Tea culture

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Re: Tea culture

Unread postby Fornadan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:22 pm

Well, I think we can at least safely disregard distilled spirit as something drunk at social gatherings in ancient-early medieval China

According to wiki at least that only begun for beverages during the Jin 金 and Southern Song period
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Re: Tea culture

Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:34 pm

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distilled ... stillation

"Precursors

Distillation was known in the ancient Indian subcontinent, evident from baked clay retorts and receivers found at Taxila and Charsadda in modern Pakistan, dating back to the early centuries of the Common Era. These "Gandhara stills" were only capable of producing very weak liquor, as there was no efficient means of collecting the vapors at low heat.

The Chinese may have independently developed the process in the early centuries of the Common Era, during the Eastern Han dynasty."

It's not what's later known as "true distillation", but it's still a kind of distillation, and something produced through that method would not really count as either wine or beer in today's world. :)
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Re: Tea culture

Unread postby Fornadan » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:01 am

A couple of quotations from Albert Dien's Six Dynasties civilzation (he translates jiu as "wine" btw)

"The Qimin yaoshu provides ten methods for obtaining eight different ferments, or starters, for the fermentation process, all of which involved a well-steamed cereal and fresh water. The fermentation agents were added to a variety of cereals, including glutinous nad ordinary millets, rices, and spiked or panicled millets, to produce various wines; the Qimin yaoshu lists some forty forty different kinds of alcoholic beverages."

"Grape wine was available during this period, brought to China by the large number of merchants from the so-called Western Regions, but it had not yet achieved any great popularity. The process for making distilled wine, or baijiu, was perhaps known as early as the Han, but even in the Tang only small amounts were being made."

"There is mention of tea as early as the Han, when it was introduced from Sichuan, and it was a fashionable drink in the south during the Six Dynasties period."

"apparently the tea leaveds were steamed, ponded, and molded into cakes that were then slowly dried over a low fire and finally suspended for a final airing. For drinking, chunks of the tea cake were boild in water and flavorings such as orange peel, mint, jujube, scallions, and ginger were added."

(I can highly recommend this book to anyone interrested in the material culture of 3rd-6th century China)
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