The Canon of Tea
By Lu Yu  Publisher: The Commercial Press
Paper Back
2021-01-01 | ISBN: 978-7-100-13955-7

The Classic of Tea is a comprehensive book on the history, origin, current situation and techniques of tea production, tea drinking skills and tea ceremony principles. It is the earliest, the most complete, and the most comprehensive monograph on tea in China and the world at large. It is known as the encyclopedia of tea. The Record of Tea by Cai Xiang of the Northern Song Dynasty is the most influential monograph on tea after The Classic of Tea by Lu Yu, which is divided into two chapters: the first on tea, mainly on the quality of tea soup and the methods of making and drinking tea and the second on the form and use of various tea utensils. The Gist of Savoring Tea by Huang Ru in the Song Dynasty discusses the technical problems that should be avoided in the process of tea making and the importance of favorable geographical conditions. Song Xiongfan’s Xuanhe Beiyuan Tribute Tea Record gives a detailed account of the evolution of Fujian tea and the types of tribute tea with illustrations. With introductions to the varieties and forms of the tribute tea back then, it is an important work for studying the tea industry of the Song Dynasty. Other Records of Beiyuan by Zhao Ruli of the Song Dynasty, which is a supplement to Xuanhe Beiyuan Tribute Tea Record, describes in detail the locations and names of the 46 imperial gardens; the types, quantity, collection, packaging and transportation of the tribute tea; and the tea plantation management. Song Zi’an, in order to supplement the The Record of Tea, wrote The Dongxi Tea Record, which presents the evolution of various tea making methods as well as the locations and characteristics of tea gardens, and proposes that the tea should be distinguished by the place of production. The Sequel to the Classic of Tea by Lu Tingcan of the Qing Dynasty, is an anthology on Chinese tea culture, which contains a lot of rare historical materials on tea. With rich content and numerous quotes, it tops the extant ancient tea books with high academic and historical value. On the basis of The Classic of Tea by Lu Yu, Zhang Youxin’s book titled Tea Making Record focuses on tea soup. 

This book is a collection of the above-mentioned eight tea books, aiming to be a bible for tea lovers and impart Chinese tea culture to tea lovers today. In addition, nine pieces of calligraphy and painting themed on tea through the ages are selected as interleaf pages, to afford readers a different reading experience in the poetic atmosphere created by ancient calligraphy and painting, enable readers to feel that the tea culture helps them to keep a clear mind in the modern fast-paced life, and make the tea lovers in practicing the tea ceremony, with the help of The Classic of Tea, gain a deep understanding of China’s tea culture.