Thursday, June, 7, 2012
Lu Yu, an author of ancient China, was the first to write a book about tea. Thanks to his work, tea became popular all throughout China and the world.
Often called The Sage of Tea, Lu Yu is one of China’s most venerated authors. Orphaned as a young boy, he was adopted by a Buddhist monk and raised in a monastery. Because he refused to take on religious duties or become a full-fledged monk, he was assigned menial chores and charged with the upkeep of the monastery. One of Lu Yu’s duties was to tend the tea garden. This was likely the inspiration for Lu Yu’s love of tea.
Weary of the monastic life, Ly Yu ran away to join the circus at the age of 13. He later returned to Jingling and became friends with numerous Chinese intellectuals, including calligrapher Yan Zhenqing, poet Huang Pu Zheng, and poet Cui Goufu, whom he studied under. During this period, Lu Yu, wrote Ch'a Ching or, The Classic of Tea.
Composed in about 760 AD, The Classic of Tea is the earliest book about tea in the world. A condensed and beautifully poetic guide for the tea connoisseur, The Classic of Tea describes the art of growing, preparing, brewing, and drinking tea, while offering a history, guide, critique, and philosophy. It is the first and most venerable book about tea ever published, and is thought to be one reason why tea came to be enjoyed by millions all around the world.