Four Periods of Chinese Tea Culture
The Formation Period of Tea Culture in Tang Dynasty
In Sui and Tang Dynasties, tea was processed into cake tea. When drinking, add condiments to cook soup. With the prosperity of tea affairs and the emergence of tribute tea, the development of tea cultivation and processing technology has been accelerated. Many famous teas have emerged, and the method of drinking has been greatly improved. In order to improve the bitterness and astringency of tea, mint, salt and jujube were added. In addition, special tea cooking utensils have been used, and the way of drinking tea has changed dramatically, from extensive style to slow-frying style.
The custom of drinking tea in Tang Dynasty became popular, and more and more attention was paid to the choice of tea and water, the way of cooking and the environment of drinking tea. Tea banquets are popular among palaces, monasteries and scholars. The atmosphere of tea banquets is solemn, the environment is elegant and the etiquette is strict. Tribute tea or high-grade tea must be used to fetch water from famous and clear springs, and precious tea sets should be selected. The formation of tea culture in the flourishing Tang Dynasty was related to the development of Buddhism, imperial examination system, flourishing poetry style, the rise of tribute tea, prohibition of alcohol and so on.
Around 780 A.D., Lu Yu wrote The Book of Tea, explaining the thoughts of tea science, tea art and tea ceremony. During this period, because of the emergence of tea people, the pursuit of drinking tea for water, tea, tea sets and fried tea reached an extremely elegant and luxurious level, so that in the late Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty, a luxurious trend appeared in tea culture.
2. The Prosperous Period of Tea Culture: Song Dynasty
By the Song Dynasty, tea culture continued to develop and deepen, forming a unique cultural taste. Zhao Kuangxu, Taizu of the Song Dynasty, liked drinking tea himself. Tea authorities were set up in the palace, and the use of tea in the palace had been graded. As for the lower class, when the common people move, their neighbors should "offer tea"; when guests come, they should respect "Yuanbao tea"; when engaged, they should "offer tea"; when married, they should "fix tea".
In the academic field, due to the southward migration of tea industry, the Beiyuan Garden of Jian'an is the most important place for Gongcha. Tea researchers tend to study Jiancha. Among the tea works in Song Dynasty, the famous ones are Ye Qingchen's "Essays on Tea Boiling", Caixiang's "Tea Record", Zhu Zian's "Dongxi Tea Testing Record", Shen Kuo's "Tea Law of the Present Dynasty" and Zhao Biao's "Daguan Tea Theory".
Song Dynasty is the most active era of tea drinking activities in history. Because of the integration of tea drinking culture between the north and the south, tea house culture began to emerge. Teahouse was called tea house in Southern Song Dynasty. At that time, tea drinking business in Linan City continued day and night. In addition, tea drinking activities in Song Dynasty began with tribute tea, and derived from "embroidered tea", "fighting tea" and "dividing tea" and other forms of entertainment.
3. The Period of Sustainable Development of Tea Culture: Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties
Song people made tea a thriving cause, but also made tea art go to complexity, triviality and luxury, lost the original simplicity and chat of tea culture, too fine tea art drowned the spirit of tea culture in Tang Dynasty. Since the Yuan Dynasty, tea culture has entered a tortuous period of development. Until the mid-Ming Dynasty, the Han people felt the rise and fall of the nation in the previous dynasty, coupled with the difficulty of founding the country, in the tea culture showed simplicity and the harmony between man and nature, to reveal their hardships with tea.
At this time, tea has been steamed, fried, baked and other types of green tea, tea drinking has been changed to "soak up and dispel". Many scholars in the Ming Dynasty left works handed down from generation to generation, such as Tang Bohu's "Tea Painting Scroll" and "Tea Tasting Picture". There are more kinds of tea and different skills in making tea. The style, texture and pattern of tea sets are varied. From late Ming Dynasty to early Qing Dynasty, fine tea culture appeared again. Although tea making and cooking did not return to the triviality of Song people, the tea style tended to be weak.
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the development of teahouses was very rapid. Some of the residents in the town had only a few cadres, and the number of teahouses could reach more than 100. In addition to literati, businessmen and handicraftsmen, there are also businessmen and handicraftsmen who drink tea. In the teahouse, refreshments and food are served, and storytelling and singing programs are added, which is tantamount to a folk entertainment place.
IV. A Brilliant Period of the Reproduction of Tea Culture: Contemporary Times
Although Chinese tea culture has existed since ancient times, its revival in the contemporary era began in the 1980s. Taiwan is the earliest revival place of modern tea art and tea ceremony. On the mainland, after the founding of New China, tea production in China has developed rapidly. The rich material basis provides a solid foundation for the development of tea culture.
Since the 1990s, a group of tea culture researchers have created a number of professional works, which have made positive contributions to the establishment of contemporary tea culture, such as Huang Zhigen's "Chinese tea culture", Chen Wenhua's "tea culture in the Yangtze River valley", Yao Guokun's "Introduction to tea culture", Yu Yue's "Questioning Customs", and carried out systematic thematic research on various aspects of tea culture discipline. These achievements have laid the foundation for the establishment of tea culture discipline.
With the rise of tea culture, there are more and more tea cultural organizations and activities around the world. Tea art activities organized by some famous tea producing areas have gradually become large-scale, brand-oriented and industrialized, which has promoted the popularization and popularity of tea culture in society.