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Xianning Tea

Source: hubei.gov.cn 12/10/2015 05:12:56

Area: Xianning City

Introduction:

Xianning city has produced tea since ancient times. In historical records, Xianning tea was referred to as “Ezhou tea”, “Wuchang tea” and “Xingguo tea”.

Xianning city once belonged to the Chu State in ancient times, Nanjun prefecture during the Qin Dynasty, Jiangxia prefecture in the Han Dynasty, Wuchang prefecture of the Wu State in the period of the Three Kingdoms. During the time the city was a part of Ezhou province during the Tang Dynasty, it was split into five counties, including Jiangxia (today’s Xian’an), Yongxing (today’s Tongshan), Wuchang, Puqi (today’s Chibi and Jiayu) and Tangnian (today’s Chongyang and Tongcheng). After the Tang Dynasty, Xianning may have been split and included in the Wuchang prefecture and Xingguo prefecture separately or was wholly included into Wuchang.

History:

Xianning tea has a very long history. It is said that “people picked tea in Wuchang Mountain” in the Jin Dynasty. During the Jin period, Xianning belonged to Wuchang prefecture and Jiugong Mountain was the only large mountain of the area, so “Wuchang Mountain” is believed to be referring to Jiugong Mountain.

“The Classic of Tea”, written by Lu Yu in the Tang Dynasty, says that tea from the south of the Yangtze River is “from Ezhou”. Today’s Xianning was once a major area in Ezhou during the Tang Dynasty and therefore understood to be the main tea-producing area during that era.

At the time, black tea from Tangnian (today’s Chongyang and Tongzhou) and Puqi were the most popular. It was only during the Song Dynasty that Xianning tea reached its prime, prior to this, Xingguo prefecture was famous for its tablet tea.

Su Dongpo, a literary master, used to visit Xianning to drink tea and write poems.