Emperor Qianlong:a lifetime love for tea

April 28, 2022 No Comments Chinese tea culture, Knowledge, tea stories ctma

There are 335 emperors in the 5000 years of Chinese history. These pampered emperors, who enjoyed luxury and wealth all their lives, should have lived a long life. However, according to historical records, nearly half of the emperors did not live to the age of 50, and the average life expectancy was only 39. Only five emperors in history lived to be over 80 years old. According to the order of dynasties, it is: Xiao Yan, Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty (aged 86), Wu Zetian, the female emperor (aged 82), Zhao Gou, Emperor Gaozong of the Song Dynasty (aged 81), Kublai Khan, Emperor Shizu of the Yuan Dynasty (aged 80), and Hongli, Emperor Gaozong of the Qing Dynasty (aged 89). The longest lived Emperor Gaozong Hongli of the Qing Dynasty is the well-known Emperor Qianlong.

Emperor Qianlong’s method of longevity!

In addition to not being superstitious about elixir containing heavy metals, the Qianlong emperor had many other ways of keeping healthy, one of which was drinking tea. Tea is the main drink of the royal family. As a loyal tea fan, he focused on tea science all his life, devoted himself to studying various professional knowledge such as tea products, origin, picking, brewing, water and utensils, and then recorded these knowledge and tea drinking experience in the form of poetry. It is said that he invented a scale to weigh different water and select the lightest water to make tea. It can be seen that his study of tea has reached an unsurpassed level.

Emperor Qianlong endowed tea with the fullest sense of ceremony!

During the reign of Emperor Qianlong, tea feasts were held every year. It is usually held on a winter day with light snow. The tea served at the tea banquet is called “Sanqing tea”, which is based on Longjing tea, with plum blossom, pine nuts and Buddhist hand as seasoning. Due to the dignitaries attending the feast, it has a certain political connotation.

Emperor Qianlong: you can’t live without tea!

Emperor Qianlong, who had been in power for 60 years, announced his abdication at the age of 84. The minister dissuaded him and said, “the country cannot live without a king for a day!” Emperor Qianlong took up the tea lamp and said, “I can’t live without tea for a day.” In one sentence, Emperor Qianlong expressed his love for tea all his life.

Finger-knocking salute originated in the Reign of Emperor Qianlong

It is said that the Finger-knocking salute originated in the reign of Emperor Qianlong. Emperor Qianlong went to Jiangnan for a incognito travel. When drinking tea in a teahouse, he poured a cup of tea to is servant. The servant was at a loss for fear of revealing the identity of the emperor, and could not directly kneel on the ground to thank him. Then the servant bent his index finger and middle finger and knocked on the table for three times, representing his kneeling to the emperor. Qianlong  was greatly pleased with his actions. Since then, the finger-knocking salute was popularized.

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