扶風 鄕茶譜 茶本
Bupung Hyangcha Bo by Pilseon Yi Un-hae (1710 - ?)
(Record of native tea made at Buan c1756)

Translated by Brother Anthony An Sonjae

The following text is above all significant in that it is the first known written indication of an interest in and experience of practical tea-making in Korea among the literati of the Joseon Dynasty. The drinking of carefully made Korean tea among the ruling classes seems, according to Prof. Jeon Min, to have disappeared completely at the very start of the Joseon Dynasty although it obviously performed important roles in the previous centuries. All earlier mentions of tea in Joseon-dynasty poems etc refer to samples of Chinese tea brought back from embassies etc. The text shows clearly that at the time of writing most people in Korea, even monks, had no knowledge of tea-making and attached no value to tea bushes, even for their medical properties. This is echoed in the DongChaGi. The author’s description shows clearly that his main interest was medical but he has also presumably seen Chinese texts containing lists of the different names given to tea.
    According to the SaMaBangMok (司馬榜目), Yi Un-hae was born in 1710, in the Jeonju Yi clan, and used the ja Jayong (子用). His father was Yi Hyeon-sang (李鉉相). He passed the special national government exam held in 1740 and soon after this changed his name to Simhae (心海) and was promoted through various grades in the following years, being appointed prefect of Buan on the 3rd day of the 10th month 1754. He stayed there until he was recalled to Seoul on the 9th day of the 10th month 1756. The date of his death is unknown. No originals of his writings remain. The text of the Bupung Hyangcha Bo survived by being included in the diary of Hwang Yun-seok (黃胤錫 1729-1791) known as YiJaeNanGo 頤齋亂藁, following the last entry in the diary, dated the 26th day of the 6th month 1757. The diary is preserved at Gochang, North Jeolla Province, where Hwang’s home is also preserved. It seems likely that what we have here are only a few extracts chosen from a longer original text.
    Jeong Min (58) says that the younger brother of Yi Un-hae, Yi Jung-hae, was a close acquaintance of Yi Deok-ni and deduces that Yi Deok-ni might have learned from him about the tea-making recorded here.

扶風之去茂長, 三舍地, 聞茂之禪雲有名茶.
官民不識採啜, 賤之凡卉, 爲副木之取,
甚可惜也, 送官隸採之, 適新屯從叔來,
輿之參, 方製新, 各有主治, 作七種常茶,
又仍地名, 扶風譜云,自十月至臘月連採, 而早採者佳,

Bupung (now Buan) is three county-districts away from Mujang. I heard that there was famous tea growing at Seonun-sa temple in Bupung. Neither officials nor ordinary folk knew how to drink it, they treated the bushes as mere weeds and used them for kindling, so they were in a bad state. I sent servants from the Gwana (government office) to pick and bring me some. Just in time, my father’s cousin from Sintun came and took part. It was just the time for making new tea so we made seven different kinds of tea. I am calling this the Bupung Record from the name of the place. We picked tea from the 10th through the 11th into the 12th lunar months, early picking is best.
苦茶一名雀舌, 微寒無毒, 樹少似梔, 冬生葉
早採爲茶, 晩爲茗, 曰茶曰檟, 曰薛曰茗曰荈,
以採早晩名, 臘茶謂麥顆, 採嫩芽, 搗作餠,
並得火良, 老葉曰荈, 宜熱, 冷則聚痰,
久服去人脂, 令人瘦.

The Tea Tree

Bitter tea is also called jakseol “sparrows’ tongues.” It has a rather cold quality but is not poisonous. The bushes are small, similar to gardenia bushes. The leaves grow in winter; those picked early are called “cha” and those picked later “myeong.” The different names, cha, ga, seol, myeong, cheon etc all depend on whether the tea was picked early or late. Tea produced in the last lunar month is called “barley grain tea.” Many buds are picked, pounded, formed into cakes and roasted. Tough old leaves are called “cheon.” It is best drunk hot. When cold it causes phlegm. If drunk over a long period, it removes fat and makes one dry.

The names of the teas
風 : 甘菊*, 蒼耳子 (Wind: Wild chrysanthemum*, xanthium)
寒 : 桂皮*, 茴香 (Cold: Cinnamon*, fennel)
署 : 白檀香, 烏梅* (Hot: White sandlewood, dried plum*)
熱 : 黃連*, 龍腦 (Fever: root of Jeffersonia dubia*, camphor)
感 : 香薷*, 藿香 (Flu: Elsholtzia*, betony)
嗽 : 桑白皮, 橘皮* (Coughing:  Mulberry roots, tangerine peel*)
滯 : 紫檀香, 山査肉* (Upset stomach: sandlewood, hawthorn*)
取点字爲七香茶, 各有主治.
The ingredients marked (*) were used to make the 7 kinds of tea; each is known to be effective.
茶六兩 右料每各一錢, 水二盞, 前半 拌茶焙乾 入布帒, 置燥處, 淨水二鍾, 罐內先烹. 數沸注缶, 入茶一錢, 盖定濃亟熱服.

Six nyang (1 nyang = 37.3 gr) of tea and 1 jeon (1 jeon = 3.73 gr) of the other ingredient are mixed with 2 cups (jan) of water and boiled until reduced by half. The tea mixed with the other ingredient is then dried over a fire; once dry, it is placed in a cloth bag and kept in a dry place. First, two larger cups (jon) of clean water are brought to the boil in a tea kettle. After the water has boiled for a while, the tea is added. One jeon of tea should be used; it should be served strongly brewed and drunk while very hot.

爐可安罐, 罐入二缶, 缶入二鍾,
鍾入二盞, 盞入一合, 盤容置缶鍾盞.

The stove must be able to support the tea kettle.
The tea kettle should contain enough for 2 bu.
Each bu should contain 1 jong.
Each jong should hold enough for 2 cups.
Each cup should contain 1 serving.
The tea table / serving tray must be large enough to hold all the bu, the jong and the cups.
[The text includes a set of drawings of the different utensils.]

右李弼善運海 知扶安縣與其季前正言重海 及從叔曾游寒泉門下者 商確譜製者也 余亦爲其有用 錄來今二十年 尙在巾衍而弼善兄弟 俱作古人 哀哉 姑志下方以示兒輩丙申五月十四日頤翁 其從叔之子一海進士與趙裕叔同硯云

Note added in 1776 by Hwang Yun-seok

The author of this text, Pilseon Yi Un-hae (弼善 李運海) was at that time prefect (hyeonggam) of Buan. Together with his youngest brother Jeongeon Yi Jong-hae (正言 李重海) and his father’s cousin he studied under Hancheon (might or might not be Yi Jae (寒泉 李縡, 1680~1746? several scholars used the same ho). He was the author of the Sanghwakbo (商確譜). Convinced of the value of these writings, I have kept them wrapped in a cloth for 20 years. Now Pilseon and the rest are all dead, I feel sad. I have written this note here at the end for the benefit of his children. This note was added on the 14th day of the 5th month, 1776. (The paternal cousin is said to have been a student of Jo Yu-suk (趙裕叔).