed. Yet disclosed they were, for
the Ch'a Ching opened the closely guarded mystery to the prying
foreigners. Undoubtedly these people from other lands would have
learned all the essential facts in time, but the Ch'a Ching simplified
their quest and hastened the day of universal knowledge. Logically,
the situation was incongruous. This is apparent when we consider that
the very merchants who were most jealous in guarding the secrets of
tea from the foreigners were the ones responsible for the written
record which disseminated the vital facts among them.

2-3 Lu,Yu,China's Romantic Comedian

The tea merchants, in casting about for someone to gather together
all the fragmentary knowledge of their industry, happily hit upon
Lu Yu, a colorful personality of high ability and wide versatility.
From fugitive references here and there in Chinese literature it is
easy to piece together the story of Lu Yu's adventurous life.
According to the fanciful story of his origin -- a story savoring of
the Biblical account of Moses in the bulrushes -- he was a foundling.
A native of Fu-Chow, in Hupeh, he is thought to have been found by a
Buddhist priest and to have been adopted by him. Later, when Lu Yu
refused to join the priesthood, he was set at menial tasks in the hope
that the discipline would tame his proud spirit, teach him true
humility, and fit him for the practicalities of a staid and proper
eighth-century conventionalism. Irked by such servile duties, Lu Yu,
always an extreme individualist, heard the call of the open road, and
fled. He became a clown, a longcherished ambition. Wherever he went
delighted crowds acclaimed him for his antics, but he was far from
being happy. His is the old, old story of the saddened heart hidden
beneath the motley jacket. In Lu Yu's case, however, the discontent
came from a frustrated ambition for learning. He was a pantaloon, if
you will, with a deep yearning for knowledge. One of his many admirers,
an official, became a patron who supplied him with books to educate
himself. China's world of books, that vast storehouse of ancient
wisdom, was opened to him. He absorbed it greedily. Lu Yu then became
fired with further ambition; he wanted to add to the national store of
knowledge-he even yearned to create. The tea merchants offered the
very opportunity he sought. They needed someone who could put together
the disconnected knowledge of their growing industry; they needed his
genius to emancipate tea from its crude commercialism and lead it to
its final idealization. Lu Yu saw in the tea service the same harmony
and order that rules in all things. He became the first apostle of tea.
In the Ch'a Ching he gave his patrons the “Tea Memoir,”or, as it is
sometimes called, “Tea Scripture,” or “Tea Classic.” He was the
first to formulate a Code of Tea, out of which, later on, the Japanese
developed the Ceremony.
Lu Yu found himself famous ,and -- what is, indeed, rare -- in his
own country. It was futile for him to insist feet were of clay; his
admirers knew better. They literally canonized him, and he has been
worshiped ever since as the patron saint of the Chinese tea merchants.
If, as Ruskin said,“to see a thing and tell it in plain words is the
greatest thing a soul can do,” then no one will deny Lu Yu his place
among the immortals.
The last years of his life were sweet, or should have been. Lu Yu
was befriended by the emperor, and none there were too rich or too
poor to pay him reverence. But disillusionment stalked his footsteps.
Life was a comedy, yes, but too much of a comedy but not to be taken
seriously. Was that, after all, its hidden meaning? He must think it
out. Were the sages right? Only in meditation could he find the way.
He would seek the truth in the belief it would make him whole. He
would withdraw into the solitudes and again seek the solution of
life's mystery. And so he arrived back at his starting point; his life
had come full circle. Had not the great Confucius taught that“they
who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who
love it are equal to those who find pleasure in it”?
So in 775 he became a hermit. Five years later the Ch'a Ching was
published, and in 804 Lu Yu died.

2-4 Translation Digest of Ch'a Ching

The copy of the Ch'a Ching from which this digest was made is in
library of the University of London. Its title page states that it was
written by Lu Yu, alias Hung-Chang, of the T'ang dynasty, A.D 620-907
that he was born in the district of Chin Ling; and that the book was
edited and the proofs read by Wang Shih Hsien of the Ming dynasty,
In the preparation of this digest, an acknowledgment is due the late
Sir Edward Denison Ross. Ph.D, C.I.E., M.R.A.S., F.A.S.B., Director,
School of Oriental Studies, London Institution, University of London.
An equal debt is acknowledged to Mr.Z.L.Yih, part-time lecturer, also
of the School of Oriental Studies, London Institution, for the
excellent translation of the original which has been closely followed.
The explanatory matter inclosed in brackets is the translator's or the
[The Ch'a Ching consists of three volumes with ten parts in all.
In the first part Lu Yu treats of the nature of the tea plant, in the
second of the utensils for gathering the leaves, and in the third of
the manipulation of the leaves. The fourth part is devoted to
enumerating and describing the twenty-four implements of tea equipage.
In this part may be noticed Lu Yu's predilection for Taoist symbolism
and the influence of tea upon Chinese ceramics. In the fifth part Lu
Yu describes the infusion method. The remaining chapters treat of the
ordinary methods of tea drinking, an historical summary, famous tea
plantations, and illustrations of tea utensils.]


Part I.-- the Origin of Tea

Tea is a fine tree of the South. Its height is from one to two feet
to several tens of feet. The tea plants which grow on the hills and by
the streams of Pa Shan [in the province of Szeehwan] are sometimes so
big that it takes two men to encircle them with their arms. They are
cut down and then their leaves are plucked. A tea plant is like kua lu,
a tree growing in Canton, the leaves of which are bitter and acrid in
taste; its leaves are like those of the gardenia; its flowers are like
the white cinnamon roses; its seeds are like those of the palm and
coconut palm; its stalks are like those of the clove, and its roots
are like those of a walnut tree. The roots of the two plants spread
downwards until they reach gravel and broken tiles, and the tender
plants shoot up.
In regard to the Chinese character ch'a, it has “grass,”¨, as its
radical part; sometimes it has “tree,” 木, as its radical part; and
sometimes it has both “grass” and “tree” as its radical parts. The
character with “grass” as its radical part is the ch'a, 茶, which is
found in K'ai Yuan Wen Tzu Yin I [a dictionary]. That with “tree”as
its radical part is the t'u 木茶, which is found in Pen Ts'ao [Shen
Nung's materia medica].*1) The character having both“grass”and“tree”
as its radical parts is the ch'a which is found in Erh Ya [the ancient
Chinese dictionary, begun, as some claim, by the Duke of Chou, d. ca.
1105 B.C., and annotated about A.D. 350 by the learned commentator Kuo
P'o, who added a definition of tea under the name of kia, 槓; k'u t'u,
苦茶]. In regard to the names given to tea, it is called ch'a, kia,
she, ming, and ch'uan. Chou Kung said that kia was bitter t'u. Yang
Hsiung [53 B.C.-A.D.18 , a brilliant scholar] said that the people in
the southwestern part of Szechwan referred to ch'a as she. Kuo P'o
said that what was plucked early was ch'a, and what was plucked later
was ming, which was otherwise known as ch'uan.
The most favorable ground [for growing tea] is where there is to be
found the soil of disintegrated stones. The next best is where gravel
is present in the soil; the least favorable ground is yellow clay. The
method [of cultivating a tea plant] is just like that of growing the
melon. The leaves can be plucked after three years.
The wild tea plants found growing in the open are of superior
quality; those found growing in confined spaces are of secondary
quality. Of those to be found growing on cliffs exposed to the sun or
in a shady forest, the dark brown leaves are best, the green leaves
are of the next quality, the new shoots are better than the buds, and
the curled leaves [tips] are better than the uncurled ones. The leaves
of the plants grown on the shady sides of hill slopes and valleys
should not be plucked.
The effect of tea is cooling.*2) As a drink, it suits very well
persons of self-restraint and good conduct. When feeling hot, thirsty,
depressed,suffering from headache, eye-ache, fatigue of the four limbs,
or pains in the joints, one should drink tea only, four or five times.
The beverage is like dark red wine and sweet dew. If the tea leaves
are not plucked at the proper season, are not properly prepared, and
are mixed with herbs, they cause disease if consumed. The danger of
tea is just like that of ginseng [the root of a plant valued by the
Chinese as a strengthening medicine]. The best kind of ginseng grows
in Shang T'ang [in the province of Shansi], the medium kind grows in
Pai Chi and Hsin Lo [both in the south of Korea], and the inferior
kind grows in Korea. Those which grow in Tse Chou [in the province of
Shansi] I Chou, Yu Chou, and T'an Chou [all in the province of
Chih-li] have no value as medicine. Those which are not ginseng are
worse still. To know the danger of ginseng is [by analogy] to know
that of tea.

2-6 Part II -- The Utensils

A square or round basket with the capacity of five shengs, one tou,
two tous, or three tous is made of bamboo.*3) The tea gatherer carries
it on his or her back while plucking tea. A furnace in which the pan
has to be deeply sunk should not be used. A pan with broad brim should
be used. There is a wooden or an earthenware steamer to which is
attached a sort of mat made of bamboo. [There were seven holes at the
bottom of the steamer, so a bamboo mat or a piece of cloth was
necessary.] A pestle and mortar which have been in constant use are to
be preferred. A round or square mold,sometimes with flowery designs,
is made of iron. An anvil is made of stone, ash, or mulberry tree,
half of which is buried in the ground in order to render it immovable.
A piece of cloth made of oiled silk or old cloth is put between the
mold and anvil while tea is being manufactured [molded].
A network with square holes made of bamboo splints two feet five
inches by two feet,*4) having a handle five inches long is an
implement on which the [cake] tea is placed. An awl with the handle
made of hardwood is used for boring holes in order to string the cake
tea together. A bamboo implement is used for separating [the cakes of]
A baking [drying or firing] ditch is constructed ten feet long, two
feet five inches wide, and two feet deep, around which is built a wall
two feet high.
Bamboo splints two feet five inches long are used for stringing tea
for baking.
A wooden shed of two stories is built above the baking ditch.
The half-dried tea is put on the lower story and the thoroughly dried
tea is put on the upper story.
In some parts, as in Kiangsu and Anhwei, the tea package is made of
bamboo matting. In Szechwan, it is made up with the bark of a tree.
In Kiangsu and Anhwei, a large package contains one catty, a medium
one contains half a catty, and a small one contains four or five
ounces. In Szechwan a large package contains one hundred and twenty
catties, a medium one contains eighty catties, and a small one
contains fifty catties.*5) A basket with a wooden frame is made of
bamboo splints. It is divided by a partition. There is a cover on the
upper part; a door opens from one side of the lower part, in which
there is a receptacle containing a very gentle fire. It is an
hourglass-shaped basket for refiring.

2-7 Part III. -- Manipulation of Leaf

Tea is generally plucked during March, April, or May. On rich soil,
the tea shoots [the flush], four or five inches long like the green
stalks of the bracken and thorn ferns, are plucked. The best of the
three, four, or five tea shoots growing on the thick branches is
plucked. It is not plucked on a rainy or cloudy day. It is plucked
only when the weather is fine. It is steamed, pounded, patted, baked,
packed, and repacked. [First it was packed in a paper bag to retain
the flavor and next wrapped in grass-bamboo matting or tree bark.]
There are a thousand different appearances of tea leaves. Generally
speaking, some look like the Tartar's boors [wrinkled], some look like
the buffalo's breast [regularly shaped], some look like the floating
clouds [curled] arising from the mountains, look like the ripples on
water caused by a breeze [slightly wrinkled], some look dull brown,
and some look like a piece of newly cultivated land covered with
puddles [uneven] after violent rain. These are good tea. Others are
like the first leaves of the bamboo shoots; they are hard and stiff,
and it is difficult to steam and pound them; again, there are others
which look like the lotus under frost-both the stalk and leaves wither.
These are old and bad tea. [Another translation of the above passage
renders it:“The best quality leaves must have creases like the
leathern boot of Tartar horsemen. curl like the dewlap of a mighty
bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake
touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like fine earth newly swept
by rain.”]
From plucking to final packing, there are seven processes. From the
appearance of the Tartar's boosts to that of the lotus under frost,
there are eight grades. Those who attribute smoothness, darkness, and
flatness to good tea are connoisseurs of an inferior order; those who
attribute wrinkles, yellowness, and uneven surface to good tea are the
ordinary connoisseurs; those who hold the opinion that these qualities
may or may not belong to good tea are the superior connoisseurs.
Because whether tea is good or otherwise depends upon its flavor. The
tea leaves which contain the juice are smooth, and when it is squeezed
out the wrinkles appear. The tea which is manufactured by a slow
process [consuming more than a day] is dark. If it is manufactured in
a day it is yellow. The tea which is steamed and pressed becomes flat,
and if it is not pressed, then its surface is uneven.

2-8 Part IV. -- Implements for Preparation

[This part is addressed to the consumer, and. taken in connection
with the parts which follow, presents Lu Yu's Tea Code.]
1.- A stove made of brass, iron, or mud in the shape of an ancient
2.- A basket one foot two inches in height and seven inches in
diameter is made of bamboo. Sometimes a container is made of rattans
in the shape of a circular basket with hexagonal holes.
3.- A six-cornered poker one foot long, made of iron.
4.- A pair of tongs one foot three inches long, made of iron or
5.- A boiler made of pig iron or wrought iron; its inner surface is
smooth but the outer surface is rough. It is of earthenware in some
places, and is made of stone in others; both are elegant utensils, but
do not last long. The best is the silver boiler which is very clean
and will wear well.
6.- A stand for the boiler to rest on.
7.- A small green bamboo about one foot two inches long is split
just beneath its knob [joint] for baking tea; the flavor and fragrance
of the latter will be improved through the bamboo juice. Where bamboo
cannot be obtained, the implement is made of wrought iron or brass for
its durable quality. [Sometimes, in order to improve the flavor of the
tea with the juice of the fresh green bamboo, it was toasted in split
bamboo tongs.]
8.- A paper bag made of thick white paper, used for keeping the
baked tea so that it may not lose its fragrant flavor.
9.- An apparatus to grind tea, made of wood. The space inside is
circular so as to permit the free movement of the wheel which crushes
the tea as it is forced to move along. As it is square, it stands
firmly and does not fall over easily. There is a tiny brush made of a
bird's feather.
10.- A sieve made of bamboo and covered with a piece of gauze is put
in the lid of a case in which there is a measure. The case, two inches
in height and four inches in diameter, is made of bamboo or lacquered
wood, and its lid is one inch high.
11.- A measure made of a seashell, bamboo, brass, or iron.
Generally speaking, a cubic inch of tea is used in one sheng [Chinese
pint] of water. The quantity can be reduced or increased according to
whether one desires to have weaker or stronger tea.
12.- A water tank with the capacity of one tou [about 2 1/3 gallons],
made of wood the cracks of which are filled with lacquer.
13.- The frame of a water-straining bag is made of unmanufactured
copper, as manufactured copper is deemed to collect moss and dirt,
and iron is deemed to emit offensive odor and to render the water
acrid to the taste. In the mountainous regions, sometimes a bamboo or
wooden frame is used, but for durability it must be made of
unmanufactured copper. The straining bag is made of green [raw] silk
with ornament, and is covered with an outer bag of green oilcloth; the
diameter of the latter bag is five inches, and its handle is an inch
and half long.
14.- A ladle made of a gourd or wood.
15.- A pair of sticks one foot long made of wood, the two ends
inlaid with silver.
16.- A china salt-cellar four inches in diameter in the shape of a
case. Sometimes it is a bottle or cup. The salt spoon is made of
bamboo four inches long by one inch wide.
17.- A jar for boiled water with the capacity of two shengs is made
of china or sand [porcelain or earthenware].
18.- The china cups from Yueh Chou [Shao Hsing, a district in
Chekiang] are the best. Those from Ting Chou [ Ch'ang Te, a district
in Hunan], Wu Chop [Chin Hua, a district in Cheshire], Yo Chou [Yo
Yang, a district in Hunan], Suou Chop [the district of Suou in Anhwei],
and Hung Chou [Nan, Ch'ang, a district in Kiangsi] are not so good.
[Lu Yu considered the blue glaze of the North the ideal color for the
teacup, because it lent additional greenness to the beverage; whereas,
the white made it look pinkish and distasteful. It must be remembered
he used cake tea. Later on, when the Sung tea masters took to powdered
tea, they prepared heavy bowls of blue, black, and dark brown. The
Mingy, with their steeped tea, rejoiced in light ware of white
19.- A basket mabe of rushes [which] can hold ten cup.
20.- A brush made of the coir [coconut] palm tied together with
string between two pieces of wood or inserted in a short piece of
bamboo in the shape of a large writing brush.
21.- A slop basin similar to the water tank made of wood having a
capacity of eight shengs.
22.- A dust bin similar to the slop basin having a capacity of five
23.- Two cloth towels two feet long to be used for cleaning the
24.- A sideboard [cabinet] six inches high, three feet long, and two
feet wide is a sort of bed or stand with doors which can be shut or
opened as desired. It is varnished yellow or black and is used for
keeping the implements.
The all-in-one bamboo basket, one foot five inches high, two feet
four inches long, and two feet wide, is for keeping all the implements.
[Here may be noticed Lu Yu's predilection for Taoist symbolism.]

2-9 Part V. -- Infusion

Tea should not be baked before a wind which will render the fire
unsteady and which will cause uneven baking. It should be turned over
often, and taken away about five inches from the five when its surface
becomes uneven as the back of toad. As soon as it recovers its
original form, it should be baked again until its flavor indicates it
is baked sufficiently, or until it is as soft as if baked under the
sun. At the beginning, if the tea is very tender, it should be
pounded while hot immediately after being steamed; the leaves will be
pulpy, but the shoots remain as they are.
After baking [as described in the first paragraph] it should be put
in a paper bag so that it will not lose its fragrant flavor. It should
be ground when it is cold. The fuel should be charcoal, and the next
best is hard wood, such as mulberry or plane tree. The charcoal fire
on which meat has been cooked, and which has been tainted with an
offensive odor, should be avoided; while fragrant woods, such as
juniper and pine trees, and old and rotten woods, should not be used
as fuels.
In regard to water, the spring in a mountainous region is the best;
the slowly flowing water is preferred, and the rapid or torrent,
which, if drunk often would cause trouble at the neck, should be
avoided. The water of a river is the next best, and that of a well is
the last for quality. When the water first boils, there appears
something like the eyes of fishes on the surface, and a little noise
can be heard. Then appears something like a spring rushing forth and a
string of pearls at the side; this is the second boiling. Then the
waves and breakers come along; this is the third boiling. After that
the water will be overboiled and should not be drunk. When the water
first boils, put in a pinch of salt. The quantity should vary
according to that of the water. During the second boiling, take out a
ladleful and stir the water in the middle part with a pair of small
bamboo sticks; as soon as the waves and breakers come along, they
should be stopped bypouring in again the water jjust taken out;this is
done to improve the quality of the liquid.
For drinking, make tea in a cup and let there be froths, which are
the essence of beverages. One sheng of water is for five cups. The
first and second cups are the best and the third one is the next best.
One should not drink the fourth and fifth cups unless one is very
thirsty. Drink tea while hot, as then the heavy and impure stuffs as
at the bottom and the best part, which will vanish as soon as it
evaporates, is floating on the top. Moreover, cold tea would cause

2-10 Part VI. -- Drinking

The birds, animals, and human beings all have to drink and eat to
live. In regard to drinks, boiled water is to quench thirst, wine to
drown sorrow, and tea is to avoid sleepiness.
The as a beverage was discovered by the [legendary] Emperor Shen
Nung, and was known to the Duke of Chou [author of the Erh Ya,d. 1105
B.C.];*6) Yen Ying [d. 493 B.C.], Yang Hsiung [53 B.C.-A.D. 18], Wei
Yao [of the third century A.D.], Liu Kun [d. A.D. 317], and other
notable personages all drank tea.
Drinking tea was very popular in the T'ang dynasty, A.D.620-907. In
some parts of Honan, Shensi, Hunan, and Szechwan the drink was
universal. There is ordinary tea and ground tea. What is called cake
tea is put in a jar or bottle after being pounded, and the boiling
water is poured over it. Sometimes onion, ginger, jujube, orange peel,
and peppermint are used, and it is permitted to boil for some time
before skimming off the froth. Alas! This is the slop water of a ditch.
There are nine steps in connection with tea: (1) manufacturing;
(2) distinguishing good from bad tea; (3) implements; (4) fire;
(5) water; (6) baking; (7) grinding; (8) infusion;and (9) drinking. To
pluck tea on a cloudy day and to bake it at night is not the proper
way of manufacturing. To smell it and taste it by chewing is not the
proper way to distinguish good from bad tea. A rank-smelling pot or
jar is not the proper utensil. Fragrant wood and charcoal used in the
kitchen are not the proper fuels for the fire. Neither rapid nor
stagnant water is suitable for making tea. Being well baked outside
but raw inside is not the proper way of baking. Ground tea with dust
is the result of improper grinding. To make tea not with ease, and to
stir suddenly, is not proper way of infusing. To drink tea in summer,
and to abandon it in winter, is not the proper way of consumption.
The best are the first three cups, which are full of fragrant flavor.

2-11 Part VII. -- Historical Record

[This part is a compilation of historical references to tea, which
had been published by earlier authors.]
Extract from Fang Yen [a comparative vocabulary of words and phrases
used in different parts of the empire], by Yang Hsiung [53 B.C.-A.D.18,
a brilliant scholar]: “The people in the southwestern part of
Szeehwan called ch'a as she.”
Extract from Shih Ching [Food Classic] by Shen Nung:*7) “To drink
ch'a and ming constantly makes one strong and is exhilarating.”
Extract from Erh Ya, by Chou Kung [Duke of Chou]:“Kia means bitter
Extract from Kuang Ya [a dictionary by Chang I, of the Later Wei
dynasty, A.D.386-535]:

In the district between the provinces of Hupeh and Szeehwan the
leaves are plucked and made into cakes; those made of old leaves are
mixed with rice. To make tea as a drink, bake the cake until reddish
in color, pound it into tiny pieces, put them in a chinaware pot, pour
boiling weter over them and add onion, ginger, and orange. The drink
renders one sober from intoxication and keeps one awake.

Extract from Yen Tsu Ch'un Ch'iu [the sayings of Yen Ying, d.493
B.C.]: “When Yen Ying was the chief official of the Duke of Ch'i, he
ate unpolished rice, three roasted birds, five eggs, and took mind and
Extract from “The Biography of Wpi Yao”[third century A.D.], in
The History of the State of Wu:

Whenever Sun Hao [A.D. 242-283], the ruler of We,gave a dinner, he
always used seven shengs of wine as the limit. Though he did not drink
all, he used the whole quantity by pouring some on the ground. Wei
Yao's capacity of drinking wine was not more then two shengs. Sun Hao
treated him at first with special favor and secretly gave him ch'a and
ch'uan instead of wine.

In the latter part of the Chin dynasty [A.D. 265-420],when Lu Na was
the chief official of the district of Wu Hsing [in the province of
Chekiang], the famous General Hsieh An [A.D.320-385] often desired to
pay him a visit. Lu Shu, a nephew of Lu Na, was surprised at the fact
that his uncle made no preparations, and yet dared not to ask him
about it; so he secretly hoarded a quantity of food sufficient for
scores of persons. When Hsieh An arrived, only tea and fruit were
given. Then Lu Shu gave out the chief dishes. After the distinguished
visitor had taken his departure, the host gave his nephew forty
strokes with a stick and said: “You have not been able to raise the
social status of your uncle [by becoming a high official or a
brilliant scholar], so why do you seek to sully his simple mode of
living by giving many dishes to the guest?"
Extract from Chin Shu [the history of the Chin dynasty]: “When Huan
Wen [A.D.312-373] was the governor of Yang Chou [in the province of
Kiangsu], he was frugal. When he took food and drink. he only put down
seven receptacles for tea and fruit."
Liu Kun, a famous general of the Chin dynasty [d. A.D.317], wrote to
his nephew, Liu Yen,the governor of Yen Chou[in the province of
Shantung] and said:

A catty of dried ginger of An Chou [in the province of Chihli], a
catty of the yellow-colored medicinal root and a catty of cinnamon,
which I have received, are the necessary things to me.
Now I feel aged and depressed and want some real tea. Send them on.

Extract from Erh Ya Chu [the commentary of Erh Ya,by Kuo P'o, ca.
A.D. 350]:

The plant [tea] is as small as the gardenia,and in winter has leaves
which can be made into a drink. What is plucked early is called ch'a *8)
and what is plucked later is called ming, otherwise known as ch'uan,
which is called bitter tea by the people of Szechwan.

During the rebellion of the four princes of the Chin dynasty, the
Emperor Hui Ti [A.D. 259-306] left the capital. When he returned he
was offered an earthenware bowl of tea by a eunuch.
The Emperor Wu Ti [who reigned A.D.483-493], of the South Ch'i
dynasty, left a will in which he said: “Do not offer me any cattle
as a sacrifice, give me only cakes, fruit, tea, dried rice, wine, and
dried meat.″
Extract from Hou Wei Lu [The Record of the Later Wei dynasty]:

While Wang Su [A.D.464-501] was an official of the Southern dynasty, he was
fond of tea and a vegetable stew. When he returned to the North, he
loved mutton and kumiss. He was asked as to which was the better of
the two. His answer was,“Tea is not fit to be the slave of Kumiss."

Extracts from Tung Chun Lu [a treatise on medicine]:

The people of Hsi Yang [in the province of Honan], Wu Ch'ang [in the
province of Hupeh]. Lu Chiang [in the province of Anhwei], and Chin
Ling [in the province of Kiangsu] are fond of tea. Some people make
pure ming; to drink ming which is frothy will do one good. All
beverages are mostly made from leaves; but in regard to Asparagus
Lucidus, its roots are used. The drinks are all good for human health.
In Pa Tung [a district in the province of Hupeh], there are real
ming and ch'a, which if made into a drink make one sleepless.
According to the custom, the leaves of sandalwood and ta tsao li
[a kind of plum tree] are used as tea. They are taken cold.
In the South there is the kua lu tree resembling ming. The leaves,
bitter and acrid to the taste,can be made into a drink as tea, and
also keep one sleepless the whole night. The people who boil
sea-water to get salt only consume this drink; they like to make
friends. When a visitor calls, he is first of all offered this tea
with some fragrant herbs.

Extract from K'un Yuan Lu:

Three hundred and fifty lis [140 miles] northwest from the city of
Hsu P'u in Ch'en Chou [in the province of Hunan], there is the Wu She
Mountain, which is full of tea plants. According to the barbarous
custom there, people assemble to sing and dance on the top of the
mountain whenever a happy event occurs.

Extract from I Ling T'u Ching [“The Topography of I Ling,"
a district in the province of Hupeh]: “Ch'a and ming are produced on
the Huang Niu, Ching Men, Nu Kuan, and Wang Chou mountains."

Extract from Ch'a Ling T'u Ching [The Topography of Ch'a Ling,
a district in the province of Hunan]:

Ch'a [tea] Ling [mound or hill] is so called because ch'a and ming
grow in the valleys and on the hills. According to the section on
trees of Pen Ts'ao [Shen Nung's work on materia medica], ming is
bitter ch'a; its taste is sweetishbitter; its nature is slightly cold
and it is not poisonous; it cures running sores and ulcers, stimulates
the activity of the kidneys. stops phlegm, quenches thirst, has a
cooling effect, and makes one less desirous of sleep; if it is plucked
in the autumn, it is bitter, cures the breathing trouble and improves
digestion. A commentator said that it should be plucked in spring.

Extract from Pen Ts'ao Chu [the commentary on Pen Ts'ao]:

“In The Book of Odes [a work edited by Confucius] it says:‘T‘u is
an all bitter vegetable. Bitter tea, ming, belongs to the family of
trees, and does not belong to that of vegetables. Ming is plucked
in spring and is called bitter ch'a 木茶'" [The character used is ch'a,
tea, with mu, tree, on the left.]

Extract from Jou Tzu Fang [prescriptions for children]: “Bitter
ch'a made with the rootlets of onions can cure children who are
frightened and tumble without apparent causes."

2-12 Part VIII. -- Producing Districts

[This part enumerates the famous tea districts of China where the
best teas were obtained.]
To the South of Chung Nan and T'ai Hua mountains, Hsia Chou [Ichang
in Hupeh]; to the south of the Huai River, Kuang Chou [Huang Ch'uan in
Honan]; to the west of Chekiang, Hu Chou [Wu Hsing in Chekiang]; in
Chien Nan [one of the ten political divisions during the T'ang dynasty];
P'eng Chou [P'eng Hsien in Szechwan]; to the east of Chekiang, Yueh
Chou [Shao Hsing in Chekiang]; and from En Chou [Yang Chiang in
Kwangtung]; Po Chou [Tsun I Kweichow]; Fei Chou [Fei Hsien in
Shantung]; I Chou [Chi Mo in Shantung]; Ao Chou [I Ch'un in Kiangsi];
Chi Chou [Chi Hsien in Shansi]; Fu Chou [Min Hou in Fukien]; Chien
Chou [Chien Ou in Fukien]; Shao Chou [Chu Chiang in Kwangtung]; and
Hsiang Chou [Hsiang Hsien in Kwangsi].

2-13 Part IX. -- General Summary

In the spring, when fire is prohibited [a festival during which cold
meals are eaten], if in an enclosure on a mountainous region or around
a ruined temple tea is plucked, steamed, pounded, and baked, then the
implements such as the awl, bamboo splints, and wooden shed for baking
can be omitted. If tea is prepared under pine trees and on a rock,
then the sideboard is not needed; if dry wood for fuel and a tripod
are used, then the stove, tongs, etc., are not needed; if a stream is
near by, then the water tank, slop basin, and water-straining bag are
not needed; if there are less than five persons, fine tea can be used,
and so the sieve is not needed; if tea is baked in a cave, pounded,
and kept in a paper bag, then the apparatus to grind and a tiny brush
are not needed; as the ladle, cups, small bamboo sticks,brush,jar for
boiled water,and salt-cellar can be put in a basket,the all-in-one
basket is not needed. If, however,one of the twenty-four implements is
missing in an aristocratic family inside the city,then tea cannot be prepared.

2-14 Part X. -- Memo Regarding Plates

[This part of the work is addressed to the tea merchants.] The Ch'a
Ching should be copied out and illustrated on four or six scrolls of
silk hung by the seat in one's studio,and then the origin,utensils for
gathering and manufacturing tea, implements for the preparation,
infusion, drinking, historical record, producing districts, and
general summary can be perused at any time. Thus, the Tea Classic is
complete from the beginning to the end.

*1.The Pen Ts'ao is popularly attributed to Shen Nung, a legendary emperor, said to‘have flourished ca. 2737 B.C., but was not written in its earllest from until the time of the Eastern-Han  dynasty,A.D.25-221.
*2.The Chinese consider a medicine either of a cold or a hot nature. For example, cinnamon is of a hot, and rhubarb of a cold. natural. Tea was long regarded a medicine in China.
*3.Sheng, a Chinese pint; 10 shengs = 1 tou = 2.315 gallons.
*4.Chinese feet and inches are meant throughout this translation. One foot, or 10 Chinese inches, equals approximately 14 English inches.
*5.Catty, 16 Chinese ounces, approximately 1 1/3 pounds avoirdupois.
*6.Lu Yu was mistaken in assuming that tea was known to the Duke of Chou. The definition of tea. in Erh Ya was added by Kuo P'o about A.D. 350.
*7.The Shih Ching, Food Classic, of Shen Nung, is not to be confused with the Shih Ching, Book of Odes, edited by Confucius, for they are entirely different books.
*8.Kun P'o used the character t'u, not ch'a. Ch'a, tea, did not come into use until some four centuris after Kud P'o.

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