How did the so-called origins and allusions come from?
Tea is an essential element in Chinese culture.
We wrote down the article, poem; recorded the information about tea; also made tea wears and tools to help us enjoy the tea.
Just like we did it to other things in our lives.
“Firewood, rice, oil, salt, soybean sauce, rice vinegar, and tea, that’s all about a day.”(開門七件事，柴米油鹽醬醋茶) the old proverb can help us know how tea common to Chinese life.
All kinds of admire about tea, like we share our thought on the web today, are personal opinions;
Carefully compiled tea introduction books, like tea lovers nowadays, want to share their durable tea, tea wares, or tools with others.
However, not all of these can be used. Many things have been obliterated in the course of history. The things recorded in books are not universal.
Examples of Lu Yu
A famous guy named Lu Yu(陸羽) wrote a book called “the classic of tea”(茶經), which was completed in the Tang dynasty. In this book, Lu Yu records many things related to tea. Such as source, place of production, production method, related tools, drinking method, etc.
However, from the middle of the Tang Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty, many wars have seriously affected the humanistic environment of the “Central Plains.”
As a result, many people moved to southern China, followed by people in south China who also came into contact with the tea culture.
The impact of the war:
Water Quality in the SouthThe current TDS hardness of water quality in South China is about 70; in Central China is about 150; in East China is about 220. the last two places are “Central Plains,” and Lu Yu lived while writing “the classic of tea.” There is no doubt that the hardness of water will affect the performance of tea. Population migration to the south has also led to evaluating suitable water for making tea in the “the classic of tea,” which cannot be used as a standard but only as a reference.
Simplification of tea makingOn the other hand, the secularization of tea culture has increased the demand for tea. When supply exceeds demand, it further highlights the problem of the overcomplicated tea production process. Promoted the decline of Tuan Cha(tea cake, like Dragon and Phoenix Cake), which was popular before the Ming Dynasty, and the rise of loose tea.
Tuan Cha is time-consuming to make, and spices are added to some of it. The original flavor of the tea is lost seriously, which is quite different from the taste of loose tea. Therefore, judging the quality of the tea-producing area is impractical based on the description of “the classic of tea.”
The above are just two simple examples. There are many similar situations surrounding tea. For instance, Yixing’s purple clay pot is not Yixing’s purple clay pot, and Dahongpao is not Dahongpao.
The long river named history and the culture between foreign countries will bring distance; distance will produce beauty. People will mistakenly think that everything covered by beauty is beautiful.
Unfortunately, in today’s market full of marketing jargon, most products have nothing to do with their historical origins.
Then what should I do?
What I want to suggest is if the tea or tea set can meet our needs first: if the flavor is appropriate, it feels comfortable after drinking, and can be brewed many times; or it has a beautiful appearance, uses it at hand, and has no flaws.
The second is to confirm whether there are good stories to listen to. Only in this way can we buy products that can be used for a long time and are always satisfactory.
I hope you can find your favorite tea or tea set, good luck.
And have a good tea.