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Tea Serving Etiquette in China

Tea Serving Etiquette is one of the traditional Chinese etiquette which has a history of more than 3000 years. Since Zhou Dynasty, tea had already been a kind of present between friends and relatives and tribute for royalty.

Han people, Mongolian people and other ethnic minorities in China has the tea serving etiquette. Han people’s tea serving etiquette has a long history. As early as Tang Dynasty, Han people already had this etiquette. 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". It is still popular today in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and other areas.

Steps of Serving Tea

Serving tea is a custom in China and has a long history. Chinese people like to serve tea to guest, gradually, it became etiquette. According to Chinese traditional culture, no matter where it is, serving tea must relate to tea etiquette.
  1.  Smell the tea. The host should show the tea, and introduce the characteristics to guests, while guests should smell the tea by turns.
  2. Warm the tea pot. Fill the boiled water into the empty pot to warm the pot, the pour out the water.
  3. Fill the tea to the pot. According to the variety of the tea to scoop the quantity of the tea. Use teaspoon to scoop the tea, not the hand.
  4. Invite guest to drink. Use two hands to hold the tea to guests to show respect. The tea cup should put at the right hand of the guest. Fill the water in time, when the water is nearly drank out. Guest should appreciate the tea, and try to avoid drinking a big mouthful of tea.
  5. Try to avoid crossing legs when drinking tea no matter host or guest.
tea serving etiquette in china
Tea Serving Etiquette in China

Tips for Serving Tea:

Serving guests with tea is a daily etiquette in social life and family life in ancient China. As the saying goes 'Full cup of wine but half cup of tea' .
  1. The tea should not be serving too full on a cup, at most, 80% the tea cup.
  2. The water should not be too hot, so guests would ever been scalded their tongue by accidentally drinking.
  3. If there are more than 2 guests, the color of tea should be almost the same.
  4. When serving refreshments, put them right front of the guest and the tea cup should be placed at the right side of the refreshments.
  5. When serving tea, hold the cup on your right hand and offer from the right side of the guest with smile.
  6. The same tea leaves could serve for 3 or 4 cups. When guest’s cup is empty, the master could refill the tea. Until guest leave, the master could clean away the tea-things.
tea serving in china

Tea Serving Etiquette in China

Serving tea is a common etiquette in Chinese people’s daily life. It is a way to show respect to guest and friends. These tips of serving tea are very tradition, however, nowadays, people are more casual and do not pay so much attention to the steps or rules of severing tea.