During the Tang dynasty (618-907), the art of tea was developing alongside the arts of painting, calligraphy and poetry.
In the early 760s, Lu Yu, China’s first real tea specialist and known today as the patron saint of tea, wrote The Classic of Tea, the first book devoted to tea. His work details the tea plant, its cultivation and the ways different teas are manufactured. Lu Yu also gave precise instructions on how to prepare the teas and wrote about its many health benefits.
The use of tea grows upon me surprisingly; I know not how it is, but my fancy is awakened and my spirits exhilarated as if with wine. ~ As said by an emperor of the Han dynasty.
The time during the Song dynasty (960-1279) became known as The Age of the Beaten or Whisked Tea. This is when the finer details of the tea ceremony became increasingly important.
The last school of tea preparation happened together with the cultural renaissance of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). It was during this time that tea began to be prepared the same way we do it today, by pouring simmering water over dried leaves. Most of the instruments used to brew tea today, such as kettles, teapots, cups without handles, etc. were invented during this period.