Cai Xiang

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Cai Xiang () (1012–1067) was a Chinese calligrapher, scholar, official, structural engineer, and poet. Cai Xiang had the reputation as the greatest calligrapher in the Song Dynasty.


Cai Xiang's Style name was Junmo (君谟), and his posthumous name was Zhonghuei. He was born in the Xiangfu reign of the Song dynasty in Xianyou (仙游) county of Xinghua (兴化) prefecture, now Xianyou County in Putian of Fujian Province.

During the Chingli reign (1042–1048 AD), Cai Xiang 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. In Tiansheng the eighth year (1030 AD) Cai Xiang obtain the degree of jinshi. His highest rank was Duanmingdian Xueshi, (secretariat Drafter of Duanming Court ) in charge of written communication of imperial government.

He pioneered the manufacturing of small Dragon Tribute Tea Cake of superlative quality, as it was reputed to be harder to obtain than gold. In his Tea Note written between 1049 and 1053, he criticized the traditional method of mixing small amount of Dryobalanops aromatica camphor into tea cake:

"Tea has intrinsic aroma. But tribute tea manufacturers like to mix small amount of Dryobalanops aromatica camphor, supposedly......
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