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「団茶」と陸羽

「団茶」は、よく唐時代のお茶であると説明されます。しかし、これは正確ではありません。「団」とは「かためる」という意味であり、本来は保存用に固めた固形茶です。中国の唐時代、この固形茶の飲み方が発達し、世界最古の茶書である陸羽の『茶経』が記されました。この本によれば、当時は固形茶を一度あぶり、粉末にして煮出して飲んでいました。この後に抹茶の時代になりますが、実は固形茶を粉末にし、撹拌していたのです。

Brick Tea and a Sage of Tea Culture, Lu Yû

Brick tea is sometimes used to mean the tea of Tang Dynasty China (618 – 907). However the fundamental meaning is tea that has been steamed, molded into a block, and dried for preservation. This kind of tea is still drunk in some parts of the world, for example Mongolia and Tibet.

Brick tea was very popular in Tang China, so much so that Lu Yû completed the first book on tea, Cha Ching. According to this book, tea should be made by roasting a tea brick, then grinding it into powder and boiling it in water. Even after the Tang dynasty was overthrown, people continued to drink brick tea, but started to whisk it. The taste was very different from the green powdered tea that we think of in Japan.

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