From the bitter chicory to the sweet dew: a night about the history of tea in china

News_Tea History.jpgWhat could be the "plant of civilizations" (as defined in the historic French F. Braudel) of China? The first two names that look at the mind of anyone are rice and tea. The importance of these two plants in the daily life of Chinese is so strong and rooted us to think that they are always been present in China, and their use over time. Actually, in both cases, their spread, and products related to them was not so remote in time as you might think. In the case of tea, for example, we can not talk about a real spread of voluttuario (ie not medicine) of the beverage until the Tang dynasty. And as they become accustomed to drinking tea spreads, diversified modes of preparation and strategies consumption, and the perception of the taste changes. What recalled to the taste of a bitter chicory (kutu), turns later in the sweet dew `(ganlu), almost a windfall or un`ambrosia. The tea is a popular drink, a commodity, an object of barter (exchange with Mongolian horses), a pastime for cultured and refined (even with real `race` tasting, toucha), a source of literary inspiration . A new literature of tea, chashu (including Chajing of Lu Yu is the parent), flower sites devoted to public and private consumption of the beverage. We produce tools and containers used in the preparation and enjoyment of the beverage. Born the teapot, another subject that we are accustomed to associate the most remote Chinese tradition, and that is of fairly recent invention. This conference follows the stages of development of tea culture in China from its origins to today, highlighting the relationship between the consumption of the beverage and socio-cultural changes to it.

Marco Ceresa, a professor of Asian Studies on Asia at Ca `Foscari of Venice, is considered one of the greatest experts of tea in Italy. Author of The treaties on tea Tang era (Monographs on Tang Dynasty Tea), has published a translation of tea Canon of Lu Yu (Leonardo, November 1990).

For further information,
Italian Embassy Cultural Office, 2 Sanlitun Dong Er Jie, Beijing - tel. 65322187

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