Wednesday, March 2, 2011

茶緣 茶源 / Tea Connection, Tea Origin


Inseparable Connection with Tea

Tea originated from China and has spread all over the world.

Over thousands of years, there’s an inseparable connection between people in China and tea. Whether it be the cultivating, making, tasting of tea, or the tea culture, tea has made a splendid and glorious mark in the history of China.

Meanwhile, since tea is widely favored by scholars and people of refined taste, they had left behind many tea related poetries, stories, calligraphies and paintings etc. for posterity. These exquisite literary art works have made tea culture an important component of traditional cultural heritage of China.


千年來, 中國人和茶結下了不解之緣 , 無論是茶的培植、製作、品茗, 以及茶文化的創作,都在中國歷史上留下光輝絢麗的一頁。


Stories begin with Shennong, the ancient God of Agriculture, tasting various herbs …

When history becomes the past and ancient memories become legend, there came many versions of the origin of the Chinese tea-drinking tradition.

Inside Lu Yu’s [Classic of Tea], it is recorded that [Tea drinking began with Shennong.] Shennong, respected as the Father of Medicine and Herbs, had tasted hundreds of herbs to test their medicinal value, invented medicines and taught people how to treat illness. It is believed that once Shennong was boiling his drinking water in the wild, several dried tea leaves drifted into his pot, and the water became a little bit yellowish. After he drank it, it induced saliva and quenched thirst, cleared the mind, and was very refreshing. From his herb tasting experience, Shennong determined that this is a medicine, and named it “Tea”. Every time, when he ate something poisonous, he would drink tea as an antidote. This is how tea came into being, and the story of Shennong became the most well-known story about the origin of Chinese tea.

Legend has it that Shennong had a transparent body and thus could observe the effects of different plants and herbs on him, so he can detoxicate various poisons. When drinking tea, he found out tea flows inside the abdomen, searched all over the body, and cleaned the stomach and intestines, so Shennong name it “cha” (means search), and later becomes cha, and that is the origin of the Tea name.

Whether it be a summer afternoon, or a cold winter night, brewing a pot of good tea, settling down your heart in tranquility, being far away from the disruptive world, enjoying the harmony between human and nature, you will feel the infinite happiness of life.

當歷史成為過去, 對遠古的記憶成為傳說,中國人飲茶的起源亦眾說紛紜。

陸羽茶經中記載「茶之為飲,發乎神農氏」。神農氏被尊為「醫藥之祖」,為了明瞭各種草本的性質,他遍嚐百草,發明藥物及教人治病。有人認為茶是神農在野外以釜鍋煮水時,剛好有幾片葉子 飄進鍋中,煮出的水,其色微黃,喝入口中生津止渴、提神醒腦,感覺非常清爽舒服。以神農嚐百草的 經驗,判斷它是一種藥,便給這種葉子取名為「茶」。以後每當吃進有毒的東西,便立即吃點茶,消滅掉毒物。這就是「茶」最早的起源, 也是中國飲茶起源最普遍的說法。

另傳說神農有個水晶肚子,能夠觀察吃進的草本在腹中之變化,因而能化解百毒。當他嚐茶時,發現茶在肚內到處流動,查來查去,把腸胃洗滌得乾乾淨淨 ,因此神農稱這種植物為「查」,再轉成「茶」字,成為茶的起源。

無論在夏日的午後,或是寒冷的冬夜,泡一壺好茶, 讓心沉靜下來,遠離人世的纷争,享受着人与自然的和諧之美,會覺得生命無限美好。

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