What Tea did the Ancients drink?

Based on historical data, there are 67 tea producing areas in Tang Dynasty, 8 tea producing areas mentioned in Lu Yu’s <Tea Classic 茶经>, 43 states (counties), which are equivalent to 13 provinces today. In Tang Dynasty, there were more than 50 kinds of famous tea, most of which were steamed green cake tea, and a small amount of loose tea, including green tea and yellow tea. At that time, Guzhu Purple Bamboo Shoot tea from Wuyue (Jiangsu and Zhejiang) and Mengshan Purple Bamboo Shoot tea from Xishu (Sichuan) were the most popular products of the Tang emperor. Tang tribute tea producing house is located in Hutou Cliff on the side of Guzhu mountain, Changxing County, Zhejiang Province, which was founded in 770. It is the place to supervise the production of tribute tea Guzhu tea in Tang Dynasty, it is also the first tea processing factory in Chinese history. Read More

Purple Bamboo Shoot Tea Cake 紫笋饼茶

In the Song Dynasty, there were 101 states produced tea, and more than 90 kinds of famous tea, white tea was added. Dragon and Phoenix tea cake was the main part of tribute tea, steamed green tea and cake tea were the main parts, loose tea came from Zhejiang tea producing area. Tea production technology and tea quality were improved in Southeast tea area, tea was widely cultivated in Huainan, Jiangnan, Zhejiang, Jinghu and Fujian, and the quality of tea was higher than that of Sichuan. Southeast and Sichuan tea producing areas in the Song Dynasty, the transformation of two tea economic status formed two tea political systems. Cai Xiang’s <Tea Record 茶录> and Zhao Ji’s <Treatise on Grand Sight of Tea 大观茶论> have all mentioned the site of “Beiyuan Tribute Roasting” Beiyuan tribute tea garden, which is located in Jianzhou, Fujian Province, the relics of stone inscriptions in Beiyuan tribute tea garden of Song Dynasty were discovered on the hillside of Linlong, Baoqian natural village, Peiqiao village, Dongfeng Town, Jian’ou City, Fujian Province in 1985.

Small Dragon Tea Cake 小龙团茶

In the Yuan Dynasty, tea planting area expanded almost all over southern China. There were more than 60 kinds of famous tea, including loose tea and cake tea, cake tea gradually declined. It was mainly made of loose tea and powder tea, the steaming technology was adopted. Wuyi Mountain tea was emphasized in the Yuan Dynasty, the Royal Tribute Tea Bureau was set up on the South Bank of Siqu of Jiuqu River in Wuyi Mountain, it was soon renamed “Royal Tea Garden”. In the third year of Shun Dynasty (1332 AD), Jianning official was in charge of tea production Tongxian well built a high platform, called “Drum beating platform”. It is said that every year on the day of the Waking of Insects (3rd solar term), Chongan county magistrate will hold a grand opening ceremony here. Officials at all levels should personally visit the mountain platform and offer sacrifices to the tea God. The tea farmers gathered under the stage and cried out: “Tea sprouts! Tea sprouts!” The sound is heard all over the valley, today, this ritual has been restored in Wuyi Mountain.

Tea Cake 团茶

There were nearly 100 kinds of famous tea in Ming Dynasty, the first founder of Ming Dynasty abandoned cake tea and promoted loose tea. Although there were still steamed green cake tea, there were more and more loose tea in steamed green and roasted green tea. The tea production system and tea ceremony underwent an epoch-making change. Zhu Quan’s book <Tea Notes 茶谱> has not only improved the tea ceremony art since the Tang and Song Dynasties, but also laid a theoretical foundation for the development of tea drinking in the Ming Dynasty and later literati. Read More Except for the areas where the ecological environment is not suitable for the growth of tea trees, tea plants had been planted in the places where no tea has been produced. During the complete victory period of tea development, sun dried tea, dark tea and flower tea had been added, such as orange tea, lotus tea, other flowers. For the needs of war, loose tea were steamed and piled into black color and pressed into blocks, it is conducive to transportation and storage.
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Palace brick tea in Qing Dynasty

In the Qing Dynasty, tea planting technology developed to a new period, and the propagation technology made a major breakthrough on the basis of the Ming Dynasty. A whole set of science and technology, such as direct seeding, transplanting, cutting and layering of tea seeds, as well as tea garden management such as pruning and grass laying, has been quite mature and has developed to a new peak period. The number of tea producing provinces in China has reached 16, and the area of tea plantation in China has been expanding. In the Qing Dynasty, the manufacturing technology of all kinds of tea was improved, green tea developed in an all-round way, black tea flourished, especially the appearance of Oolong tea, which marked the maturity of traditional tea. Green tea, yellow tea, black tea, white tea, black tea and oolong tea are all available. A lot of tea items are the traditional famous teas which are still preserved up to now.

Tea Cream 茶膏

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