History of Chinese Tea
1. The Shennong era: 5000 years ago, the Shennong era used raw leaves for medicinal purposes.
2. Western Zhou and Eastern Zhou: Before 3000, tea trees were cultivated artificially and served as food.
3. Qin Dynasty: Before 2300, it began to be used as a tea, boiled, and soup.
4. Han Dynasty:
(Western Han Dynasty) Before 2000, commercialization began, and Chengdu became the earliest distribution center for tea in my country.
(Eastern Han Dynasty) Around 1500, tea cakes were made for transportation.
5. Tang Dynasty: Before 1200, influenced by the economy and culture of the Tang Dynasty, and advocated by Lu Yu’s “The Classic of Tea”, the tea-drinking culture prevailed in the Tang Dynasty.
6. Song Dynasty: 1000 years ago, with the improvement of tea brewing skills and the emphasis on water quality, tea fighting became a trend.
7. Yuan Dynasty: 700 years ago, loose tea began to appear. Folks are mainly loose tea, and cake tea is mainly used by the royal court. The way of brewing tea began to appear, that is, brewing tea directly with boiling water. It laid the foundation for the rise of loose tea in Ming Dynasty.
8. Ming Dynasty: 600 years ago, Zhu Yuanzhang abandoned the group and changed it to scattered, and the crafts of yellow tea, dark tea and scented tea were formed one after another.
9. Qing Dynasty: 300 years ago, Chinese tea swept the world and dominated the world tea market. At that time, only China exported tea. The crafts were mainly roasted and fried, and oolong tea, black tea, dark tea, scented tea, green tea, and white tea were produced. .
·1846-1886 was the prosperous period of Chinese tea. The area of tea gardens continued to expand, and the output of tea increased rapidly, which effectively promoted the development of foreign trade.
·1886-1947 was a period of decline in China’s tea production, political, economic, and international tea market competition failed.
·1950-1988 was the period of recovery and development of China’s tea production. With the support and attention of the government, the old tea gardens were vigorously restored, new tea gardens were established, new varieties were improved, and scientific tea cultivation was promoted, and the tea economy was on the road of stable development. The production of tea ranks second in the world.
The historical development of tea application
The earliest way of using tea in the ancients was to chew raw food, and later boil it for drinking, just like people cook vegetables today. At that time, people only drank tea as soup, or used tea as vegetable to eat.
1. Medicinal use
The discovery and utilization of tea can be traced back to the primitive period. In my country’s first medical monograph “Shen Nong’s Materia Medica”, there was “Shen Nong’s taste of all kinds of herbs”. “Tea is used for medicinal purposes, chewed orally, clears heat, and is applied externally for anti-inflammatory and detoxification.
From raw chewing to cooking, tea leaves can be cooked with grain in “tea porridge”, or boiled, picked up, and seasoned. Today, the Jinuo people in Yunnan still have “cold tea dishes”.
Drinking comes from eating, and from eating to drinking is the pursuit of the original taste of tea. In modern times, there is still the custom of drinking tea. In pastoral areas, tea is mixed with milk to drink together. In minority areas, there are Lei tea and oil tea.
The history of tea drinking
1. The method of making tea in the Tang Dynasty
Before making tea, first crush the tea leaves, put the seasoning in after boiling the water, and then sprinkle the tea powder into the pot. When drinking, drink the tea residue and tea soup together while it is hot, which is called “eating tea”.
Tang people used to add seasonings to the tea soup, such as salt, onion, ginger or orange peel, etc. When making tea in the Tang Dynasty, Lu Yu strongly opposed this way of making tea, adding a little salt to taste at most when making tea. Since then, people in the Tang Dynasty began to promote the original flavor of tea soup when drinking tea, which laid the foundation for the rise of tea ceremony.
2. Tea ordering method in Song Dynasty
The way of drinking tea in the Song Dynasty rose to the height of aesthetics and reached the extreme. They decorated the tea cake with many patterns of dragon and phoenix, which are very delicate and called “Dragon and Phoenix Tea”.
First grind the cake tea into a fine powder, and brew the tea with boiling water. In order to integrate the tea powder with the water, use the tea whisk to beat quickly, the tea water is fully blended, and a lot of white tea foam appears in the tea cup. The matcha tea ceremony in Japan originated here.
3. Ming Dynasty tea brewing method
In the Ming Dynasty, the method of making tea and drinking tea was simplified again and again. Zhu Yuanzhang’s vigorous promotion of loose tea led to the alienation of tea. In the past, there was only green tea, and then other teas gradually appeared.
People in the Ming Dynasty believed that this method of drinking was “simple and unusual, full of interesting tastes, and it can be said to have the true taste of tea”. The method of brewing tea has also continued to this day. The tea is brewed without any seasoning, and the original taste and true taste of the tea are drunk. At the same time, the tea sets and methods used for brewing tea have also been simplified a lot, which is more conducive to the spread of tea culture.