Tea and HISTORY
• A Chinese dictionary cites tea for the first time as Erh Ya.
• Demand for tea as a medicinal beverage rises in China and cultivation processes are developed. Many tea drinkers add onion, ginger, spices, or orange to their teas.
• Now called Kuang Ya in the Chinese dictionary, tea and its detailed infusion and preparation steps are defined.
• Turkish traders bargain for tea on the border of Mongolia.
• Buddhism and tea journey from China to Japan. Japanese priests studying in China carried tea seeds and leaves back.
618-907 T’ang Dynasty
• Tea becomes a popular drink in China for both its flavor and medicinal qualities.
• Japanese monk Gyoki plants the first tea bushes in 49 Buddhist temple gardens.
• Tea in Japan is rare and expensive, enjoyed mostly by high priests and the aristocracy.
• The Chinese give tea give its own character ch’a.
• The Japanese emperor serves powdered tea (named hiki-cha from the Chinese character) to Buddhist priests.
• First tea tax imposed in China.
• Chinese poet-scholar Lu Yu writes the first book of tea titled Ch’a Ching (The Classic of Tea) in timely alignment with the Taoist beliefs. The book covers detailed ancient Chinese tea cultivation and preparation techniques.
• Buddhism and tea devotion spreads further.
• The Japanese Buddhist saint and priest Saicho and monk Kobo Daishi bring tea seeds and cultivation and manufacturing tips back from China and plant gardens in the Japanese temples.
960-1280 Sung Dynasty
• Chinese tea drinking is on the rise, as are elegant teahouses and teacups carefully crafted from porcelain and pottery.
• Drinking powdered and frothed tea or tea scented with flowers is widespread in China while earlier flavorings fall by the wayside.
• Zen Buddhism catches on in Japan via China and along come tea-drinking temple rituals.