551 – 479 BCE: Confucius and Tea

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We continue our tea history lessons today with a small post on Confucius.

Confucius lived in ancient China (Circa 551 – 479 BCE) and today is considered to be the greatest philosopher in ancient Chinese history. Confucianism, a philosophy adopted by great numbers of ancient Chinese people, was first founded by Meng Zi (Confucius’ student) and Confucius himself, although the date of its establishment can only be guessed at.

Confucianism had a great impact on Chinese tea culture, and became an important starting point for the time-honoured and ancient Chinese tea ceremony. Tea was associated with harmony, etiquette, optimism and calmness, and this laid down the brickwork for the ceremony, which was partially based upon these four imperative principles.

The etiquette of simply serving tea (sans ceremony) was also influenced by Confucianism. Confucius himself was also noted as a consumer of the beverage.

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