How do we know the Chinese drank tea first?Where did tea come from?Oolong tea, green tea, white tea, Pu'er tea, black tea... How many kinds of tea are there?How did tea get to the other parts of the world?Who drinks tea?How important is tea to the Chinese?What's so special about all those tea pots?Questions to ponderPrint this chapterShare on FacebookLinks / ReferencesSite map Font size: original Font size: medium Font size: large 中文
Earliest accounts - And the monumental importance of Lu Yu
 Origins - Where tea first appearedEarliest accounts - And the monumental importance of Lu YuEarliest legends - And our friend Shen NongWhy is tea called

A Contract with A Servant, by rhapsodic poet Wang Bao in the Western Han dynasty (206 B.C. - 9 A.D.) is popularly regarded as the earliest written account of tea. In this documentary of current events, Wang Bao described how his servant prepared tu leaves and utensils for him and went to Wuyang to purchase tu leaves. It is obvious that tea was loved by the literati and it was commercially marketed.

The earliest book on tea - and the one best known by far - is Classic of Tea written by Lu Yu in the Tang dynasty (618 - 907 A.D.).

Lu Yu recorded everything from how teas were grown, how teas were classified, to how tea should be chosen and cooked in the Classic of Tea, which became the first definitive guide to all things tea-related. The book elevated tea to a new level - an art - and made a monumental impact to how tea was perceived and drunk - an impact that lasted for centuries to come.

With his exceptional contribution in the development of Chinese tea, Lu Yu has been honoured as the "Saint of Tea" and "God of Tea" by later generation.

More About Lu Yu
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