An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jian chashui ji 煎茶水記

Jun 20, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Jian chashui ji 煎茶水記 "On boiling tea water" is a book on the preparation of tea written by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) scholar Zhang Youxin 張又新, courtesy name Zhang Kongzhao 張孔昭. He came from Luze 陸澤 in the prefecture of Shenzhou 深州 (modern Shenze 深澤, Hebei) and obtained his jinshi degree in 814. He was appointed Right rectifier of omissions (you buque 右補闕), a position in which he became a partisan of Li Fengji 李逢吉 and so one of the "Eight Passes and Sixteen Masters" (baguan shiluzi 八關十六子: Zhang Youxin 張又新, Li Xu 李續, Zhang Quanyu 張權輿, Liu Xichu 劉棲楚, Li Yu 李虞, Cheng Xifan 程昔範, Jiang Qia 姜洽 and Li Xun 李訓). He was later appointed regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of Jiangzhou 江州 and sectional director in the Ministry of Law (xingzhong langzhong 刑部郎中). Because of an offense he was demoted to bureau director in the Left Office of the Department of State Affairs (i>zuosi langzhong 左司郎中).
The short book Jian chashui ji describes seven qualities (pin 品) of water that can or cannot be used for preparing tea. The idea to write this book was based on Liu Bochu's 劉伯芻 qualification of waters. Zhang himself tested the waters of many regions of the empire and created a classification of twenty ranks. While Liu Bochu had ranked the water Nanlingshui 南零水 of the lower Yangtze 揚子江 as of first class, the "tea god" Lu Yu 陸羽, author of the Chajing 茶經 had given the first place to Lian Water 廉水 of the Kangu Valley 康王谷 of Mt. Lushan 廬山. The author says that he had been provided information about Lu Yu's classification at Jianfu Monastery 薦福寺 in the shape of a text called Jianchaji 煮茶記. This book had allegedly been compiled by Liu Jiqing 李季卿, regional inspector of Huzhou 湖州, according to oral instructions by Lu Yu himself.
There were also some other book on the same topics, namely Ye Qingchen's 葉清臣 Shu jiancha quanpin 述煮茶泉品 and Ouyang Xiu's 歐陽修 Daming shuiji 大明水記. The Song period 宋 (960-1279) bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 書錄解題 by Chen Zhensun 陳振孫 says that the Daming shuiji relied on Lu Jiqing's book as a source. Ye Qingchen calls the Jian chashui ji with the title Shuijing 水經 that is also used in the encyclopaedia Taiping guangji 太平廣記. It can be assumed that Shuijing was the original title of the book, but it was renamed later in order to discern it from Li Daoyuan's 酈道元 geographical book Shuijing 水經. Ouyang Xiu vehemently criticizes the book of Zhang Youxin because of its contradictions to Lu Yu's Classic. It was also known that Lu Yu and Liu Jiqing did not have a friendly relationship.
The Jian chashui jing is included in the reprint series Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛, Tangren shuohui 唐人說薈 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1860.
蜀漢 (221-263)