History: Lecture 11
Silk was the most coveted fiber because it was strong, light weight, and
It’s so coveted as a trade item, that the biggest trade route was named after
it; The Silk Road.
The Origins of Tea
- Tea is made from camellia sinensis
- Sinensis suggests it comes from China
- Legend: Emperor Shen Nung drank tea and it has become popular
Tea during the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.E.-220 C.E.)
- Inventions from Han Dynasty include paper, tea cups,
- Tea cups: indicates plant was found high (Yizhou Hills Tea, Meng
Mountain Tea, Wudu Mountain Tea)
- “To drink bitter tea constantly makes one think better” (Hua Tuo)
- Pressed tea leaves into tea cakes
Tea during the Tang Dynasty
- Tea was also becoming more firmly established in the culture of
- Tea became established in Persia, etc.
- Lu Yu,
- Tea picked by hand, ideally by young woman for they were believed
to have the most dexterity (Musicians, Tang Dynasty)
- The women wore veils, but that meant they couldn’t see each other
and therefore they had to sing to each other
- Must have clean fingers so they carried pot of water to clean hands or
wore silk gloves with tiny slits for nails
Tea during the Song Dynasties (960-1279)
- Preferred tea in powder form and they would add water and which so
the tea would become frothy and white
- People enjoyed tea in tea houses
- Teahouses became important for business meetings, social visits,
family outings, etc.
- Excellent trading partners among the people living outside of China. - The people couldn’t grow their own tea leaves, but they had a special
preference for tea.
- The customs of