Something You Don’t Know About China’s Tea Culture: A Case Study of Hongloumeng Translated by David Hawkes

Chunhua YANG


Tea is a favorable drink for most of the people in the world, but for Chinese people, it is more of a medicine and a magical thing. As the origin of tea, China has enjoyed a long history of drinking tea that helped to form its own unique tea culture. By exploring the tea culture revealed in ancient time through the examples taken from David Hawkes’ version of Hongloumeng, we came to discover that Chinese people take the drinking of tea to be a way of improving the health and even gaining an eternal life while offering tea to the dead one is a way to show one’s sincerity, filial piety whereas offering tea as a gift to the living one is a way to symbolize friendship and marriage commitment. For most of the foreign readers, the above-mentioned medical, social and religious functions of tea in ancient China are seldom revealed to them.


Tea; Tea culture; Hongloumeng; Medical function; Social function; Religious function

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Hawkes, D. ( 1973-1986). Harmondsworth: Penguin books. Retrieved 2010, May 31 from HJENGLISH.COM. Web site:

Hu, W. B. (1994). Red mansions overflows with tea fragrant-Hongloumeng and Chinese tea culture. Studies on a Dream of Red Mansions, (04), 243-270.

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Lin, G. S., & Lin, X. F. (2011). The origination of tea by Shengnong-The tenth interpretation to ancient book of tea. Tea in Fujian, (04), 56-57.



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