Tea is a traditional beverage unique to China. At the latest, in the Tang Dynasty, tea has begun to become popular, and tea drinking was very popular during the Song Dynasty. In the Yuan Dynasty, tea drinking had become a common hobby of all ethnic groups and classes.

Wang Zhen, a famous scholar of the Yuan Dynasty, said in his book “Nongshu Tea”: “Fu tea, spirit grass also.” If you sow, you will be rich, and if you drink, you will be clear. The upper and the princes and nobles, the lower and the small husbands are indispensable, the resources of the people are used daily, and the benefits of the state are also helped. ”

A popular proverb at the time: “Seven things to get up in the morning, firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce and vinegar tea”. It can also be explained that tea occupied an indispensable position in the family’s dietary life at that time.

First, the past and present lives of the “famous teas” of the Yuan Dynasty

Tea is mainly produced in the south of Jiangsu and Huaizhi. The famous teas of the Yuan Dynasty include Beiyuan tea and Wuyi tea from Jianning, Fujian, Guzhu tea from Huzhou, Yangxian tea from Changzhou, Rizhu tea from Shaoxing, Fan Dianshuai tea from Qingyuan Cixi and so on. Beiyuan, Guzhu, Yangxian and Rizhu are all famous teas of the previous generation and are known as “excellent”.

Among them, Guzhu tea was used as a tribute in the Tang Dynasty, but in the Song Dynasty, due to the exhaustion of the spring water used for tea making, it was discontinued. After the Yuan Dynasty pacified Jiangnan, the spring water returned and became a tribute again.

Beiyuan tea was designated by the court of the Song Dynasty, and it still enjoyed a good reputation in the Yuan Dynasty, and the Yuan Dynasty “Book of Agriculture” recorded:

Tea “Fujian, Zhejiang, Shu, Jing, Jiang, Hu, Huainan are all there, but Jianxi Beiyuan wins”; It is exclusively for tribute and is called “imperial tea”

“Yang Envy Tribute Tea Spread to All Directions” is also a famous tea of the tribute imperial court.

Cast Ridge today

And according to the local records of Shaoxing today: Rizhu tea was produced in the Rizhuling Ridge in Shaoxing, eastern Zhejiang, and was known as “strange” in the Song Dynasty, which shows that this was also a well-known good tea at that time. The Yuan Dynasty poet Ke Jiusi served in the Kuizhang Pavilion in the palace, and there are poems:

“Spinning off the yellow seal and casting tea, Yuquan Xinjia tastes youjia. There is no proclamation in the temple today, and the bead curtain is idle to watch the willow flowers.”

It can be seen that the court also drank Japanese tea.

Wuyi tea and Fan Dian shuai tea became famous in the Yuan Dynasty. Wuyi tea was produced in Wuyi Mountain, which belonged to Chong’an County, Jianning Road at that time. According to the “Wuyi Mountain Record”: In the sixteenth year of the Yuan Dynasty (1279), Pingzhang Political Affairs in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces Happy (happy is a personal name) passed by Wuyi and made several pounds of “stone milk” (tea name) to offer to the imperial court, which was the beginning of Wuyi tea as tribute tea in the Yuan Dynasty. Later, Gao Jiu, the son of Xing, lived as the governor of Shaowu Road in Fujian, and made tribute tea in Wuyi Governor nearby, and established a roasting bureau, called the Royal Tea Garden.

“Yuan Shi Hundred Official Records” recorded: The government of the Yuan Dynasty was established

“Jianning Beiyuan Wuyi Tea House Lifting Office, Raise a member, receive the Xuanhui Courtyard, palm the tea buds, directly subordinate to Xuanhui.”

In the Yuan Dynasty, Xuanhuiyuan was in charge of court food, and Wuyi tea, like Beiyuan tea, was mainly consumed by the court.

Fan Wenhu, a general who surrendered to Japan, later conquered Japan

Fan Dian Shuai tea “is made into tea buds on Qingyuan Road in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and the taste color is superior to all teas”. The so-called Fan Dianshuai is Fan Wenhu, who served as the former deputy commander of the Southern Song Dynasty and later surrendered to the Yuan, so he is known as the “palace marshal.” Fang Zhi of Qingyuan (present-day Ningbo, Zhejiang) of the Yuan Dynasty recorded:

“Tea, out of the Minshan of Cixi County, in Ziguo Temple Okayama is first, and the side of Kaishou Temple is second. Every time the water of the Hua’an Temple is steamed, those who are carefully selected are like the fine houses of the birds to pay tribute. ”

The local chronicle of Cixi in the Ming Dynasty clearly states that this is Fan Dian Shuai tea:

“Make a tea bureau, Song Dian Shuai Fan Wenhu tribute tea, Yuan because of it, just open the Shou Temple to set the bureau.”

This tea was still a tribute in the Ming Dynasty.

Second, the exploration of tea production technology in the Yuan Dynasty

Wang Zhen, author of the Yuan Dynasty’s “Book of Agriculture”, pointed out: “The user of tea, the tea of the end, the wax tea”. It roughly means that the production methods of tea are roughly divided into three types: one is tea tea, the second is last tea, and the third is wax tea.

Tea is actually the loose strip tea that is now commonly used, which is made by picking young leaves and stir-frying in a pot.

The last tea is that after the tea is picked, “the buds are roasted first to dry, and then milled finely”. During the Tang and Song dynasties, the last tea was usually made into cakes, and the tea cakes were first mashed and crushed when drinking, and then drunk, and this was still the case in the Yuan Dynasty.

As for wax tea, it is the finest of the last tea.

“Wax tea is the most expensive, and the production is extraordinary. Choose the finest shoots, finely grind into Luo, mix the brains and balm oil, adjust the same method, print the cake, and prepare exquisite samples. Wait to dry, still finish with balm oil. It is made with large and small dragon clusters with crotches. This product is only full of contribution, which is rare among the people. “Seen in Nongshu Tea

The production of wax tea in the Yuan Dynasty is not much different from that of the Song Dynasty. It is called “wax” because the surface of the tea cake is decorated with balm oil, smooth as wax. The Yuan dynasty poet Zhuo Yuan wrote:

“Make a dragon and phoenix regiment and enter the Youyan Road. The yellow flag flashes squares, and the new interest is recommended. ”

Zhuo Yuan described the situation of wax tea paying tribute.

Third, the Yuan Dynasty tea drinking genre: pure school, additive school

The Yuan Dynasty government levied a tea tax on the tea that was marketed, and the tea taxed was divided into two categories: “end tea” and “herbal tea”, and different amounts of banknotes were levied.

The name “herbal tea” has appeared in the Song Dynasty, which is what Wang Zhen called “tea tea”, that is, loose strip-shaped tea. “Tea tea” (herbal tea), “end tea” and “wax tea” have different ways to drink. Let’s start with “tea”. Wang Zhen pointed out:

“Whoever frys tea chooses young shoots to use soup to remove the gas, and decocts them with soup, and now the south has many effects.”

It is recorded in the “Essentials of Drinking and Eating” that there is “clear tea, first brewed with water, filtered, tea buds, and fried when young”. According to these two records, “tea tea” (herbal tea) is first soaked and filtered with hot water when drunk, and then fried with water. In the scattered songs of the Yuan Dynasty, there are sentences such as “boiling tea buds and spinning gold” and “binpeng to boil tender tea”, all of which show that the method of decoction of “tea” at that time was different from the later use of boiling water.

Regarding the method of drinking “last tea”, Wang Zhen said:

However, the tea is especially wonderful. First roast the buds to dry, grind them finely for testing. Where you order, more soup and less tea will scatter clouds, and less soup and more tea will make porridge noodles. The banknote tea is one penny seven, first injected with soup, adjusted extremely evenly, and then injected, and the loop is flicked, depending on its bright white, and there is no trace of strength. Its tea is sweet and smooth. Although tea is produced in the south, few people know this method. ”

The so-called “point” is to inject boiling water into the tea cup containing the tea powder, “soup” is the boiling water, “porridge noodles” is the surface of the tea soup, and “cloud feet” are the foam floating on the surface of the tea soup. First put the tea powder in the tea cup for one penny and seven cents, inject a small amount of boiling water, mix the tea powder evenly, and then add boiling water, stir it with a special tool tea whisk (bamboo), “ring blowing”, you can achieve the effect of “bright white” soup flowers on the surface. The tea noodle soup flowers clinging to the edge of the lamp without retreating, this is called “no water marks on the lamp”; When the soup flowers disperse, traces of water appear on the inner edge of the lamp, called “water feet”.

Ordering tea is a way to drink the last tea. Another way is to fry the tea with water. Tea drinking in the Tang Dynasty was mainly fried with tea powder and water. In the Song Dynasty, the method of ordering tea prevailed, but the way of sencha still exists.

Judging from the records of the Yuan Dynasty, the method of frying tea and water still exists. One of Cheng Yiwen’s poems reads:

“The new tea of the day was named early, and it was far from the valley. Platinum soup ding-shaped mold Gu, Huangge wind furnace system fine. ”

The title of the poem is “Brewing Tea Soup is Very Good, Making It Like”. Ding was a common tool for sencha in the Tang Dynasty. In the poet Zhang Qiyan’s poem “Sencha”, there is also the sentence “small group soup ding fa yuxin”.

In general, drinking tea in the Yuan Dynasty, “tea tea” (herbal tea) generally uses the method of adding water to fry, and some “end tea” uses “point” that is, brewed with boiling water (soup), and some are fried with water. It can also be classified from another angle, that is-to-drink tea has “point” and “fried”. “Point” tea is brewed with boiling water, and “sen” tea is fried with tea powder or tea buds and water. As for the modern method of brewing loose strip tea with boiling water, it was after the Ming Dynasty. The Yuan Dynasty is an important period of transformation in China’s tea drinking style, and the style of “ordering tea” and “sencha (tea powder)” in the previous generation is still prevalent, but the method of “brewing tea buds” has become increasingly popular.

The above is a pure method of drinking tea. During the Tang and Song dynasties, tea drinking was often added with other condiments, such as salt, ginger, fragrant medicine, etc., and this style still existed in the Yuan Dynasty. “Drinking and Eating” recorded: There was “fragrant tea” in the court, which was roughly made of white tea, dragon brain, hundred medicine fried, and musk “with fine research, boiled into porridge with fragrant japonica rice, and made into a potion, printed into cakes”. Obviously, like the “wax tea” mentioned above, this “fragrant tea” is also made into cake tea, which is finely ground when drinking.

The famous prose writer Georgie has a song of “fragrant tea”:

“Carefully study the piece of brain plum pollen, freshly peeled pearl cardamom kernels, and repair the phoenix tuanchun according to the party. Drunken and refreshing, fragrant and tender, those charms of this child. ”

It can be seen that “fragrant tea” is made with precious spices, medicinal herbs and tea such as dragon brain.

In the court, there was also “goji tea”, which was crushed into fine fines and “hollow every day”. This is an example of using medicinal herbs to make tea.

Flower tea is popular in modern northern China, that is, the floral aroma of plants is used to enhance the taste of tea. There are different theories about the origin of flower tea. In the Yuan Dynasty, there was “Hundred Flowers Tea”, which was to put “wood rhinoceros, jasmine, chrysanthemum, frangipani and other flowers” on the top and bottom of the tea box to increase its taste.

Fourth, the grandeur of the Yuan Dynasty teahouse

Tea is a must-have drink in the home. At the same time, in the cities and villages of the north and south, there are many tea houses, tea houses, and tea houses. Taking the Jingshi Dadu as an example, “the tea house pub shines in the morning light, and the Jingyi boat car will be ten thousand lights”. The small order of “giving tea shops” by Li Dezai is quoted in the front, and the end is: “Golden buds are tender and dewy, snow frankincense is plugged with crisp, and my family has no strange taste in the world.” Jun listened, and the sound was heard in the imperial capital. “It can be seen that this is simply advertising a tea shop.

Ma Zhiyuan’s miscellaneous drama “Lü Dongbin Three Drunken Yueyang Lou” describes a couple who “open a tea shop” under the famous Yueyang Lou in Huxiang, but travel from north to south to business travel, and they have to come to “eat tea in the tea house”. This is undoubtedly a portrayal of real life.

The operators and service personnel of the tea house, generally known as the tea doctor. In Guan Hanqing’s miscellaneous drama “Qian Da Yin Zhi Kan Crimson Dream”, the owner of the tea house declares: “My own tea doctor, opened this tea house”. It can be seen that the tea houses of the Yuan Dynasty still continue the grandeur of the Song Dynasty.

Fifth, the pursuit of tea by the Mongol nobility of the Yuan Dynasty

In the dietary life of modern Mongolians, tea is an indispensable drink. At the beginning of the 13th century, the Mongols’ drinks were mainly mare’s milk wine, but also milk from various domestic animals. As the Mongols expanded into agricultural areas under the Jin Dynasty, they were exposed to tea naturally. The main production area of tea is south of Jiang and Huai, but in the areas ruled by the Jin Dynasty, “up and down compete, especially farmers, and market tea shops belong to each other”. It can be seen that the golden people are very sought after tea.

This habit will certainly have an impact on the Mongols. Especially after the elimination of the Southern Song Dynasty and the unification of the country, the tea-producing land in the south of the Jiangnan has entered the territory, and the Mongols have more opportunities to contact tea.

As mentioned earlier, the pleasure of paying tribute to Wuyi tea, and Fan Wenhu’s tribute to Qingyuan Cixi tea, are obviously to cater to the needs of the court. Due to the comeback of Jinsha Spring, Guzhu tea was reproduced in the Yuan Dynasty. According to the “Yuan History”, until the first month of the fifteenth year of the Yuan (1278), Kublai Khan gave Jinsha Spring the name Ruiying Spring. The interest in Jinsha Spring is obviously due to the demand for famous tea. These circumstances show that the Mongolian upper class figures, headed by Kublai Khan, already have a hobby of drinking tea.

The clear record of the emperor of the Yuan Dynasty drinking tea begins with the third emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, Yuan Wuzong Haishan. According to the “Drinking and Eating”:

“Since the beginning of the Great Dynasty, Emperor Wuzong has been lucky that Liu Lin has flown and asked the Empress Dowager to watch it together. From the road through the Zou store, because of the thirst for tea”, the subordinates use local well water, “sencha to advance, the upper is called its special taste of the tea of the inner province, the taste is both unique. …. The water used by the queen from now on will be taken every day. The soup tea made is superior to the water.”

It can be seen from this that tea was often used as a drink in the palace of Emperor Wuzong, and the tea drunk by Emperor Wuzong was obviously clear tea without other condiments, otherwise it would be difficult to taste the changes in tea. The famous poet Matsu of the middle Yuan Dynasty often wrote: “The imperial official Tangyang Qing is fat, and the jade ou first entered Jiangnan tea.”

“Eunuch” refers to the official in charge of the diet of the court. After eating fatty mutton, the emperor was accustomed to drinking tea to help digestion. The last emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, Tuhuan Theemur, had a great interest in drinking tea. He was accompanied by a maid who “specialized in tea drinking”, and the Goryeo woman Ki clan who later became empress, was favored because of her closeness to Emperor Shun, and she was favored because of her closeness to Emperor Shun. (Seen in “Yuanshi Houfei Biography”)

“Self-provided Dongyuan Jiushi tea, looking at the mirror Russian shock years plus. Even if the deep palace is like the sea, it also teaches the clouds to point frost. ”

The third empress of Yuan Hye-jong, the Qi clan

More “Sicha” palace maids spent their youth lonely in the palace.

As a drink to quench thirst and consume food, tea is suitable for the needs of the meat-based Mongols, and it is inevitable that it will be welcomed by them. This was true at court, and the Mongols were no exception.

6. Yuan Dynasty tea packaging under the influence of nomadic culture

Due to the nomadic culture formed by the ruling class of the Yuan Dynasty living a nomadic life for a long time, pursuing luxurious enjoyment, and the Mongolian people’s living habits of migrating and swimming at any time, tea packaging has influenced the packaging style, which is thick, solid, tall, thick, drop-resistant, portable and durable.

The preferences of the ruling class also influenced the color of packaging at that time. The preference for blue, cyan, and white from the rulers of the steppe made the decorative colors of the packaging of blue flowers on a white background or white flowers on a blue background very popular.

Secondly, in the decorative patterns, the images are mostly derived from plants, animals and cloud patterns in nature, including animal patterns unique to nomads, such as horses and eagles. It reflects the aesthetic consciousness of Mongolian nomads, full of admiration for nature and the value orientation of harmony and unity with nature.

As shown above, the tea lid jar carved in red in the Yuan blue and white glaze, the whole body is decorated with red patterns in the blue and white glaze, the lid of the jar is painted with blue and white lotus petal patterns, curly grass patterns, and back patterns one week each, the near mouth of the can body is painted with blue and white tangle patterns, curly grass patterns one week each, the shoulders are painted with drooping Ruyi cloud head pattern, the cloud head pattern is painted with blue and white water ripple to support white lotus, and the folding peony pattern is painted between the cloud head patterns, and the design and production are extremely exquisite.


Tea is a special economic and cultural carrier in China’s history, which is not only an important financial source for the Central Dynasty, but also an object of chanting by literati and scholars, and a symbol for people of all ethnic groups to express their feelings and enhance exchanges.

For some reason, when people talk about ancient Chinese tea culture today, they often focus on the Tang and Song dynasties. The second heavy Ming and Qing dynasties, not much mention of the Yuan Dynasty. In fact, whether people ignore it or not, it is an indisputable fact that the custom of drinking tea was also prevalent in the Yuan Dynasty.

Although the Yuan Dynasty was short in its founding, coupled with ethnic minorities in power, mixed ethnic groups, and social customs and eating habits were very different from those of previous dynasties, tea culture still developed in the Yuan Dynasty, not only the political situation of multi-ethnic unification promoted the further popularization of tea culture, but also the tea culture of the Yuan Dynasty witnessed and promoted the exchange and integration of various ethnic groups, and the cultural identity of the Chinese nation was enhanced.