Tea, this small leaf, once became a symbol of ancient China. Until today, tea is still a beautiful business card in China. Then, how does China have an indissoluble bond with tea?

Tea appeared in China earlier, in the "Erya" of the Warring States Period, there was a record about tea, and its "Interpretation of Wood" was an article about "槚, bitterness", "荼" ancient sound is cha, Hunan Guxian Fuling (now tea forest) is named after the production of tea. In the Western Han Dynasty, the scholar Wang Shu in the "Children's Covenant" wrote "cooking and cooking" and "Wuyang buying 荼", which shows that the wind of drinking tea has gradually emerged. In the Mawangdui Han Tomb of the same generation, a bamboo plaque unearthed on the label plate with the word "槚笥" is a device for tea.

The drinking tea has a long history, and the teas that are consumed by each of them are quite different. They can be roughly divided into three stages: porridge tea method, end tea method and loose tea method.

  • First, porridge tea method

During the Western Han Dynasty to the Six Dynasties, most of the Chinese people used this kind of comedy method to drink tea. First of all, the tea should be boiled with onion, ginger, jujube, orange peel, alfalfa, mint, etc., during which the spoon is used to remove the floating foam, and then the drinking is carried out. The so-called "Jin Song and Song Dynasties, Wu people take their leaves to cook, is for茗 porridge." A meal is as fierce as a tiger, similar to boiled soup, plus a variety of spices, presumably the entrance is particularly sour. In the Tang Dynasty, the tea sacred Lu Yu will vomit this porridge tea. “Use boiled onion, ginger, jujube, orange peel, glutinous rice, mint, etc., or boil it, or boil it, and discard the water between the ditch and the channel!”

During the Six Dynasties period, this porridge tea was more popular in the south. Wu Sunsun often used tea for wine at the banquet, and Yan Wen also used the tea banquet to advertise his own thrift. The people of the North said that they were under pressure and were hard to appreciate. They generally drank cow's milk drinks and mocked tea as a "sake slave." When the privilege was feasting, only the southern descendants of the scholars drank tea, and the king of the Northern Wei Dynasty, the official to Shangshang’s book, the singer of the king, liked to drink tea, and each time they had to drink tea, they got a nickname of “funnel”. The status of tea in the north is evident.

  • Second, the end of the tea method

Until the Tang Dynasty, the style of drinking tea was very strong in the north and south of the country. "Between Kaiyuan and Tianbao, there is a little tea, and there is a lot of tea in the German and Dali. After the founding of the Middle Kingdom, tea has entered the folk, and rice. Salt is no different.

The northerners gradually gave up their resistance to tea. On the one hand, because of the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty, the Zen Buddhism was popular in the north. The people who learned Zen need to sleep less and meditation. The ancients did not eat dinner. In order to refresh their spirits, the northerners had to make tea. Come and drink, "From now on, follow the example and become a custom." On the other hand, it is because there is an epoch-making master who changed the fate of tea at this time - Tea Saint Lu Yu.

"Since Lu Yusheng lived in the world, he learned spring tea." Lu Yu has three volumes of "Tea Classics" and discusses the tea ceremony in detail. The tea advocated in the "Tea Classic" is no longer an extensive porridge tea, but gradually transforms into refined tea. Lu Yu advocates drinking the last tea made from tea cake. The tea is suitable for the size of the rice. First, the water is boiled in the tea kettle until it is small bubbles, then put into the tea, stirred with bamboo pods, and the tea leaves are covered with water. When you are ready, you can drink it. A few decades after the publication of the Book of Tea, Lu Yu was on the altar and was worshipped by a tea merchant. The tea sellers will provide the porcelain Lu Yu statue next to the tea stove. When the business is good, it will be served with tea. If the business is not good, it will be poured.

In the late Tang Dynasty, the Tang people also raised a kind of "point tea method", which was to put the tea in the tea pot and then inject the boiled water into the brewing drink. The tea method can exert the characteristics of the end tea, and there are a lot of attention to the water flow, the water volume and the water drop point when water injection. It became the mainstream way of drinking tea in the two Song Dynasty.

The Song people often made tea into tea cakes, and they pursued the taste of “sweet and sweet”. They did not like the bitter taste of tea, and they used the brown color “pure white”. Under this unique requirement, Songren tea cake making process can be described as another way: first select the raw materials, take only one tea heart of the selected tea, dip it with spring water, then steam it on the pan, then use a small squeeze to remove moisture, large Squeeze the tea juice to make it white and sweet; after the squeeze, the tea is ground in the basin. The good tea cake is usually ground for more than one day. After the cream in the basin is smooth and delicate, add the dragon brain and so on. Spices, and thin porridge made from fragrant rice, are combined into a tea cake. The tea cake made in this way is like cow's milk because of the starch; because of the spice, the taste is sweet, which is quite different from the taste of the salty soup tea under the porridge tea method.

Tea cakes made in such a complicated process are often expensive, and the price from the hands of famous people is even more expensive. Song Renzong's "Xiaolong Group" made by Cai Yan was sold in gold for two pounds. It is also extremely difficult to buy. When people say that "gold is available, tea is not available." At the time of Huizong, Zheng Kewen made "Dragon Tuansheng Snow" with "silver silk water bud", and each cake sold for 40,000 yuan, which is highly respected.

The Song people not only made tea cakes complicated, but also paid a lot of attention when ordering tea. First, the tea cake should be dried and hammered, and then the tea is crushed with a tea mill similar to today's medicine. The tea is as small as possible, and the big one will be ridiculed as a fool; then the tea is poured into the like. In the tea sifter of today's sieve, the finely crushed tea is sieved and placed in a tea pot for drinking. After making the tea, in order to avoid boiling water into the cold tea, the temperature will affect the taste. First, the tea will be grilled hot, then the tea with a long handle will be placed in the tea pot from the tea pot, and the tea will be poured into a little boiling water. Mix thoroughly, then use a long mouth teapot to fill the water, and mix well with chopsticks, a ladle or a clam (round bamboo brush). The injected water is not the "old inedible" boiling water, but the first boiling water of "the crab eye has passed the fish eye and wants to make the pine wind". The tea adjustment method is higher, and it must be "first stirred". Tea cream, gradually blows, the hand is light and heavy, refers to the wrist hanging "to reach the top and bottom, such as the start of the yeast. The stars are shining, the sun is shining," the silvery face on the tea surface is a good point. A cup of tea.

The tea method is complicated and the technical content is quite high. It is suitable for the test. The Song people often "drink tea" for fun. The fighting tea mainly considers the degree of fusion of tea and water, stirs the tea to turn, and first leaves the traces on the samovar. The tea is pure white, which is most obvious in the black scorpion. The black samovar produced in Jianyao, Jianyang, Fujian today is popular because of its beautiful appearance, pure color, long and hot and cold. “盏”, “一碗珠” and “金油滴” are quite expensive, and “曜变天目” is even more valuable. However, the tea buds are exquisite, but the outer abdomen and the soles of the feet can be hidden in the lacquered tea trays that are used in the matching. They are often quite rough, and the tires and glazes are everywhere. It can be said that the golden jade is ruined. .

  • Third, loose tea method

In the late Yuan Dynasty, with the expansion of the tea-drinking group and the infiltration of Hu Feng, the fine tea was gradually retired, and the original loose tea was popular. In the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Hongwu advocated thrift and ordered the production of high-grade tea cakes. As a result, loose tea completely replaced the status of the end tea.

Drinking tea is similar to drinking tea today. After tea picking, the tea is toasted and tea is directly consumed in the teapot. The tea is no longer mixed with starch and spices, and no longer is made into cake or milled. As the last tea disappeared, there was a series of complicated tea sets used to make the last tea. Only the long-nosed tea bottle with boiling water turned into a teapot, and continued to be proud of the rivers and lakes. The black Jianshui of Jishui Kiln, which was once popular, stopped burning at the end of the Yuan Dynasty. The term “Jianyu” in the Ming Dynasty turned to the white porcelain tea pot of Dehua Kiln.

The change in the way of drinking tea has also changed the tea culture. It is often difficult for the Ming and Qing literati to understand the Song people's discussion of tea. For example, in the "Tea Record", Cai Wei talked about "tea white, black scorpion". At the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty, white tea was still expensive. The bright person who drank the original color loose tea thought that "the brown color should be green, and the white one should be pure white." "", and further believe that the test tea should use white tea, the Song people use black tea, but it is unintelligible. "There is a tea pot at the Xuan Temple. The material is fine and elegant, the quality is not cold, the white is like jade, and the tea color can be tested. The most important thing to use. Cai Jun took the Jianye, its color is dark, it seems unsuitable." Also, the evaluation criteria for the failure of the first water sticking to the water mark were changed to "there was no negative in the water mark first", and the big oolong was clashed.

From the porridge tea, the end tea to the loose tea, the transformation of the small tea drinking method reflects the transformation of the ancient lifestyle.

A cup of tea, the first product is sweet, and gradually getting better, this is the charm of traditional culture. I hope that the elegant and eternal literati can bring a quiet and solace to the busy modern people through the dusty time.

References: "Tea Record", "Tea Classic", "Erya"

(Article source: Historical University Hall)