Record of Tea

The Record of Tea (Chinese: 茶录; pinyin: Chá Lù), also known as the Tea Note is a Chinese tea classic by Cai Xiang written in 1049–1053 CE.

"The Record of Tea" was written by the scholar Cai Xiang in 1049–1053 CE

Reputed as one of the greatest calligraphers of the Song dynasty, Cai Xiang was also a great tea connoisseur. During the Qingli (慶曆) era of the Renzong Emperor (1041–1048), Cai Xiang was the Officer of Transportation in Fujian. He pioneered the manufacture of a small "Dragon Tribute Tea Cake" (大小龙团 daxiao longtuan) of superlative quality.

He wrote the first tea treatise of the Song dynasty, The Record of Tea. In this book, he documents, explains in detail, comments and also criticizes the preparation and usage of tea and its vessels. He also made one of the first documented comments on Jian ware. The work consists of two volumes.

He was a native of Fujian; he was the first writer to report the tea spotting game of Jian'an (now Shuiji county in Fujian).

Table of contentsEdit

  • Part I: About Tea
    • Properties of Tea
    • On Storage
    • On Baking
    • On Pressing
    • On Sieving
    • On Boiling Water
    • On Preheating
    • On Tea Spotting
  • Part II: Tea Utensils
    • Tea Warmer
    • Tea Canister
    • Tea Hammer
    • Tea Clamps
    • Tea Grinder
    • Tea Sieve
    • Tea Vessel
    • Tea Spoon
    • Tea Kettle


Tea has intrinsic aroma. But tribute tea manufacturers like to mix small amount of Dryobalanops aromatica camphor, supposedly to enhance the aroma. The local people of Jian'an never mix any incense into tea, afraid to robe the natural aroma of tea.

Tea is of light colour and looks best in black cups. The cups made at Jianyang are bluish-black in colour, marked like the fur of a hare. Being of rather thick fabric they retain the heat, so that when once warmed through they cool very slowly, and they are additionally valued on this account. None of the cups produced at other places can rival these. Blue and white cups are not used by those who give tea-tasting parties.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bushell, Stephen W. (1910). "10. Specimens of the Sung Dynasty". Description of Chinese pottery and porcelain; being a translation of the T'ao shuo. Oxford: University of Oxford. pp. 123-124.