Open main menu

The seven necessities (Chinese: 開門七件事 pinyin: kāimén qī jiàn shì) stem from the phrase "Firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea are the seven necessities to begin a day". The items were known as early as the Song dynasty travel book, Dreams of the Former Capital.[1]

Seven necessities
Traditional Chinese開門七件事:柴米油鹽醬醋茶
Simplified Chinese开门七件事:柴米油盐酱醋茶
Literal meaningopen door 7 items-of-affairs: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, tea

The Chinese phrase "seven necessities" literally means "開 open 門 door 七 seven 件事 items" when translated, which is an old Chinese saying. They include firewood (柴 chái), rice (米 mĭ), oil (油 yóu), salt (鹽 yán), sauce (醬 jiàng), vinegar (醋 cù), tea (茶 chá). The seven necessities were made popular in modern tea culture due to the fact the beverage was mentioned as one of the seven necessities of Chinese life.[2]


  1. ^ Huang, Xingzong (2000). Fermentations and Food Science. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 394.
  2. ^ "Chinese Tea Culture, Tea Drinking Custom, Tea Tasting, Yum Cha". Travel China Guide. Retrieved 2012-03-02.

External linksEdit