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When I was a child, I watched my grandparents make tea, and the process was so complicated that it was dizzying. When I was a freshman in college, I read Zhang Jinghong (Zhang, Jing-Hong 2016)'s Pu'er tea research "Flow, Aggregation, and Separation: Contradictions and Dynamics in the Development of Taiwan's Tea Art", and gradually understood the development and cultural evolution of Taiwan's tea art. Today, I will introduce Taiwan's tea art and related knowledge through this short article.

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According to the research records of Zhang Jinghong (2016: 66-67), although the tea table layout and tea making methods in Taiwan are diverse, most of them originated from Chaoshan Kung Fu tea. Chaoshan Gongfu tea originated in southern Fujian and northern Guangdong in the late 18th century. It got its name because the tea making process took a lot of time. It came to Taiwan with immigrants from Fujian and Guangdong in the 19th century. For example, special olive charcoal must be used to boil water, cups must be scalded for each round of tea making, teapots and cups must be placed on a tea boat (underneath to catch excess water), the teapot goes back and forth over all the cups as the tea is being poured (in order to ensure that every cup of tea tastes the same, commonly known as "Guan Gong patrols the city, Han Xin orders troops")

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After China's reform and opening up, many people will go to Taiwan to find the authentic culture of Chinese tea art. However, Zhang Jinghong (2016) also pointed out in the article that the so-called authenticity of tea art culture is actually quite negotiable. In fact, the current tea art culture in Taiwan cannot be regarded as the Kung Fu tea culture that is completely inherited from Chaoshan in China, but is a fusion of China, Japan, The tea art culture in various parts of East Asia has inspired changes in tea drinking culture in response to political, economic and cultural changes.

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Zhang Jinghong (2016: 69)’s research believes that every two or three years, Taiwan’s tea art will undergo many changes, whether it is the tea utensils used, the arrangement of tea seats, the method of making tea, or the form of holding tea parties. This kind of change, so far, has always been faster than that of mainland China. When China is still using wooden square tea trays, Taiwanese tea people have already started to use shallow teapot holders; when China is still using tea cups with handles, Taiwan has begun to use handleless tea cups. The reason for the teacup is also for "simplicity"; while China is still learning how to hold a tea party with a tea seat design, some tea people in Taiwan have said that most tea parties are no longer interesting and need more cutting-edge things to replace.

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From the article by Zhang Jinghong (2016), we can see how the changes in Taiwanese tea art are influenced by different cultures, and we can also use this to rethink our cultural authenticity (that is, what is "pure, true "Culture) imagination, perhaps it is precisely because of its constant changes that culture has the possibility to keep pace with the times. The tea drinking cultures of Taiwan, China, Japan, and even the entire East Asia are constantly advancing in a diversified direction through the imagination of tea art lovers (tea people) on tea culture!

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Do you have any thoughts on tea culture? Welcome everyone to leave a message and discuss with the editor! (The editor also came into contact with the tea drinking culture slowly because of the need to write articles. If there are some parts that are not complete or clear, please feel free to private message the editor)


“Culture is a shared and negotiated system of meaning” – Luke Eric Lassiter (cultural anthropologist and author of Welcome to Anthropology)


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Zhang, Jing-Hong, 2016, "Flow, Aggregation, and Separation: Contradictions and Dynamics in the Development of Taiwan's Tea Art." "Taiwanese Journal of Anthropology" 14(1): 55-88.