Chinese Tea Ceremony

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  • Chen

    Hello, first thanks for the great article. I am a Chinese who study in a western country. I really like drinking the different type of tea and interested in Chinese tea ceremony. Because I love tea and tea culture, I create a Facebook, twitter, and WordPress account to post the knowledge about tea and tea culture. Did you noticed that nowadays, a lot of teenagers overly drinking soda, I’d like introduce them tea knowledge make them interested then change their overly drinking soda this bad habit. If you interested in my idea, please follow my account, thanks!

  • Ingrid

    Will you please answer the question; what significance the clay figurine on the draining table has, if any.

    None. According to my Chinese teacher, it is just playful. ~Elise

  • Ingrid

    In Shenyang, China, I visited a tea shop by the Black Gate. During the preparation of tea, for sampling, I noticed a samll dragon figurine on the tea table. This figurine was doused with tea, each time a new kind was prepared, before serving. What what is the significance/lore of the dragon in tea preparation?

  • Elise

    Hi GW – You might try looking at this article on tea bricks over at Wikipedia. Apparently you chip a piece of the compacted tea off, rinse it, and then make tea with it.

  • GW

    Hi, Nice pictures and write-up.

    My son recently returned from a trip to China and brought me back a hardened cake of tea. It only has Chinese writing on the wrapper but I think it is green tea. It’s shaped somewhat like a ball cut in half and it comes in a nice box. Are you familiar with this tea and do you know how I should attempt to break it apart? It is very compact and hard to get at.

  • Joe


    Thanks for the article.

    I just returned from a month in Shanghai. I purchased some tea ceremony items, (pot, cups, strainer, utensils, table etc. ). I’ve been trying to remember the order of the ceremony, so this article was a nice reminder. !

    Re: the little figure: I bought a figure of the frog god with a coin in his mouth to pour the rinse over. My host told me it was for good luck.

    He also told me the 3rd pouring was for tasting. Maybe it

  • Jing

    Hi, Jennifer. I’m trying to answering your question here. The serving process of Chinese tea depends on the location, and drinking customs and tea features vary a lot.

    Generally, the main reason that the first pot should be poured out, as Elise said, is cup should be kept warm and the tea tastes better after it’s washed by hot water. And the first ‘washing’ can bring aroma through all the pots and cups after liquid going through them. Sometimes, people from Southern China will take this custom, which is typical of adding a small cap on each cup before the tea is served. Host usually clenches the cup with cap and shakes upside down, and let guests smell the aroma left on the cap. So I guess the clay figure is for the aroma use. Hope it helps.

  • Jennifer

    On a recent trip to Beijing I attended several tea ceremonies that included a little clay figure on the draining tray. My hosts poured the first pot of tea (the “rinse”) plus the leftovers over the little figure. Any idea what the significance of that figure is?

  • Sheila

    Where do you live? We are having a an educator from Taiwan give us 3 hrs teaching and practice in the tea ceremony on Feb 25.
    Mrs. Shieh is an educator and researcher in early childhood education in Taiwan. As part of her effort to introduce younger generations to traditional Chinese culture, she developed a short course on the Chinese tea ceremony for use in elementary schools. The course has been successful not only in schools but also in colleges and universities. Mrs. Shieh will take us through each step of the process and show us how to incorporate the meditative mindfulness that is integral to the tea ceremony.

  • Sarah

    Thanks for the info I am teaching a lesson in Elementary school about Chinese culture and I am trying to learn how to perform the ceremony for my class. Do you know if there is a video available anywhere? Or even a book? Thanks

  • Lance

    Thank you for the great article. I just returned from a business trip to China (2nd in 5 weeks) and received a gift of nice tea set from my host. I wanted to treat my wife to a mini-tea ceremony for Christmas.

    Of course my business tea ceremonies were much less formal, but I loved your article and will incorporate as much as I can to share it with her.

    We have never been “tea people” if you will, but I found it relaxing and very intriguing while visiting China with both Chinese and Taiwanese business people.

  • Raiven Manselle

    Awesome article! I love tea and am totally fascinated with both Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies. This write-up sheds light on this wonderful ceremony and I hope there will be more to come soon. I too would love to have details on the serving ware and how to obtain.

  • Dao Hoang Gia An - Vietnamese

    Firstly, I just want to say ‘thanks a lot’ for your information. I’m going to open a Chinese tea & Chinese tea ceremony shop in Vietnam. Your blog is very infomative.
    If possible, please give me more detailed info of chinese tea ceremony & history of chinese tea styles. Thanks in advance.

  • Susan Howard

    Whilst in Beijing I attended a tea ceremony and as a gift was given a little pottery pig that is used to test temperature of water – it is steeped in (cold or hot for a period?)water and then put into the boiling water for the tea and taken out and it ‘urinates’ when the temperature is correct. Does anyone have full instructions for this novelty please?

  • Alex

    I certainly like this process more than the Japanese Tea Ceremony, which seems almost stressful by comparison. I also really like those teacups. I have the Yixing style cups but I like those more. Any chance of telling us where they came from? :)

  • Garrett

    Thanks so much for the information! I had no idea there were other Sac/Davis/etc area bloggers!
    I love the pictures on your blog, so crisp and vivid (I have a cheapo camera that can’t quite get the job done, lol).
    I look forward to reading and hopefully getting to know the other Sac Area food bloggers!

  • Luv2Cook

    WOW! Neatly written article. I never knew about the Chinese tea ceremony. Thanks for the write up, Elise!