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Tea quotations


"Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one."

Chinese proverb


"The first cup caresses my dry lips and throat.

The second shatters the walls of my lonely sadness.

The third searches the dry rivulets of my soul to find the stories of five thousand scrolls.

With the fourth the pain of life’s grievances evaporates through my pores.

The fifth relaxes my muscles and my bones become light.

With the sixth I find the path that leads to the immortal ancestors.

Oh the seventh cup! Better not take it! If I had it the only feeling Is the fresh wind blowing through my wings, As I make my way to Penglai."

Lu Tong, Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907)


"Its liquor is like the sweetest dew from Heaven."

Lu Yu, The Tea Classic, 8th century CE


"Spring water is best [for making tea], next rain water, and next well water. Among spring waters, those that come in swift, clear currents over rocks can be used."

Lu Yu, the Classic of Tea, 8th century CE


"In the third year of the Ta-Chung reign-period (+849), Tung Tu presented to the Emperor an old monk more than 120 years of age. Hsuan Tsung, the emperor, asked him, ‘What medicines did you take in order to attain this longevity?’ he replied, “Your servant was born in a poor family and never attained to any understanding of the nature of medicines. But I have always been extremely fond of drinking tea. Wherever I go I look for it and when I visit another temple I often drink more than 100 cups in one day. Even normally I drink between 40 and 50.’ Whereupon the Emperor bestowed upon him 50 catties of the best tea and prepared a lodging for him to live in the Pao-Shou Temple."

New Account of Southern Matters, Song dynasty (960 – 1279 CE)


"Tea is a miraculous medicine for the maintenance of health. Tea has an extraordinary power to prolong life. Anywhere a person cultivates tea, long life will follow."

How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea, Zen monk Eisai 1211


“ … tea is a marvelous elixir of health that has the capacity to prolong human life. It grows in mountains and valleys, the sort of land where the spirits of gods dwell. We humans take it and extend our lives.”

How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea, Zen monk Eisai 1211


“The effect of tea is cooling and as a beverage it is most suitable. It is especially fitting for persons of self-restraint and inner worth.”

Lu Yu (715-803), Ch’a Ching


"Effect of drinking true tea: tea quenches thirst and aids digestion, dissolves phlegm and reduces sleep, promotes elimination of water, brightens the eyes and benefits the brain, dispels worries and counteracts fatty foods. It is something we cannot do without every day."

Tea Discourse, 1539


"Tea relieves annoyance, alleviates stagnation, purifies excessive alcohol consumption, awakens one from slumber, banishes thirst, and refreshes the spirit."

Tea Hut Chronicles, Lu Shu Sheng, c. 1570


"Tea drinking is best suited to a veranda or a quiet room; near a bright window with a table of gnarled wood; in a monk's hut or a Daoist hall; under moonlight silhouetted by bamboo thickets with wind blowing through pine trees; while sitting at a banquet and reciting poetry; while discussing matters and reading scrolls."

Lu Shu Sheng, 1570


'The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.'

Kakuzo Okakura, The Book of Tea


"I always fear that creation will expire before teatime."

Sydney Smith, 1771 - 1845


"Surely every one is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o'clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without".

Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater, 1821


"Amongst the endless variety of the vegetable productions which the bounteous hand of Nature has given to [man's] use is that simple shrub, whose leaf supplies an agreeable beverage for his daily nourishment or for his solace; but little does he estimate its real importance: he scarcely knows how materially it influences his moral, his physical, and his social condition:- individually and nationally we are deeply indebted to the tea plant."

G. G. Sigmond, 1839


"What was first regarded as a luxury, has now become, if not an absolute necessity, at least one of our daily wants, the loss of which would cause more suffering and excite more regret than would the deprivation of many things which were once counted as necessities of life."

Samuel Day, 1878


"The tea bag personifies the values of modern urban consumer life: standardised, convenient and fast. In 2007 tea bags made up 96% of the tea market."

UK Tea Council, 2011


“Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on.”

Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian