Category Archives for History

The Abolition of Caked Tea by Imperial Decree

            The Veritable Records of Emperor Taizu of the Great Ming Dynasty Sixteenth day, ninth lunar month, twenty-fourth year [1391] of the Hongwu reign period An Imperial Decree on the Jianning Annual Offering of Tribute … Continue reading

02. December 2014 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History, Literature, Translation |

Hermitage of the Single Branch

            Hermitage of the Single Branch   Dedicated to Brother Anthony of Taizé and Master Hong Keong-hee in great appreciation for their gift of Tea Koreana     In 1823, the Venerable Cho-ui went into … Continue reading

31. October 2013 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History, Literature |

Spring of the Instructor: Wenxüe qüan 文學泉

The Spring of the Instructor was once an important source of water in the ancient town of Jingling. Pure and clear, the spring was discovered long ago by a venerated monk, and for hundreds of years thereafter its waters were … Continue reading

01. April 2013 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tsia and Tsiology: A History of the Words

Introduction The word tsiology is a nineteenth century expression.  Rare and obscure, tsiology was said to mean “a scientific dissertation on tea.”[1]  As a term, tsiology was expressly coined in 1826 for a polemical account published that very year in … Continue reading

23. March 2013 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Thomas Garway’s Broadsheet Advertisement for Tea, circa 1668

  “An Exact Description of the Growth, Quality, and Vertues of the Leaf TEA, by Thomas Garway in Exchange Alley, near the Royal Exchange in London, Tobacconist, and Seller and Retailer of TEA and COFFEE. Tea is generally brought from … Continue reading

11. November 2012 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History, Literature |

Engelbert Kaempfer on Tea and Bodhidharma

The Japanese legend of the discovery of tea by the first Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma graphically detailed the dedication of the master to meditation.  According to the story, Bodhidharma, known as Daruma in Japan, practiced a strict regimen of meditation at … Continue reading

06. September 2012 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tea and Bodhidharma

The discovery of tea was ever a story of many dimensions, and the telling of the tale depended on the leaf’s use as medicine, food, or drink.  Throughout history, tea was intimately related to deities, demi gods, and mortals.  In … Continue reading

02. September 2012 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Drinking from the Dragon’s Well

Dragon Well is fed by a clear mountain spring near beautiful West Lake.  In ancient times, the spring’s cold, pure waters gathered in a pool known as Longhong that lay sheltered deep within an old forest.  Remote and secluded, the … Continue reading

27. August 2012 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Characteristics of the Tea Leaf, 1653 A.D.

Martino Martini of the Society of Jesus                       Characteristics of the Tea Leaf There is nothing superior to the famous tea leaf.  To satisfy the curious reader and students of … Continue reading

25. July 2012 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History, Translation |

The Sultaness Head

Thomas Garway and the Marketing of Tea in Seventeenth Century London   Introduction In the history of English tea, the name Thomas Garway was intimately linked with two London coffee houses.  The first was the Sultaness Head in Sweetings Rents, … Continue reading

15. November 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

No Harm in Tea

Tea received mixed reviews in seventeenth century Europe.  Touted by herbalists and healers as a miraculous cure for nearly every ailment, tea contended with the strong and formidable opposition of medical conservatives throughout the Continent.  According to the German doctor … Continue reading

24. October 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tea and the Italian Renaissance

The earliest European accounts of tea were written in Italy during the late Renaissance when the spirited rebirth of art and culture in the sixteenth century was most evident in Rome, Venice, and Naples, all cities of great wealth, power, … Continue reading

23. June 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

← Older posts