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Cai Xiang (Chinese: 蔡襄; pinyin: Cài Xiāng; Wade–Giles: Ts'ai Hsiang) (1012–1067) was a Chinese calligrapher, scholar, official, structural engineer, and poet. He had the reputation as the greatest calligrapher in the Song dynasty.
In the eight year of the Tiansheng (天聖) era (1030 CE) he obtained the degree of jinshi (進士, lit. "advanced scholar"), a graduate who passed the triennial court exam. His highest rank was Secretariat Drafter of the Duanming Court (Duanmingdian Xueshi), in charge of written communication of the imperial government. During the Qingli (慶曆) era (1041–1048 CE), he was the Officer of Transportation (Zhuanyunshi) in Fujian. While acting as a prefect in Fujian, he also was in charge of overseeing the construction of the Wan-an Bridge at Quanzhou.
He pioneered the manufacturing of small Dragon Tribute Tea Cake of superlative quality, as it was reputed to be harder to obtain than gold.
One of his most famous publications is his essay "The Record of Tea", also known as the "Tea Note", which he wrote in 1049–1053.
- Calligraphy: Wan'an Bridge Report Tablet
- Poetry: Collected Works of Cai Zhonghuei
- Letter: Letter on Cheng Xin Tang Paper
|“||Tea has intrinsic aroma. But tribute tea manufacturers like to mix small amount of Dryobalanops aromatica camphor, supposedly to enhance the aroma. The local people of Jian'an never mix any incense into tea, afraid to robe the natural aroma of tea.||”|
- Ci hai bian ji wei yuan hui (辞海编辑委员会）. Ci hai （辞海）. Shanghai: Shanghai ci shu chu ban she （上海辞书出版社）, 1979. Page 610.
Media related to Cai Xiang at Wikimedia Commons