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
In China, there has always been a saying that tea and wine compete for merit. But in the minds of Chinese literati, the status of tea is still above wine. Throughout the status of tea and wine in the poets’ minds, there is a process, a leading wine poetry first, tea and wine on an equal footing, to the tea dominating position. In the early Tang Dynasty, the poets used wine to boost their spirits. With the emergence of tea drinking groups such as Lu Yu and Jiao Ran, more and more poets of Tang Dynasty became associated with tea. The tea loving monk, Jiao Ran not only knew, loved and enjoyed tea, but also wrote many charming poems about tea, he thought that wein was far from tea “The elegance and purity of this tea is unknown to the world, people relying on drinking alcohol is to deceive themselves and others. 此物清高世莫知，世人饮酒多自欺 – <饮茶歌诮崔石使君>”. Jiao Ran discussed the art of tea drinking together with Lu Yu, the sage of tea, and advocated the tea tasting atmosphere of “replacing wine with tea”. He made great contributions to the development of tea culture in Tang Dynasty and later generations. Bai Juyi’s attitude towards tea and wine is more typical, “when there is no alcohol for guests to drink, 聊将茶代酒 for the moment, make do with tea instead of alcohol – <宿蓝溪对月>”, “We can know the strength of an alcoholic drink when we drive away the sorrow, we can see the effect of tea when we break the drowsiness 驱愁知酒力，破睡见茶功 – <赠东邻王十三>”, it was Bai Juyi who added a large amount of tea into the poetry world and made tea and wine keeping abreast of the world of poetry. From his poems, we can see the gradual rise and transformation of tea among literati.
Offering tea to guests is a virtue left over from ancient China in the land of rites, and it is a kind of noble etiquette in daily life to offer tea to guests. “山居偏隅竹为邻，客来莫嫌茶当酒” This is a couplet describing how to treat guests with tea. The meaning of the couplet is: I live in seclusion in the mountains, and the bamboo forest next to my residence is my neighbor. When relatives and friends come to visit, please don’t dislike me to treat you with tea instead of alcohol. This group of tea poem written by master Zhu Xi, the famous confucianist honoured as Zhu Zi in Song Dynasty, also known as “Tea Immortal 茶仙“, the couplet was inscribed in front of Sanxian temple in Shuilian cave, Wuyi Mountains. It shows Zhu Xi’s daily life of being close to nature and entertaining guests with tea when he lived in seclusion in Wuyi Mountains. At the same time, his “以茶喻学 analogy of his theory from tasting tea” was brought into full play, and his combination of “tea” and “theory” together created a different spark.
Good news for Chinese readers: this article has been published in the December 2020 <Tea Times 茶博览> tea magazine in Chinese, “嗜茶到种茶 欧洲出现种茶热？”. Read More
The highest level of tea drinking is to drink the tea you grow. I wonder if tea drinking people nowadays have one Mu (=0.0667 hectares) or one piece of tea garden belonging to you and drinking your own grown tea. At present, various tea producing areas in China are carrying out “ordering tea garden” and “private tea garden” and other tea projects. Bai Juyi of Tang Dynasty and Su Shi of Song Dynasty have also set an example for us in this respect. They have their own tea gardens, and they have grown tea by themselves without asking the tea growers to help them. Read More
The Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (TRICAAS) is the only national comprehensive tea research institution in China, located in the West Lake scenic spot of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province. It is mainly engaged in the research and service work in the fields of tea basic and applied basic science, scientific and technological industry development, tea quality and safety testing, industrial economy, organic tea certification, professional skill training of tea industry, academic journal editing, etc., and at the same time, it extensively carries out domestic and foreign cooperation and exchanges, as well as high-level personnel training, etc..
Good news for Chinese readers: this article has been published in the February 2020 <Tea Times 茶博览> tea magazine in Chinese, “Tschanara 一对韩德夫妇的“梦想茶园” page 42-45. Read More
The northernmost producing area in China had used to be Rongcheng Shandong (37° north latitude), since the “Introduction of South Tea to the North 南茶北引” movement had been succeeded in the 1960s. In recent years, the trial planting has been successful experimentally in Chifeng Neimenggu 41° N, it has changes the Chinese tea history again. On the other side of the earth, the inland city, Odenthal is located at 51° N in Germany, Tschanara tea garden has planted tea trees outdoor since 1999 there, is it a miracle or Camellia sinensis has more potentials to be developed? […]
Recycable, Environmentally-friendly or Creative
It is common to use a plastic propagation tray to germinate a large number of seeds and repot seedlings afterwards, since tea is a tree kind of plant which needs a longer space to develop a deep root system, we use the plate pots here in Germany. But are there some other options, on more recycable, environmentally-friendly or creative ways?
White tea 白茶 [bái chá] is a kind of very light fermented tea, the special tea kind of the six big Chinese tea kinds, which are white, yellow, green, oolong, black and dark teas. After a harvesting, fresh leaves need to withering, dry in the sun or dry with a gentle heat, unlike other tea processes, white tea leaves is lack of rolling processes. The good manufactured white teas are mainly buds with white hair as snow or silver, white teas in China are always used as herbal medicines. […]