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Changes in the way China drinks tea

Oct 20, 2021

Paintings record the aesthetics of the times and also record the history.

From ancient paintings, we can see tea drinking methods in different eras: the Tang Dynasty drinks sencha, the Song Dynasty likes to drink matcha, and the Ming Dynasty prefers to brew loose leaf tea、

Xiao Yi Earn Lanting:Tang Dynasty Sencha Method

"Xiao Yi Earn Lanting" is a painting created by Yan Liben, a painter in the Tang Dynasty. It depicts the story of Xiao Yi defrauding Wang Xizhi's Lan Ting Xu from the eloquent monk. It was originally lost. This one is a copy of the Southern Song Dynasty. The content remains unchanged and is still a feature of the Tang Dynasty.

On the left side of the picture, an old man with a beard, squatting on the futon, bowed in front of the wind stove, the stove glowed red, and the water in the single-handle pot on the stove seemed to have begun to boil.

The old man held the handle of the pot in his left hand and the tea holder in his right hand. The orchid fingers were raised, his nostrils were slightly upturned, his eyes were squinted, his eyebrows drooped, and his face was intoxicated.
Opposite the old man, a boy was bent over, holding a saucer and tea bowl in both hands, looking intently at the frying pot on the stove, waiting for the tea to be served to the host and guest on the right.
On the coffee table by the boy's feet, there are the same saucer bowl, a tea mill for grinding tea leaves, and a tea pot for holding tea powder.

This picture of "Xiao Yi Earn Lanting" vividly shows us the method of sencha in Tang Dynasty.
People in Tang drank tea using the method of making tea, adding salt, green onion, ginger, osmanthus and other condiments to the tea. However, the sencha method is still the main method, especially in the middle and late Tang Dynasty, the cake tea is roasted and ground into powder. When the water is just boiling, the tea powder is added and stirred, and the tea soup can boil to produce tea.

Literati meeting illustration:Song Dynasty matcha Method

"Literati meeting illustration" is a painting of Song Huizong, depicting a literary meeting where literati and scholars drink tea and write poems.

Right in front of the painting, in front of the square table, a maid holding a saucer tea cup in her left hand and a long-handled tea spoon in her right hand is scooping out tea powder from the tea pot, ready to put it in the tea cup.
On the tea stove by the table, there are two soup bottles, and the red stove is burning.
The sencha method that prevailed in the Tang Dynasty has gradually declined in the Northern Song and Southern Song dynasties. The tea-ordering method has become popular throughout the world. Boil water to flush.
There is a way to pour in a small amount of boiling water to adjust the cream, and then pour the boiling water into it while flicking it with the tea pot.

"Brew Tea Picture": Ming Dynasty brew tea Method

"Brew Tea Picture" is a painting by Wen Zhengming in the Ming Dynasty. On the right, there is a hut with two soaring braids boiling water. On the left, the host and the guest sit and chat casually. A teacup is placed on the table in front of him, and the other is in the middle. teapot.
There are three or two huts in the mountains, with a winding stream and a few pine trees outside. The host and the guest sit and chat, simple, elegant and leisurely, and the painting style is like a tea style.
The picture shows the popular teapot in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Put the tea in a teapot, brew with boiling water, and then divide it into teacups. Now the popular Gongfu tea in Southeast Fujian, Guangdong, and Taiwan is a typical teapot. Law.
In the Ming Dynasty, the method of ordering tea declined, and Zhu Yuanzhang "abandoned the group and changed it into dispersal." The tuan cake tea that was tributed everywhere was replaced by loose tea. The tea making method was changed, the tea drinking method was also innovated, and the tea style changed. The method of making tea became popular and continues to this day.

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