Written by the “Sage of Tea,” Lu Yu (733-804 AD), the world famous book The Classic of Tea (also known as the Tea Bible or Cha Jing in Chinese) contains three scrolls and 10 chapters with a total of about 7,000 Chinese characters. It is the very first monograph on tea in the world.
The first scroll includes the first three chapters:
Chapter 1: Origin: Expounds the origin of tea in China and includes the beginning, nomenclature, and quality of tea and specific features of tea trees.
Chapter 2: Tools: Describes tools for the picking and making of tea.
Chapter 3: Making: Tells about the making of a variety of tea.
The second scroll includes only one chapter:
Chapter 4: Tea utensils for both brewing and drinking tea.
The third scroll includes the last six chapters:
Chapter 5: Brewing. It includes the skill of brewing tea and the quality of water in different areas.
Chapter 6: Drinking: It explains the origin of the customs in tea-drinking.
Chapter 7: History: With anecdotes about the health benefits of tea.
Chapter 8: Producing Regions: It analyses the quality of production from the eight tea growing regions.
Chapter 9: Simplification of the process and utensils that could be omitted under specific circumstances.
Chapter 10: Illustrations for the above contents .
The Classic of Tea systematically summarizes the experience of the picking, making, and brewing of tea, and collectively compiles the history, skill, tools, and drinking of tea up until the Tang Dynasty. It comprehensively describes the origin, production, and brewing of tea, as well as disseminating the scientific knowledge of tea and promoting the production and development of tea. It lays a solid foundation of the Dao of tea in China.
The Classic of Tea is the most complete monograph on tea in Chinese records and it has been regarded around the world as an encyclopedia of tea. It has had great effects on the production and development of tea ever since.
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