Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Old 31-12-2004, 02:14 PM
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Default Ming dynasty author Wen Zhen Heng's book: Chang Wu Zhi (Record of Material Things)

Wen Zhen Heng(1585-1645) was a Ming dynasty author. His book Chang Wu
Zhi ( Recod of Materail Things) written from 1621-1627) is a classic
book about the life style of Ming dynasty literati. "Volume 12 On
Scent and Tea" is a chatper tea and water

The latest edition of Chang Wu Zhi was published in May, 2004, by
Shangdong Pictorial Publishing House Wen Zhen Heng's book: Chang Wu
Zhi

see

Chang Wu Zhi Tu Shuo ( Record On Material Things Pictorial Edition)

Wen Zhen Heng's great grand father was famous Ming dynasty author,
painter Wen Zhen Ming


The following are translated from articles about tea, tea utensil,
etc from
Chang Wu Zhi. ( Article On Tea Hut from Vol 1 On Housing, "On
Celestial Spring" from Vol 3 the rest from vol 12: "Fragrance and Tea"
*************************
On Tea Hut

Build a small hut near a house on a hill, furnished with tea utensils.
Hire a boy as tea servant to take care of tea errands. In order for
the guests chatting all day long or sit in solitary, this is of utmost
important for people retired from office. From Wen Zhen Heng: Chang Wu
Zhi

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Chang Wu Zhi, Vol 1: On Housing


On Celestial Spring

Celetial Spring ( rain from the sky) in Autumn is the best, followed
by monsoon season rain water. Autumn rain water is clear and cool,
monsson season rain water is clear and sweet. In Spring and Winter
seasons, spring time water is superior to winter water, because the
weather is mild and the rain is sweet. The water from thunderstorm
Summer is quite harmful, probably because of the thunder storm caused
by evil dragon turmoil. Snow is the essense of crops, hence harvest
snow to brew tea is great, however you must avoid new snow, as it may
have the odor of the earth; slightly aged snow is much better Collect
celetial water with cloth, however do not collect under the eaves,
rather collect in the center of courtyard
From Wen Zhen Heng: Chang Wu Zhi (On Material Things)

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Chang Wu Zhi Vol 3: On Water and Rock



On Quality of Tea

There were several dozens of authors wrote about tea, ( Tang dynasty)
Lu Yu's Book of Tea and (Song dynasty) Chai Rang's Tea Record are
among the best. However at that time, tea was processed by ripe
grinding and molding hence the terms "Dragon and Phenix cake"[1],
"Baby Dragon Cake", "Dense Cloud Dragon", "Flying Dragon in the
Cloud". Until the Xuen He era of Song Dynasty people began to consider
white tea[2] as superior. Zheng Ko Jian, the man in charge of marine
transportation first invented "Silver Thread Ice Sprout" tea, made by
discarding the leaves only to pick the cores, then soaked in clear
spring water,without various fragrance such as dragon brain, then
molded with pattern of curling baby dragon on it, hence the name
"Superlative Snow Dragan Cake" . At that time these methods were
deemed perenial. But in our(Ming) dynasty the tradition has changed,
our brewing method is also different from the ancient. Our method is
utmost simple, full of natural fun, truly exhaust the genuine flavour
of tea. As for washing tea, prepare water, choice of utensil, there
are various methods, not simply limited to profuse talk about "Wu Fu"
charcoal container, "Yun Tun" water container, "Ku Jie Jun" bamboo
stove or "Jian Chen" tea container.
From Wen Zhen Heng: Chang Wu Zhi

******************

Notes

[1] During Tang and Song dynasties, tea was pressed into cake or ball
form. The following is a diagram of a "Big Dragon Cake" made with
round brass mold

Big Dragon Cake in Song dynasty

[2]White tea is the rarest tea see White tea


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tiger Hill Tea and Heaven Pool Tea

"Tiger Hill" is the finest tea in the world, pity that the production
quantity is rather small, also controlled by government office. Lone
mountainer got hold of a pot of two as rare tea. However its taste is
actually second to "Heaven Pool" tea.
Those from Dragon Pool are fine, those from the South Hill are the
earliest, with a bit of grass scent

From Wen Zhen Heng: Record of Material Things

-------------------------------------
More to follow

-- martin tai

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Old 09-01-2005, 12:38 PM
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The Jie Tea[1]


Jie Tea from Chang Xing of Zhejiang is superb and highly
regarded, though rather pricy. Those from Jing Qi[2]
is slighttly inferior.
When picking tea, there is no need to pick too fine leaves, too
fine tea leaves are nascent and lack flavour.
Also void leaves which are too green, as they are too old and have
lost tenderness in flavour. It is best to pick
the leaves which are greenish roundish and thick. Do not dry them
in the sun, rather bake them with charcoal fire, cool
down with a fan then stored in container lined with ruo[3] leaves and
keep it on a high place, because tea relish warmth and dry
abhor cool and dampness.



Notes:

[1] "Jie" was the short hame for "Luo Jie"
Luo Jie was the name of a mountain bordering Zhejiang and Jing Qi
prefactures (in Ming dynasty) , "jie"-- meant boundary.
Chang Xin was south of Luo Jie mountain, Jing Qi was north of Luo
Jie.
Chang Xin retains its name till today.

Luo Jie tea from Gu Chu mountain in Chang Xing county in Zhejiang was
also known as Gu Chu Voilet Shoot. Gu Chu Voilet Shoot
had being imperial tribute tea Since Tang dynasty for nearly nine
hundred years until the middle of Qin dynasty.
Gu Chu Voilet Shoot has being revived again in the seventies as a
top grade tea in China


[2] Jin Qi is now called Yi Xin township. Jin Qi tea was also known
as Yang Xian tea


[3] Ruo leave: Leaves from a
href="http://www.bamboo.ws/bam-boo_images/booindotess.gif"Indocalamus
tessellatus bamboo/a. The leave is about 45 cm long. Ruo bamboo
grows in Yangtse River basin.


Translated by Martin Tai from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi (ca 1621 AD,
Ming dynasty)

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Old 09-01-2005, 12:38 PM
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The Jie Tea[1]


Jie Tea from Chang Xing of Zhejiang is superb and highly
regarded, though rather pricy. Those from Jing Qi[2]
is slighttly inferior.
When picking tea, there is no need to pick too fine leaves, too
fine tea leaves are nascent and lack flavour.
Also void leaves which are too green, as they are too old and have
lost tenderness in flavour. It is best to pick
the leaves which are greenish roundish and thick. Do not dry them
in the sun, rather bake them with charcoal fire, cool
down with a fan then stored in container lined with ruo[3] leaves and
keep it on a high place, because tea relish warmth and dry
abhor cool and dampness.



Notes:

[1] "Jie" was the short hame for "Luo Jie"
Luo Jie was the name of a mountain bordering Zhejiang and Jing Qi
prefactures (in Ming dynasty) , "jie"-- meant boundary.
Chang Xin was south of Luo Jie mountain, Jing Qi was north of Luo
Jie.
Chang Xin retains its name till today.

Luo Jie tea from Gu Chu mountain in Chang Xing county in Zhejiang was
also known as Gu Chu Voilet Shoot. Gu Chu Voilet Shoot
had being imperial tribute tea Since Tang dynasty for nearly nine
hundred years until the middle of Qin dynasty.
Gu Chu Voilet Shoot has being revived again in the seventies as a
top grade tea in China


[2] Jin Qi is now called Yi Xin township. Jin Qi tea was also known
as Yang Xian tea


[3] Ruo leave: Leaves from a
href="http://www.bamboo.ws/bam-boo_images/booindotess.gif"Indocalamus
tessellatus bamboo/a. The leave is about 45 cm long. Ruo bamboo
grows in Yangtse River basin.


Translated by Martin Tai from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi (ca 1621 AD,
Ming dynasty)

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Old 10-01-2005, 01:38 PM
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wrote:
The Jie Tea[1]


Jie Tea from Chang Xing of Zhejiang is superb and highly
regarded, though rather pricy. Those from Jing Qi[2]
is slighttly inferior.
When picking tea, there is no need to pick too fine leaves, too
fine tea leaves are nascent and lack flavour.
Also void leaves which are too green, as they are too old and have
lost tenderness in flavour. It is best to pick
the leaves which are greenish roundish and thick. Do not dry them
in the sun, rather bake them with charcoal fire, cool
down with a fan then stored in container lined with ruo[3] leaves and
keep it on a high place, because tea relish warmth and dry
abhor cool and dampness.



Notes:

[1] "Jie" was the short hame for "Luo Jie"
Luo Jie was the name of a mountain bordering Zhejiang and Jing Qi
prefactures (in Ming dynasty) , "jie"-- meant boundary.
Chang Xin was south of Luo Jie mountain, Jing Qi was north of Luo
Jie.
Chang Xin retains its name till today.

Luo Jie tea from Gu Chu mountain in Chang Xing county in Zhejiang was
also known as Gu Chu Voilet Shoot. Gu Chu Voilet Shoot
had being imperial tribute tea Since Tang dynasty for nearly nine
hundred years until the middle of Qin dynasty.
Gu Chu Voilet Shoot has being revived again in the seventies as a
top grade tea in China


[2] Jin Qi is now called Yi Xin township. Jin Qi tea was also

known
as Yang Xian tea


[3] Ruo leave: Leaves from a

href="http://www.bamboo.ws/bam-boo_images/booindotess.gif"Indocalamus
tessellatus bamboo/a. The leave is about 45 cm long. Ruo bamboo
grows in Yangtse River basin.


Translated by Martin Tai from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi (ca 1621

AD,
Ming dynasty)



Liu An Tea

"Liu An" [1] tea, great for medicine, if not baked right, it cannot
let out aroma and has a bitter taste. The inherent
quality of this tea is actually quite good.


Note:

[1]: Liu An is the name of a county in Anhui.
Liu An tea is still produced from Liu An county in Anhui
province in China. The Liu An
tea from the Bat Cave of Jin Zai county is of superior quality, as
thousand of bats in the cave provide
ideal fertilizer for tea plants.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi, vol 12: On Scent and Tea



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Old 10-01-2005, 01:38 PM
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wrote:
The Jie Tea[1]


Jie Tea from Chang Xing of Zhejiang is superb and highly
regarded, though rather pricy. Those from Jing Qi[2]
is slighttly inferior.
When picking tea, there is no need to pick too fine leaves, too
fine tea leaves are nascent and lack flavour.
Also void leaves which are too green, as they are too old and have
lost tenderness in flavour. It is best to pick
the leaves which are greenish roundish and thick. Do not dry them
in the sun, rather bake them with charcoal fire, cool
down with a fan then stored in container lined with ruo[3] leaves and
keep it on a high place, because tea relish warmth and dry
abhor cool and dampness.



Notes:

[1] "Jie" was the short hame for "Luo Jie"
Luo Jie was the name of a mountain bordering Zhejiang and Jing Qi
prefactures (in Ming dynasty) , "jie"-- meant boundary.
Chang Xin was south of Luo Jie mountain, Jing Qi was north of Luo
Jie.
Chang Xin retains its name till today.

Luo Jie tea from Gu Chu mountain in Chang Xing county in Zhejiang was
also known as Gu Chu Voilet Shoot. Gu Chu Voilet Shoot
had being imperial tribute tea Since Tang dynasty for nearly nine
hundred years until the middle of Qin dynasty.
Gu Chu Voilet Shoot has being revived again in the seventies as a
top grade tea in China


[2] Jin Qi is now called Yi Xin township. Jin Qi tea was also

known
as Yang Xian tea


[3] Ruo leave: Leaves from a

href="http://www.bamboo.ws/bam-boo_images/booindotess.gif"Indocalamus
tessellatus bamboo/a. The leave is about 45 cm long. Ruo bamboo
grows in Yangtse River basin.


Translated by Martin Tai from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi (ca 1621

AD,
Ming dynasty)



Liu An Tea

"Liu An" [1] tea, great for medicine, if not baked right, it cannot
let out aroma and has a bitter taste. The inherent
quality of this tea is actually quite good.


Note:

[1]: Liu An is the name of a county in Anhui.
Liu An tea is still produced from Liu An county in Anhui
province in China. The Liu An
tea from the Bat Cave of Jin Zai county is of superior quality, as
thousand of bats in the cave provide
ideal fertilizer for tea plants.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi, vol 12: On Scent and Tea

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Old 10-01-2005, 09:25 PM
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Song Luo[1] Tea


There is'nt any real Song Luo tea outside an area of a dozen mu[1],
only one or two family posses
the refined skill to prepare Song Luo tea. Lately the tea hand baked
by mountain monks is even better.
Real Song Luo tea is produced at the foot of the Dong Shan [ Cave
Hill ] and on top of the Tian Chi[Heaven Pool], highly
treasured by people in Xin An county [2]. It is also a favourite for
the people of Nan Du and Qu Zong counties,
due to its ease in brewing and intense aroma.


Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi, vol 12: On Scent and Tea


[1] Song Luo tea is manufactured at Song Luo mountain located north of
Xiu Ming township in An Hui proovince in China.
The tea farms are scattered between six to seven hundred meter
height on the mountain.
[2] One mu = 667 square meter
[3] Now Xiu Ning county in An Hui province

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Song Luo[1] Tea


There is'nt any real Song Luo tea outside an area of a dozen mu[1],
only one or two family posses
the refined skill to prepare Song Luo tea. Lately the tea hand baked
by mountain monks is even better.
Real Song Luo tea is produced at the foot of the Dong Shan [ Cave
Hill ] and on top of the Tian Chi[Heaven Pool], highly
treasured by people in Xin An county [2]. It is also a favourite for
the people of Nan Du and Qu Zong counties,
due to its ease in brewing and intense aroma.


Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi, vol 12: On Scent and Tea


[1] Song Luo tea is manufactured at Song Luo mountain located north of
Xiu Ming township in An Hui proovince in China.
The tea farms are scattered between six to seven hundred meter
height on the mountain.
[2] One mu = 667 square meter
[3] Now Xiu Ning county in An Hui province

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Old 10-01-2005, 09:32 PM
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Dragon Well [1] tea and Eyes on Heaven [2] Tea

Long Jin and Tian Mu, because cold season comes earlier to the
mountains, there is abundant snow in the winter,
hence the tea plants germinate later, if picked and baked properly, may
match Heaven Pool tea.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi


[1] Long Jin tea is manufactured in the West Lake district in Hangzhou
city, China. There is a Long Jin [Dragon Fountain]
foutain on the Feng Huang mountain.
[2] Tian Mu mountain is located in Lin An county in the north west of
Zhejiang province. There are two peaks of fifteen
hundred meter height, each with a pond on top filled with crystal clear
water, look like a pair of eyes, hence the
name of Eyes on Heaven.

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Dragon Well [1] tea and Eyes on Heaven [2] Tea

Long Jin and Tian Mu, because cold season comes earlier to the
mountains, there is abundant snow in the winter,
hence the tea plants germinate later, if picked and baked properly, may
match Heaven Pool tea.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi


[1] Long Jin tea is manufactured in the West Lake district in Hangzhou
city, China. There is a Long Jin [Dragon Fountain]
foutain on the Feng Huang mountain.
[2] Tian Mu mountain is located in Lin An county in the north west of
Zhejiang province. There are two peaks of fifteen
hundred meter height, each with a pond on top filled with crystal clear
water, look like a pair of eyes, hence the
name of Eyes on Heaven.



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Old 19-01-2005, 04:23 PM
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Washing Tea

First boiled water, wait a while till it cools down, use it to
rinse tea and clean dust, save the
tea leaves in a settling bowl[1], till it cools down, then steep, the
aroma will release naturally.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: On Superfluous Things. (Zhang Wu Zhi)
[1] Also called "tea container", used for sheltering rinsed tea.

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Old 22-01-2005, 05:56 PM
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Tea Washer

A tea washer is made from clay, it resembles a bowel with two
layers, the base of its top layer has numerous holes.
Used for washing tea, sand and dust all flow out from these holes, most
convenient.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi ( On Superfluous Things)
(1620 AD ) Ming Dynasty

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Old 23-01-2005, 03:28 PM
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wrote:
wrote:
Tea Washer

A tea washer is made from clay, it resembles a bowel with two
layers, the base of its top layer has numerous holes.
Used for washing tea, sand and dust all flow out from these holes,

most
convenient.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi ( On Superfluous

Things)
(1620 AD ) Ming Dynasty


Tea stove and water kettle

Some of Master Jiang's tea stoves were made from cast bronze, some
with beast head motif, some plain; other bronze stoves were casted in
the shape of three legged urn, all are useful.

The best water kettle is made of lead, tin kettle comes second,
copper one can also be used. The one shaped like a bamboo tube is
fireproof and easy to pour. Although porcelain kettle does not take
away the essense of water, yet it is unsuitable, and not elegant
looking.

Translated from Wen Zhen Heng: Zhang Wu Zhi ( On Superfloous Things),
chapter 12.


Tea Pot


The best tea pot is made from clay, not only does not take awy
aroma, but also has no ripe water odor.
"Gong Chun"[1] pots are most expensive, however their style is
unrefined, also lack smaller size ones.
The pots made by Shi Dabing[2] are yet too small, only if one can
find an antique looking and clean pot which can
hold half a litre of water, that would be most suitable for pouring
tea. Various pots with tasteless patterns such
as "Ti Liang", "Lying melon", "Twin pear", "Fan cover", "Octogon
with small flowers", "Tin inlaid tea pot", "Blue flower
on white" etc should be avoided.
Zhao Liang Bi[3] tin jar is fine too, but more suitable for the
winter months.
Recently, Wu Zhong[5] county Gu's tin pot and Jia Ho county
Wong's tin pot, fetched highest price, however
rather small and vulgar.
Gold or silver pots are all not in style.



Tranlated from Wen Zhen Heng :Zhang Wu Zhi ( On Superfluous Things)
chapter 12.P

[1] Gong Chun, the grandmother of Yixing tea pot during Ming dynasty
Wan Li era (1573-1619).
[2] Shi Dabing, considered the greatest master of Yixing pot, son of
Shi Peng, a comtemporary of Gong Chun.
Initially, Shi Dabing imitated Gong Chun and made large size Yixing
tea pots, later created his own style tiny tea pots
[3] Zhao Liang Bi, Ming dynasty master craftsman of tin jar in Wu
Zhong county ( now in Sozhou province )



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