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05/08/2013

Luwuh The First Apostle of Tea | Char

Luwuh The First Apostle of Tea


Luwuh was a poet in the 8th century and wrote The Holy Scripture of Tea or Chaking.

He entered the world at a point where Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism were trying to exist alongside each other. Being a poetic person, Luwuh saw the harmony and order which reigned through everything, mirrored in the tea-service. In the Chaking Luwuh created The Code of Tea. In chapters one, two and three, Luwuh talks of the nature of the Carmellia Sinensis plant, implements for leaf gathering and how to select the leaves. In accordance with Luwuh, the best quality tea leaf will have creases like the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like fine earth newly swept by rain. Chapter 4 describes in details the twenty four pieces of equipment essential for tea making, starting with a tripod brazier and finishing with a cabinet made of bamboo to house all of the necessary utensils. Okakura shrewdly observed the connection between taoist symbolism and the influence of tea on Chinese ceramics. The well-known Celestial porcelain originated in the attempted reproduction of the exquisite shade of jade, resulting in the south of Chinas blue glaze and the Norths white glaze during the Tang dynasty. Luwuh favoured the blue tea-cup as it lent an additional green tinge to the liquid. Later, the powdered-tea makers of Sung settled on blue-black and dark brown heavy bowls. The steeped-tea makers, the Mings, preferred white porcelain. Luwuh, in the fifth chapter, sets out the methodology of tea making, with emphasis on the choosing
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05/08/2013

Luwuh The First Apostle of Tea | Char

of the water, and the degree to which it is boiled. According to Luwuh, the order of preference in water choices is; mountain spring, rain water and spring water. The boiling of the water has three stages:
1. The first boil when the little bubbles like the eye of fishes swim on the surface. 2. The second boil when the bubbles are like crystal beads rolling in a fountain. 3. The third boil when the billows surge wildly in the kettle. Tea is also added at this stage along with a little cold water to revive the youth of the water.

The tea was then poured and drunk! The remaining chapters spoke of the vulgarity of ordinary tea-drinking and its methods, a summary of historical and illustrious tea drinkers, Chinas famous plantations, variations of the tea service, and illustrations of the tea equipage. Ill leave you with a quote from a Tang poet, Lotung, describing his drinking journey whilst consuming such a masterfully made cup of tea The first cup moistens my lips and throat, the second cup breaks my loneliness, the third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some five thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration all the wrong of life passes away through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified; the sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of cool wind that rises in my sleeves Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.
Check out our tea ware and accessories here: http://www.charteas.com/home/shop/3.html

If you like these last few blog posts, you might like to read The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2013 [http://www.charteas.com/blog/2013/08/05/luwuh-the-first-apostle-of-tea/] .

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