Chajing 茶經 "Classic of Tea" is one of the most famous ancient Chinese books on tea. The 3 juan "scrolls" long book was written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Lu Yu 陸羽 (733－804). Lu Yu never occupied a post in the government although he had been offered the position of Great Supplicator (taizhu 太祝) of the Office of Imperial Sacrifices (Taichangsi 太常寺). Instead, he lived a private life in a very rural style. Because of his deep knowledge of tea, he was also called the "god of tea" (chashen 茶神). In his book Chajing, he describes the origin and spread of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), the shapes of the leaves of different kinds of tea plants, and the different qualities of tea; the harvest of leaves and different tools used for the preparation of tea leafs; as well as the method of tea fermenting. The second part is dedicated to the preparation of the beverage and the different tools to serve tea. In the last part, he narrates stories about fermenting, drinking, different matters around tea, places of origin, concise statements about tea types , and – very short – an outline of the book.
Inspite of its shortness, the Chajing is very reknowned for its beautiful and concise language. It is included in a lot of reprint series, like Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛, Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原, Gezhi congshu 格致叢書, Bai mingjia shu 百名家書, Tangren shuohui 唐人說薈 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. There are also several other prints from the Ming 明 (1368-1644) and Qing 清 (1644-1911) periods. The commentary and translation into modern Chinese made by Ouyang Xun 歐陽勛 is included in the Hubei xianzheng yishu 湖北先正遺書, published in 1983 by the Hubei renmin press 湖北人民出版社出.
There are a lot of translations of the Chajing into Western languages, for instance, Francis Ross Carpenter (1974), The Classic of Tea (Boston/Toronto: Little, Brown and Co.).
|茶之源||Cha zhi yuan||Origins|
|茶之具||Cha zhi ju||Rearing tools|
|茶之造||Cha zhi zao||Production|
|茶之器||Cha zhi qi||Production tools|
|茶之煮||Cha zhi zhu||Fermentation|
|茶之飲||Cha zhi yin||Drinking|
|茶之事||Cha zhi shi||Affairs|
|茶之出||Cha zhi chu||Regions|
|茶之略||Cha zhi lüe||Omissions in process|
|茶之圖||Cha zhi tu||Illustrations|
Bu chajing 補茶經, also called Chayuan zonglu 茶苑總錄, was a brief book on tea written by Zhou Jiang 周絳, courtesy name Ganchen 干臣, from Liyang 溧陽 in the prefecture of Changzhou 常州. Zhou lived for some time as a Daoist monk, but decided to return to worldly life. In 983, he obtained his jinshi degree and was appointed 太常博士. Later on he was made 都官員外郎知常州. Around 1010, he was prefect of Jianzhou 建州, and during that time compiled his book on tea.
The book was intended as a supplement to Lu Yu's 陸羽 famous Chajing 茶經 from the Tang period, particularly referring to tea in the region of River Jianxi 建溪 in what is today the province of Fujian (Jiancha 建茶). Only two sentences survive that are quoted in Wang Xiangzhi’s 王象之 Yudi jisheng 輿地紀勝, and Xiong Fan’s 熊蕃 Xuanhe beiyuan gongcha lu 宣和北苑貢茶錄, respectively. The book is only mentioned in the book catalogue Mishusheng xubian dao siku que shumu 秘書省續編到四庫闕書目. The biographical chapter in the Songshi 宋史藝文志 lists the book Bu shanjing 補山經, which is perhaps a clerical error for Bu chajing. There was once a commentary by Chen Gui 陳龜 on a book called Bu chajing. Whether this was on Zhou’s book or on another text, is not clear.