CHP-148-The History of Tea Part 9

In this penultimate episode of the China History Podcast History of Tea series Laszlo finishes off the story of Robert Fortune and introduces Sir Robert J. Lipton. This CHP long history of Chinese tea started off slow and in this Part 9 fizzles out altogether. Laszlo also introduces a little overview of Pu-erh Tea as an extra bonus.


For all the Tea in China

by Sara Rose


These Two Books by Robert Fortune:

Three Years’ Wanderings in the Northern Provinces of China

A Journey to the Tea Countries of China


The Spirit of Tea, a book and traveling exhibition by tea lover and photographer Matthew London.



Babelcarp:  A Chinese Tea Lexicon




Wuyi Mountains  武夷山 The fabled Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian

Shen Nong  神农  Second of the Three Soveriegns, discoverer of tea and author of the Bencaojing (see below)

Tu  荼  This is what tea used to be called before it became cha 茶

zhenzhu naicha  珍珠奶茶  Boba Milk Tea

Bencaojing  本草经 the Classic of Herbal Medicine (attributed to Shen Nong)

Wang Bao王褒  Western Han individual involved in a contract for a servant

Emperor Xuan宣帝 Han Emperor Xuan

Wu Lizhen吴理真 Buddhist Monk credited with the cultivation of tea on Mengding Shan

Mengding shan  蒙顶山  Mountain in Sichuan where tea cultivation began in China

The Shuowen Jiezi  说文解字  Han Dynasty dictionary

Ming  茗  Another name for Tea

Er Ya  尔雅  The first dictionary in China

Guang Ya  广雅  An updated version of the Er Ya

Ba Shu  巴蜀  巴蜀  Ancient state from the Shu Kingdom

Chengdu cai  成都菜  Chengdu style cuisine

Shu Feng Yuan  蜀风园  The Chengdu joint in Rowland Heights preferred by Laszlo

gongcha  贡茶tribute tea

Sui  隋朝 The Sui Dynasty

Tang  唐朝  The Tang Dyansty

Lu Yu  陆羽  Patron Saint of Tea, prominently featured in History of Tea Part 3

Biancha  边茶  Border tea….tea that was specially processed and packaged for the border peoples of China

chama gudao  茶马古道 the ancient Tea-Horse Road

Chan Buddhism  禪  Zen Buddhism

Lu Tong  卢仝The great poet and bon vivant

Qi Wan Shi  七碗诗  Lu Tong’s poem Seven Bowls of Tea

Jian ware  建窑  Jian ware

xing ware  邢窑  Xing ware from Hebei

qīngbái  清白 Unique white porcelain of the Song

chaju  茶具  Tea ware

Song  宋朝  The Song Dynasty

Diancha  点茶  To whisk powdered tea

Doucha  斗茶  A tea contest

Charen  茶人  A “tea person”, someone in love with or expert in tea

Cai Xiang  蔡襄  Great calligrapher and tea expert from the Northern Song

Cha Lu  茶录the Record of Tea

Su Shi   苏轼 Famous official, man of letters and all around Hometown Hero of Hangzhou

Su Dongpo  苏东坡 Su Shi’s other name

Dongpo Rou  东坡肉  The dish attributed to Su Dongpo. A tasty Hangzhou specialty

K.S. Lo  罗桂祥  Dr. K.S. Lo (1910-1995) Vitasoy Founder and passionate Yixing pottery and ceramics collector

Ming  明朝  Ming Dynasty

Zhu Yuanzhang  朱元璋 the Hongwu Emperor 洪武帝

Zhu Quan  朱权Son of Hongwu Emperor, writer of the Cha Pu (different from the Cai Xiang Cha Pu)

Jingdezhen  景德镇  Famous historic city in Jiangxi famous for everything produced from their kilns

Yixing   宜兴  City along Tai Hu in Jiangsu famous for their teapots

Pu Erh  普洱茶  Pu-er tea (written Pu-Er and with an h on the end)

Oolong  乌龙茶  Oolong tea

cha dashi  茶大师  A Tea master

dìjíshìi  地级市  A Prefectural level city….has more authority than other cities their size

Xishuangbanna  西双版纳  City in southern Yunnan

Simao  思茅   Temporary name for Pu’er. Now a district of Pu’er City

zisha 紫砂  Purple clay, main ingredient of Yixing teapots

Qingming Holiday  清明节  also known as Grave-Sweeping Festival, Usually falls on April 4 or 5

Shanzhai  山寨  a metaphor for a low-end copy-cat products and factories that produces fakes

qi zi bing cha  七子饼茶 Seven Sons Tea Cake

cha dao  茶刀  A tea knife

Yìwǔ  易武  City in Yunnan

Yìwū  义乌  City in central Zhejiang, renowned as the center of China’s merchandise wholesale trade

Wuliang  无量山 Mountain area in Yunnan for famous for their Pu-er Tea

Ailao  哀牢山  Mountain area in Yunnan for famous for their Pu-er Tea

Daxue Mountains  大雪山  Mountain area in Yunnan for famous for their Pu-er Tea

Tedian  特点 special point…outstanding characteristic

Sheng Pu’er  生普洱  Raw Pu-er tea that has not ripened yet

Shou Pu’er  熟普洱 Ripe Pu-er tea that has aged naturally over time or spec up through the Wo Dui process

Wodui  渥堆  A process of speeding up the ripening of raw maocha

cha nong茶农 A tea farmer

sha qing  杀青  To “kill green”. Heat the tea leaves to deactivate the enzymes

rounian  揉捻  The “rolling” of the tea leaves.

Maocha  毛茶  Pu-er tea in its raw state.  Can be packed at once for sheng pu-er or wòduīprocessed to speed up the ripening.

Kunming Cha Chang  昆明茶厂 the Kunming Tea Factory

Bingcha  饼茶 A tea cake

Tuocha沱茶  Bird nest shaped cakes of Pu-er tea in all kinds of sizes.

hē xibeifēng  喝西北风  To east dust.  To “drink the northwest wind”

gushu  古树 ancient tree

baojianpin  保健品  Health products



    • Something nice to enjoy for the rest of your days. Writing, presenting and producing that tea series did the same thing for me.

    • Dear M. Schmutz

      You are officially the first to reach out to me about that Robert Fortune documentary. I understand it was just recently shown on TV. It was such an honor for me to work with such professionals as M. Du Rouve and M. Scemla. I’m glad you liked it. I’ve only seen the shorter English version. I think I have more speaking parts in the longer French version. Thank you sir for the kind words

      Best regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *