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Lu Yu; the Saint of Tea and Cha Jing

9. Commemorative tea stove

Back track to that period while Lu Yu was still living in solitude in Juzu Mountain. During this time Monk Jiaoran frequently visited Lu Yu and brought food supplies and replenished daily necessities for him.

Apart from composing his Cha Jing Lu Yu devised new tea brewing methods. Lu Yu also designed new tea equipage for his new brewing methods, which was later featured in Cha Jing. Monk Jiaoran often helped fetch his designs to the craftsmen and to the foundry. Later Monk Jiaoran would deliver the finished products back to Lu Yu.

One of the tea stove that he designed in 764 had a sentence engraved on one of the three legs of the stove. It read "Cast in memorial on the first anniversary when the great Tang people defeated the rebel Hu" to commemorate the first anniversary of peace after the 8 years of civil war.

Hu was an ancient ethnic minorities from north western Tang China in which General An Lushan was the warlord of these Hu people.

A Tang Dynasty's commemorative tea stoveThe war ended in 763 and resulted in Emperor Tang Xuanzong going on "early retirement" in 756; he abdicated his position to his son Emperor Tang Suzong the heir apparent. Emperor Xuanzong was the longest ruling Tang emperor. His reign lasted 42 year from 733 to 755. Emperor Xuanzong died in 762 aged 77 a year before the rebellion was finally quashed.

The imperial army executed Lady Yang Guifei and her cousin brother Yang Guozhong when both were attempting to flee with Emperor Xuanzong to Sichuan. The imperial army demanded both of them to be executed for their cover-up and concealing the Emperor's weaknesses which resulted in loss of control of the imperial court that eventually led to the An Lushan Rebellion.

An Lushan Rebellion was later also known as The Anshi Rebellion. The name Anshi Rebellion came from An Lushan's "partner in crime" his deputy Shi Siming, who later became leader of the rebellion after executing An Lushan's son An Qingxu in a series of internal coup within the rebel.

Most of Emperor Suzong's reign of 6 years was spent in fighting the Anshi Rebellion and he died of illness in 762. Emperor Suzong's son succeeded his father and became Emperor Tang Daizong. During the reign of Emperor Tang Daizong the imperial army under the command of General Guo Ziyi and General Li Guangbi finally ended the civil war in 763.