, Beijing, November 30th (Liu Yue) In the middle of the night on November 29th, Beijing time, the "Chinese traditional tea-making techniques and related customs" declared by China were held in Rabat, Morocco to protect the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. It was approved at the 17th regular session of the Intergovernmental Committee and included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

  One sentence summary - "tea culture", which is closely related to the Chinese people, has successfully applied for World Heritage!

  So, how much do you know about these ten knowledge points about "Chinese tea"?

The picture shows two tea farmers picking tea leaves in the tea garden of Niaowang Village, Yunwu Town.

Photo by Qu Honglun

Origin of tea

  Tea originated in China.

The earliest records and legends about tea in historical documents appear in China’s first medicinal monograph "Shen Nong’s Materia Medica": "Shen Nong tasted a hundred herbs, encountered seventy-two poisons every day, and got tea (tea) to cure them."

The earliest history of Chinese people drinking tea can be traced back to the Qin Dynasty. Gu Yanwu wrote in "Rizhilu": "Since the people of Qin took Shu, there has been tea drinking."

  Chinese ancestors drank tea through four processes: eating raw for medicinal purposes, eating cooked as a dish, cooking for drinking, and brewing for drinking.

Tea contains more than 700 ingredients, which are beneficial to human health, and thus become a daily necessity for many Chinese people.

The effect of tea

  In addition to drinking, tea also has certain medicinal functions. It can remove greasy, help digestion, refresh mind, diuretic and detoxify, and eliminate fatigue.

Aerial photography of more than 1,000 acres of ecological tea gardens in Shuibei Town, Yushui District, Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province.

Photo by Zhao Chunliang

  The ancients had a deep understanding of the medicinal functions of tea. According to records such as "Shen Nong's Materia Medica", "Treatise on Febrile Diseases", "Supplements to Materia Medica", and "The Classic of Tea", tea can not only make people sleepy, improve eyesight, have strength, and be happy. It can also lose weight and increase the sharpness of thinking.

  Throughout the world, the saying that "Chinese tea" can be used as medicine has also been generally recognized.

Zen Master Rongxi, the originator of Japanese tea planting, said in "Eating Tea and Preserving Health": "Tea is the elixir of health preservation and the magic of prolonging life. It is born in valleys, and its gods are also. Human relations adopt it, and its people grow Fate."

  In addition, Japanese scientist Isao Tomita first reported in 1987 that tea polyphenols can inhibit the activity of human cancer cells, which attracted worldwide attention.

In 2002, the U.S. "Time" magazine recommended ten healthy foods, and China's green tea was on the list.

Hand-roasted Guizhou green tea.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Qu Honglun

The "Bible" of Tea

  In the Tang Dynasty, "The Classic of Tea" written by Lu Yu came out.

"Divide its source, make its utensils, teach it to make, set up its utensils, and order it to cook", this comprehensive treatise on the history, origin, current situation, production technology, tea drinking skills, and principles of tea ceremony is a comprehensive treatise on tea production in China and even in China. The world's earliest, most complete, and most comprehensive monograph on tea has made tea culture develop to an unprecedented height and also marked the formation of Chinese tea culture. It is known as the "Encyclopedia of Tea".

  Therefore, Lu Yu is known as the "Tea Saint".

He specifically expounded the process of making tea in "The Classic of Tea", and proposed that "for the fire, use charcoal, and then use strong firewood. The charcoal used to be burnt and moxibustion was affected by mutton and greasy, and it was used for ointment wood and defeated utensils. "Water should be "on the mountains and rivers, in the rivers, and under the wells."

Tea craft

  Since ancient times, Chinese people have been planting, picking, making and drinking tea.

Traditional tea-making skills are mainly concentrated in the four major tea regions of Jiangnan, Jiangbei, Southwest and South China, south of the Huaihe River in the Qinling Mountains and east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Related customs are widely spread throughout the country and shared by many ethnic groups.

  Based on the local conditions, tea makers use core techniques such as killing greens, stuffing yellow, fermenting, withering, greening, fermenting, scenting, etc., to develop six major teas of green tea, yellow tea, dark tea, white tea, oolong tea, black tea and scented tea There are more than 2,000 kinds of teas that are reprocessed for people to drink and share, and different customs have been formed, which have been passed down from generation to generation and run through Chinese people's daily life, ceremonies and festivals.

Foreigners experience tea-making and tea-drinking skills.

Photo by Zhang Xiaoyan

The essence of tea

  Chinese people pay attention to "taste" when drinking tea, requiring complete color, fragrance, cultural connotation, utensils and artistic conception.

  Through tea making, tea brewing and tea tasting, Chinese people cultivate a peaceful and tolerant attitude, form a reserved character, and enhance their spiritual realm and moral cultivation.

Drinking and sharing tea is an important way for people to communicate and communicate. Tea-related etiquette and customs, such as treating guests with tea and putting the elderly first, demonstrate the Chinese people's humanistic spirit of modesty, harmony, courtesy and respect.

Allusions to Tea

  Chinese people have the sayings of "firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea", "qinqi, calligraphy, painting, poetry, wine and tea", and many allusions related to tea have also been born.

  "Three Kingdoms · Wu Zhi · Wei Yao Biography" records: "Sun Hao, the king of the state of Wu, is fond of drinking. Every banquet, regardless of the amount of alcohol, the guests drink at least seven liters. The courtier Wei Hao is knowledgeable but does not drink much. Sun Hao is right. He puts a lot of emphasis on it and often makes exceptions, "secretly giving tea to replace wine" and allowing him to drink tea instead of alcohol. This is the earliest record of "replacing wine with tea".

The picture shows the tea artist showing the brewing process of Babao tea.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Yu Jing

tea lover

  After the Tang and Song Dynasties, tea drinking became very popular, and everyone from princes and ministers to ordinary people "couldn't put it down".

Wang Anshi once said: "For civilian use, Husband's tea is equivalent to rice salt, and it cannot be without for a day."

Not only that, tea is also loved by literati and scholars. Poets such as Su Shi, Lu You, Huang Tingjian all loved tea, and left many popular poems.

  Bai Juyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, once wrote more than 50 poems related to tea. He wrote in "Night Wen Jia Changzhou Cuihuzhou Tea Mountain Pavilion and Watching Banquet": There are two state boundaries in the middle of the plate, and each is a spring in front of the lamp. Qing'e dances to compete for excellence, and purple bamboo shoots all try to compete for new ones."

  And Yang Wanli, a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty who once wrote "The little lotus shows its sharp horns, and the dragonfly stood on its head long ago", has been with tea all his life, and he is an out-and-out "tea fanatic".

He attaches great importance to the water for making tea, "It is not good to be as clear as Huai Shui, and it is better to make tea when springs burst into Huai Shan"; He teased that the tea pot was boiled until the tea pot was burned through, "The old man loves to cook tea all his life, and he burned through the broken foot tripod for ten years."

tea production

  In 2020, the world's tea output is 6.269 million tons, and China's tea output is 2.986 million tons, ranking first in the world; the world's total tea area is 76.47 million mu, and China's total tea area is 47.475 million mu, also ranking first in the world.

China's tea has a huge impact on the world's tea production and consumption. Its output accounts for 47.63% of the world's tea production, its consumption accounts for 41.68% of the world's total tea consumption, and its export volume accounts for 19.14% of the world's tea exports.

  At present, more than 30 million tea farmers in 1,085 counties in China live affluently on "one leaf", and the tea industry has become a major industry that stimulates people's livelihood.

The little brother made silk stocking milk tea on the spot.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Cui Nan

Changes of tea

  When the "tea culture" landed in modern times, more new ways of playing were derived.

According to data from iiMedia Consulting, the market size of China's new tea drinks will reach 279.59 billion yuan in 2021, and it is expected to exceed 300 billion yuan in 2022.

It seems that milk tea, a "new tea drink", was born overnight and has won the favor of many young people, but in fact, milk tea has a very long history.

  According to historical records, milk tea originated from Tibet, China.

The emergence of milk tea is related to the living habits of northern nomads who eat beef and mutton all year round. For grassland areas where vegetables are scarce, milk tea can promote gastrointestinal digestion, so it has become a popular drink.

Interestingly, the northern nomads at that time liked to add salt to milk tea and eat it with fried rice, so the original taste of milk tea was salty.

Exchange of tea

  In ancient times, Chinese tea was spread to Europe along the Silk Road, and then gradually became popular all over the world. Together with silk and porcelain, it was considered a bond of peace, friendship and cooperation.

  Through the Silk Road, the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, and the Thousand-mile Tea Ceremony, tea culture has traveled through history and crossed borders, and has been loved by people all over the world. It has become an important medium for mutual understanding between China and the people of the world, and exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese civilization and other civilizations in the world. , and become the common wealth of human civilization.

  The "Wanli Tea Ceremony" started in the 17th century, starting from Wuyi Mountain in Fujian, China in the south, passing through Jiangxi, Hunan, Hubei, Henan, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and other provinces, crossing the Mongolian Plateau, and finally arriving in St. Petersburg, Russia, with a total length of more than 14,000 kilometers. Another important international business route that emerged in Eurasia after the ancient Silk Road.

  In 2013, in order to revive this ancient road, China, Mongolia, and Russia jointly initiated the initiative to declare the world cultural heritage; in 2019, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage included the "Wanli Tea Ceremony" in the "China World Cultural Heritage Preliminary List".