Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Emperor Can’t Pass a Day Without Tea

Compiled from Origins of Chinese Tea and Wine
        Tea is a natural and healthy beverage. In the old days when medicine was still in its infancy, the average lifespan of the population was short. However, those who drank tea often lived a longer life. Tea is rich in nutrients, including some that are vital to maintaining one’s health and growth.
        There were a few famous tea lovers that lived a long life. One such example is Lu You, a literary figure in the Song Dynasty once said, ‘Even if the rice is plain, I will not feel poor as long as the tea is sweet.’ He died at the ripe old age of 86. Bing Xin, a famous author and tea lover passed away at the age of 99.  Even an emperor (who hailed from the Qing Dynasty) once declared, ‘The emperor can’t pass a day without tea.’

Who was he? 

This emperor was none other than Emperor Qianlong. Given he was one of the oldest serving emperors in China, his longevity definitely had something to do with his tea-drinking habit. When he had decided to step down, an old minister said, ‘The country can’t survive a day without an emperor.’ However, the emperor simply lifted his teacup and said, ‘The emperor can’t pass a day without tea.’ The anecdote clearly illustrated the emperor’s passion for tea.  

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