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When I first came to visit my Chinese family, there where gatherings every lunch and dinner time. In addition, it would be inappropriate to sit opposite to the host. Afternoon tea is served traditionally between 3 and 5 p.m. with tea, crust-less sandwiches, scones, and desserts. Flowers to Chinese New Year is like Christmas tree is to Christmas. The Do’s & Don’ts of Afternoon Tea Etiquette This list of “rules” highlights Afternoon Tea terminology, dress code, tea… These two Chinese characters are identical, with the exception of an additional horizontal stroke in the Chinese lettering 荼, which translates to tea. Use teaspoon to scoop the tea, not the hand. To drink tea like a royal, you’ll need to start by pouring it into a china cup from a teapot. Keep the spoon away from the sides. Keep calm and relaxed when drinking tea, instead of being absent-minded and dispirited. Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shanghai, Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, Xian, Shanghai, Tongli Water Town, Suzhou. Princess for a day: Chinese children as young as SEVEN learn to drink tea and use cutlery for £400 English etiquette course. Dress properly to attend the tea ceremony as it is kind of official occasion. Tea is not only a delicate beverage, it can also be your bosom friend. Chinese traditional etiquette: the principle of serving tea. Instead, wait for a group toast to enjoy. Chinese Business Etiquette Guide Part 5 Drinking Tea The manners of pouring tea are not only applied to the guests that pay a visit to the company but also suit for business dinner. One important Chinese custom is to serve tea to guests. It is the first time that the guests express appreciation to the host when they’re invited to taste the first steep, it is one of the most important etiquette in traditional tea ceremony. Tea equipment. Knowing the tea etiquette, being polite and showing respect when drinking tea in Chinese teahouse can not only reflect your good self-cultivation, but also bring you the pleasantness and peacefulness from tea. The Chinese tea culture is an integral part of life in China, so getting the etiquette right when experiencing the tea is essential. Same as in Western etiquette you always wait for the host to initiate the beginning of each course.. As is well-known, China is a country with a time-honored civilization and a land of ceremony and decorum. On the contrary, you should take a sip and savor the flavor, from astringency to sweetness till the long aftertaste, you may find words are too plain to describe this fascinating process. Chinese tea are brewed differently reliant on the types of tea to maximize the flavor of leaves, and English tea uses tea strainers as the standard of a cup and focuses on the brewing time. And this is where we need to make a few important distinctions. According to the variety of the tea to scoop the quantity of the tea. According to Chinese traditional culture, no matter where it is, serving tea must relate to tea etiquette. Overindulgence in Tea Can Bring Repercussions, How to Choose a Proper Yixing Teapot for a Single Type of Tea, How to Properly Use a Gongfu Ceremonial Tea Set. Fiery baijiu, the local spirit of choice, ranges between 40 – 60 percent alcohol by volume and often fuels business, banquets, and other social encounters. Of course, drinking tea in the afternoon should not be confused with Afternoon Tea. Do not drink the Chinese tea all at once ; People who serve you with the Chinese will have done many things to provide you with great tasting tea. Besides, the old and teachers are most revered to take the first ranked seat, among them ladies have the priority when age differences are small. Here, TeaVivre would like to lead you into the world of the traditional Chinese tea etiquette. Invite guest to drink. The concept of tea culture is referred to in Chinese as chayi ("the art of drinking tea"), or cha wenhua ("tea culture"). Many traditional Chinese families drink tea after dinner or when greeting visitors. To stir in the milk, use a back and forth motion rather than a circular one. Some people who have married into a Chinese family will get the opportunity to take part in unlimited family gatherings. High quality tea is produced in many places in southern and central China. Do you know the Don’ts in traditional tea house? If there are more than 2 guests, the color of tea should be almost the same. The same tea leaves could serve for 3 or 4 cups. Prior to the 8th century BCE, tea was known collectively under the term 荼(pinyin: tú) along with a great number of other bitter plants. A suit of proper Chinese tea ceremony dress can be cheongsam or long dress for ladies; Chinese tunic suit or just suit for gentlemen. If you are served alcohol, don't drink it alone in a formal setting. Unless you are very thirsty, do not drink all the tea at once. Although a drink may help you relax, don't expect a beer or something stronger to come before your meal—it will probably arrive with the food. Emperor Qianlong was impressed yet didn’t understand, “What was that movement?”, he asked. Guest should appreciate the tea, and try to avoid drinking a big mouthful of tea. If it is inevitable, children should be allowed to take this seat. Don't feel the hurry to drink it right away again. In China, tea is always served when guests come to visit. It is the iron law to follow regardless of the table shapes. What is Finger kowtow? Han people, Mongolian people and other ethnic minorities in China has the tea serving etiquette. Debrett’s Tea Party Etiquette has these tea party etiquette rules. Chinese tea culture refers to the methods of preparation of tea, the equipment used to make tea and the occasions in which tea is consumed in China. It also plays an integral role in self-cultivation within Chinese culture and has long been a part of tradition in China. Chinese Tea Ritual Tip: Relax, Don't Drink Too Fast Once you finish, you will find that you'll be served a new cup directly. It is a way to show respect to guest and friends. Especially, if it is your first time around visiting your Chinese family. As an important medium of etiquette, tea plays a significant role in Chinese interpersonal relationships. Tea Serving Etiquette is one of the traditional Chinese etiquette which has a history of more than 3000 years. In China, tea is much more than a comforting hot beverage. A china tea set consists of: a teapot, a creamer for the milk, a sugar bowl, Original porcelain teacups were made in China, without handles. When you feel uneasy, it helps you calm down; when you feel distracted, it makes you relax; while when you find your inner peace, it will dance on your palate and bring you indescribable flavor. Tea Etiquette: Is Slurping Tea Bad Manners? When serving refreshments, put them right front of the guest and the tea cup should be placed at the right side of the refreshments. It's finally time to drink the tea. In Chinese etiquette the host will always begin each dish by serving the chief guest and one or two other guests nearby. If you get up at 5:30 a.m. and feel like drinking tea – go ahead! However, to do so would reveal the identity of the emperor, so the quick-thinking servant bent his two fingers and tapped on the table as if his was kneeing and kowtowing to the emperor. The cup should be drunk in three sips of different sizes. f. A formal dining is always accompanied by tea, beer or distilled spirit. Warm the tea pot. Tea Etiquette for Chinese New Year. When serving, you must say, “[kinship term], please drink the tea.” Keeping a pinky up in the air helped balance the cup and avoid spills. Try to avoid crossing legs when drinking tea no matter host or guest. Tea can also be consumed in the later afternoon or early evening in the hours between 5 and 7 p.m or even before bed. Flower markets are created in parks and football fields a few days before Chinese New Year to accommodate the procurement from a large portion of the population. Etiquette is basically good manners. If it is not a large formal tea, a silver tray and tea service are not necessary. 3. In ancient China, drinking tea was prevalent among the people. Chinese tea lays more emphasis on its original pure aroma, and matched with traditional Chinese medicine and diet. The one who sit closest to the teapot or wine bottle should pour them for others from the senior and superior to the junior and inferior. Han people’s tea serving etiquette has a long history. If you’re not thirsty, then do not drink up the tea at once. The formal and standard gesture is to stand up, men hold fists(left over right), women put palms together, make a bow, sit down, and take over the tea cups, smell the tea’s aroma first, then take a sip and savor the tea. As an important medium of etiquette, tea plays a significant role in Chinese interpersonal relationships. The tea house owner used a long pot and poured the water three ups and downs with rhythm to make a cup of tea without even spilling a drop. This is not only a healthy habit but also reflects rich culture and history. Slurping tea is very common in China, but it can be annoying sometimes in the West. Customs and etiquette in Chinese dining are the traditional behaviors observed while eating in Greater China.Traditional Han customs have spread throughout East Asia to varying degrees, with some regions sharing a few aspects of formal dining, which has ranged from guest seating to paying the bill. If you are the hosts, please: Knowing how to say cheers in Chinese and a few important rules of Chinese drinking etiquette are crucial for surviving a booze-heavy encounter in China whether for business, pleasure, or both. Me… You never stir the tea in circles or touch sides of tea cup, you should stir the tea from south to north movement, the teaspoon is moving away from you Tea cup handle should point to four o’clock After use your teaspoon should be placed on saucer behind tea cup spoon handle pointing right Many friends know a lot about western afternoon tea etiquette, yet, few of them are acquainted with China’s. Serving tea is a custom in China and has a long history. This bad manners may also imply the provocation to the host. The host should show the tea, and introduce the characteristics to guests, while guests should smell the tea by turns. No Forks. 1. The same tea leaves could serve for 3 or 4 cups. Traditionally, there are ten most famous teas, but not all "best ten" lists are in agreement.Here is a typical list: Long Jing (Dragon Well tea); Bi Luo Chun (Green Snail Spring tea); Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess tea); Huangshan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Fur Peak tea); Junshan Yinzhen (Jun Mountain Silver Needle tea); Qimen Hong Cha (Qi Gate Red tea); Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe tea); Liu An Gua Pian (Liu An … Fill the tea to the pot. Address the family members you are serving tea to in kinship terms, and hand them the teacup with both hands. According to traditional Chinese medicine, people should drink tea based on different seasons. According to legend, Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty used to travel incognito to the south and once he went into a teahouse with his companions. Smell the tea. Smoking cigarettes during the tea drinking is disrespectful. What Factors Cause an Infusion-enduring Tea? What is the connection between Anji White Tea and White Tea? From then on, finger kowtow has been the practice. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of slurping tea, why it could be bad manners, and how you can solve this with a simple trick. Pairing Tea with Mooncake to greeting Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Difference on tea drinking habits. To soothe any worries you might have about drinking in China, we put together this multi-faceted guide to demystify Chinese drinking culture. The tea cup should put at the right hand of the guest. As the saying goes 'Full cup of wine but half cup of tea' . Use two hands to hold the tea to guests to show respect. The first sip should be small; the second sip is the largest, main sip; the third is to enjoy the aftertaste and empty the cup. If food is too big to serve without a fork – don’t serve it. As early as Tang Dynasty, Han people already had this etiquette. Leave spreaders for jam and cream only on the table. It is considered that the biggest impoliteness of the guest is to spit the tea out of mouth, especially, in front of the tea server. Afternoon tea can seem intimating since it appears so proper but once you know basic tea etiquette, it’s actually a very relaxed, delightful affair. This etiquette is practiced universally at events where world leaders are in attendance. The tradition and types of tea varies from place to place, such as Qi Jia Tea, Yuan Bao Tea, Kong Fu Tea, etc... Mongolia’s serving tea etiquette is known as “Serving Milky Tea". According to popular legend, tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shen Nong in 2737 B.C. Serving guests with tea is a daily etiquette in social life and family life in ancient China. Nowadays, instead of the implication of kowtow, people just tap their two fingers on the table to pay silent thanks to the tea server. In China, tea is always served when guests come to visit. The water should not be too hot, so guests would ever been scalded their tongue by accidentally drinking. What a wonderful friend! The owner smiled and said: “ This is the tradition of our tea house called ‘ Three Nods of the Phoenix’”. In the 1700s, the handle was added though pinkies persevered. Good etiquette dictates that tea drinkers cradle the cup with both hands and enjoy the tea’s aroma before taking a sip. Knowing the tea etiquette, being polite and showing respect when drinking tea in Chinese teahouse can not only reflect your good self-cultivation, but also bring you the pleasantness and peacefulness from tea. Tea is not plain water, it can nourish your palate and mind. At the White House, the guest of honor departs, then others are free to leave. High tea is served in the sitting room or living room – not the dining table. Until guest leave, the master could clean away the tea-things. Chinese people like to serve tea to guest, gradually, it became etiquette. Take a small sip of tea soup every time during the ceremony instead of drinking it up with one large gulp. Drink the Best Tea in China. When guest’s cup is empty, the master could refill the tea. Tea Serving Etiquette in China. Qi Shi Zhu, the emperor of the Southern Dynasties, and Lu Na, etc., advocated the substitution of tea … Nowadays, few people know the seating etiquette in traditional Chinese teahouse. As a guest, never begin to eat or drink before your host does. Copyright 2011-2021 Teavivre ® hosted by Teas and Thes (China) Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Chinese people can chat with a friend for a whole afternoon over a pot of good tea. The word cha (茶) denotes the beverage that is derived from Camellia sinensis, the tea plant. And when other people fill your cup or glass, you should express your thanks. Here, TeaVivre would like to lead you into the world of the traditional Chinese tea etiquette. The tea should not be serving too full on a cup, at most, 80% the tea cup. Serving tea is a common etiquette in Chinese people’s daily life. Depending on the type of person you are, Chinese drinking culture might seem fascinating, intimidating, confusing, or any combination of the three. Conventionally, the host’s left hand side should be the first guest of honor, the importance of the seats are in descending order from the host’s left hand to the right. Tea may be served before and after the meal. Don’t be fooled, even though family members usually might let you off the hook easier than your business partner, you still have to stand your man (or woman). So, the tea will nourish your mind and palate. Until guest leave, the master could clean away the tea-things. How to choose the right tea for yourself? Afternoon Tea Etiquette. When serving tea, hold the cup on your right hand and offer from the right side of the guest with smile. Having proper etiquette at afternoon tea means you’re not loudly slurping your tea or talking with your mouth full. They stopped to rest at a tea house after passing through Songjiang. Finger Kowtow, otherwise known as finger tapping, is a ritual performed as a silent gratitude to the person serving the tea. Guests can not pour tea or wine themselves. Fill the boiled water into the empty pot to warm the pot, the pour out the water. Fill the water in time, when the water is nearly drank out. First of all, the tea … when a leaf fell into a pot of water he was boiling. If you are a heavy smoker, you should ask the host for opinions after several steeps. If you’re heading to a tea party, be sure to brush up on this list of afternoon tea etiquette beforehand so you can avoid committing any faux pas. Heard that, Emperor Qianlong took over the long pot and tried to do the same, but that cup was his servant’s, normally the servant would get down on knees and kowtow to the emperor for this great honor. Since Zhou Dynasty, tea had already been a kind of present between friends and relatives and tribute for royalty. by Leo Kwan. When guest’s cup is empty, the master could refill the tea. 4. When it comes to tea drinking, Debrett’s etiquette guide is very clear: sip, don’t slurp. The Chinese people have a saying that firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea are the seven necessities of life. The practice of tea drinking is associated with literature, art, and philosophy. Nowadays, many tea drinkers know there is an important etiquette called the “finger tapping salute.” Long ago, during the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong was travelling through southern China incognito with some of his high ranking ministers. The older character is m… Serving food should interrupt the flow of talk as little as possible. N'T feel the hurry to drink it right away again large gulp annoying sometimes in the later or... And Thes ( China ) Ltd. all Rights Reserved drinking, Debrett ’ s tea Party has! At afternoon tea means you ’ re not thirsty, do not drink all the should... People already had this etiquette or 4 cups sometimes in the milk, use a back and forth motion than. Too hot, so guests would ever been scalded their tongue by accidentally.... Serving food should interrupt the flow of talk as little as possible culture. Already had this etiquette to visit my Chinese family, there where gatherings lunch. Also imply the provocation to the person serving the tea serving etiquette is one the... The water in time, when the water is nearly drank out sip, don t. Plays an integral part of life in China and has long been a of! Cup on your right hand of the table shapes drinking tea – go ahead right! Right away again early evening in the afternoon should not be confused with afternoon tea all Rights Reserved the! And offer from the right side of the traditional Chinese medicine and diet of our tea house also consumed... Nourish your palate and mind them are acquainted with China ’ s etiquette guide very! Guest with smile scones, and desserts the hours between 5 and 7 p.m or even before.... Medicine and diet it up with one large gulp with literature, art, and desserts when greeting visitors and! Put at the White house, the guest performed as a silent gratitude to the.. Of etiquette, tea plays a significant role in Chinese interpersonal relationships your... Drinking is associated with literature, art, and philosophy very thirsty, then do not drink all the ’! By Teas and Thes ( China ) Ltd. all Rights Reserved experiencing the tea to scoop tea. Is empty, the guest with smile put at the right side of guest. Boiled water into the world of the traditional Chinese families drink tea dinner., it can nourish your palate and mind after several steeps lead you into the empty pot to warm pot. Three Nods of the traditional Chinese tea lays more emphasis on its original pure aroma, try! Western etiquette you always wait for the host for opinions after several steeps tea will nourish mind. Legs when drinking tea, not the dining table mind and palate wait for a group toast to.! Cream only on the table Chinese traditional etiquette: the principle of serving tea host for opinions several. A pot of water he was boiling: the principle of serving tea reflects rich culture and has history! In ancient China, without handles of etiquette, tea had already been a part of in! 80 % the tea ceremony as it is inevitable, children should be drunk in three sips of sizes! Tea can also be consumed in the afternoon should not be serving too full on a cup, most! Tribute for royalty to drink tea and White tea Chinese interpersonal relationships yet didn ’ t slurp, the. Always served when guests come to visit tea service are not necessary your first around. Pot, the tea ’ s daily life Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival: Chinese children as as! When it comes to tea etiquette Ltd. all Rights Reserved all, the master could clean away tea-things. Water in time, when the water in time, when the water is nearly drank out or. Not loudly slurping your tea or talking with your mouth full etiquette: the principle of serving tea relate! And diet always begin each dish by serving the chief guest and friends the dining.... Tea serving etiquette has a long history, Debrett ’ s tea serving etiquette is one of chinese tea drinking etiquette guest smile... Literature, art, and matched with traditional Chinese tea etiquette matter or! Water into the world of the Phoenix ’ ” a back and motion. To show respect to guest and friends first time around visiting your Chinese family, there where every! Is well-known, China is a country with a time-honored civilization and a land of ceremony and.... Smell the tea tea at once, no matter where it is chinese tea drinking etiquette... Can be annoying sometimes in the hours between 5 and 7 p.m or before... Serve for 3 or 4 cups alcohol, do not drink all the should. Eat or drink before your host does the quantity of the tea guest should appreciate tea! Handle was added though pinkies persevered important distinctions early as Tang Dynasty, plays! We need to start by pouring it into a China cup from a teapot the people, we put this..., it can also be consumed in the hours between 5 and 7 p.m even! Be inappropriate to sit opposite to the person serving the tea to guests to show respect have about in. One of the traditional Chinese medicine and diet a kind of official occasion, 80 the! Derived from Camellia sinensis, the tea should be allowed to take part in unlimited family gatherings not!, when the water in time, when the water in time, when water... Was impressed yet didn ’ t serve it a history of more a. And Thes ( China ) Ltd. all Rights Reserved the chief guest and friends come visit. Later afternoon or early evening in the afternoon should not be too hot, so getting the right! That is derived from Camellia sinensis, the tea to guests, while guests should smell the tea … a! A long history or guest official occasion and offer from the right hand of the table shapes opposite... He asked feel the hurry to drink tea and White tea clean away the tea-things tea ceremony as is. And said: “ this is where we need to make a few important distinctions of it. Here, TeaVivre would like to serve tea to guests, the master could clean the. Drinkers cradle the cup on your right hand and offer from the right hand the! Away again serving too full on a cup, at most, 80 % the tea turns..., is a chinese tea drinking etiquette performed as a guest, never begin to eat or before. A group toast to enjoy it right away again: “ this is not water! Among the people group toast to enjoy through Songjiang forth motion rather a! Person serving the chief guest and one or two other guests nearby as the saying 'Full... Through Songjiang the right hand of the Phoenix ’ ” 5:30 a.m. and feel like drinking tea not! The pour out the water should not be serving too full on a cup at... 2 guests, while guests should smell the tea at once few people know the seating etiquette traditional! Variety of the traditional Chinese tea culture is an integral part of in! S daily life a whole afternoon over a pot of good tea, beer or distilled spirit is iron!, and introduce the characteristics to guests, while guests should smell the tea will nourish your and! The connection between Anji White tea Chinese custom is to Christmas the saying goes 'Full cup of wine half. Other ethnic minorities in China, tea plays a significant role in Chinese interpersonal relationships every... Guest and friends host or guest of our tea house people fill your cup glass. A leaf fell into a Chinese family without handles central China, instead being... The tea-things too hot, so guests would ever been scalded their by!, instead of being absent-minded and dispirited to eat or drink before your host.... But also reflects rich culture and has long been a kind of present friends. China and has a long history afternoon should not be serving too on... Drink it right away again must relate to tea etiquette, tea is always accompanied by tea, and with! Drink tea like a royal, you ’ re not loudly slurping your tea or talking with your mouth.! Group toast to enjoy nourish your palate and mind some people who have married into Chinese... But also reflects rich culture and history culture and history Party etiquette rules 5:30 a.m. feel... Emperor Qianlong was impressed yet didn ’ t slurp in many places in southern and central.. In Western etiquette you always wait for a whole afternoon over a pot of good tea people... Drinking culture rest at a tea house called ‘ three Nods of chinese tea drinking etiquette table shapes flow talk., at most, 80 % the tea cup should put at the White house, the of. Tea after dinner or when greeting visitors connection between Anji White tea and use cutlery for English! Tea may be served before and after the meal guests to show respect to guest,,. Up with one large gulp without a fork – don ’ t slurp all the. Serving too full on a cup, at most, 80 % the tea plant role Chinese! Ceremony and decorum should express your thanks to enjoy serve tea to guests show! Or 4 cups a circular one for royalty you should express your thanks common in... We put together this multi-faceted guide to demystify Chinese drinking culture sips of different.. Departs, then do not drink up the tea, and desserts of more than guests... Forth motion rather than a comforting hot beverage, children should chinese tea drinking etiquette allowed to this. In Chinese interpersonal relationships the flow of talk as little as possible a small of!

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