Chinese Tea Ceremony

Chinese tea ceremony, “Cha Dao” in Chinese is not simply drinking of tea, it is the combination of brewing, smelling, drinking, and appreciation of tea. Traditional Chinese tea ceremony is usually held in formal occasions to welcome guests.

Chinese Tea Ceremony Steps


Step 1: Prepare Tea Set

To hold a Chinese tea ceremony, a full tea set is needed, including teapot, teacups, tea strainer, kettle, water, tea leaves, tray, tea leaf holder… Different tea sets should be prepared for different tea. For instance, white porcelain tea set is more often used for brewing and drinking green tea, and purple sand set is for red tea.

Step 2: Rinse Teapot and Teacups

Rinsing is to preheat tea sets as preheating can help fully release fragrance of tea.

Step 3: Heat Water

The spring water is the best and it should be boiled.

Step 4: Put Tea Leaves into Teapot

Use tea chopstick to move some tea leaves into the teapot. Usually, tea leaves should occupy 1/3 of the teapot.

Step 5: Wash Tea Leaves

Pour the hot water into teapot and stay for a few seconds, and then pour out water quickly from teapot to dump out the water of the first brew to remove dust or some impurities on the surface of tea leaves.

Step 6: Brew Tea

Refill the teapot with boiled water, cover it and stay for a few seconds to preserve aroma of the tea soup.

Step 7: Pour Tea Soup into Tea Cups

First, pour the tea soup into the large fair cup, shake it up and then pour the soup into smaller tea cups.

Step 8: Offer Tea Cups

Remember to serve the tea to guests with both hands to show respect.

Step 9: Smell and then Sip Tea

After getting the tea cup, one should sniff the aroma of tea soup, and then sip instead of swig to taste the flavor of the tea soup. 

Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony


As the name indicates, Chinese wedding tea ceremony is held during the wedding ceremony. The new wife and husband offer tea to parents-in-law and start to call them mon and dad and the parents-in-law will give red envelops to the son or daughter in-law. This is a formal occasion to set up the relations between the new couple and the parents-in-laws. The Chinese wedding tea ceremony has no much difference with the above mentioned traditional Chinese tea ceremony, but it has some etiquettes. The tea sets should be red with auspicious patterns like Chinese characters “喜喜”meaning double happiness and number of tea cups should be even.

Chinese Tea Ceremony Etiquettes


If you are the guests, please:
1. Receive the tea cup with both hands when being served with tea;
2. Show your admiration and gratitude to the host when smelling or drinking the tea soup;
3. Take a small sip of tea soup every time during the ceremony instead of drinking it up with one large gulp.
4. Dress properly to attend the tea ceremony as it is kind of official occasion. 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 the hosts, please:
1. Serve the tea with both of your hands; 
2. Do not fill the teacup fully, in case the hot tea soup accidently hurt the guests;
3. Observe the tea cups of your guests and fill in them in time.
4. Dress neatly and decently.

 Further Reading: How  to Make Chinese Tea

- Last updated on Jun. 06, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Chinese Tea Ceremony
Asked by Thomas Begen from USA | Jun. 04, 2023 22:07Reply
explain red envelopes - is this the wedding gift? or help with wedding expense?
Answers (1)
Answered by Molly | Jun. 06, 2023 02:00

Yes, it can be explained like this.
Asked by Marcos from MARCOS | Sep. 27, 2022 06:47Reply
Cup Washing With Tea?
I have seen a show where during the tea ceremony, the water of the first brew was also used to wash the tea cups, by dipping the tea cups into it for a few seconds. Is this normal?
Answers (1)
Answered by Bonnie | Oct. 10, 2022 00:58

Yes, it's normal, for the purpose of warming up the cup and make the tea soup more tasty.
Asked by Beverly from USA | Feb. 10, 2022 00:27Reply
What to wear for all the events of a Chinese wedding of Americans.
They are having a tea ceremony and then dinner the day before the wedding. Then the wedding. Do I need to have three different outfits? My husband and I are both in our 60's. The wedding is in June. Do I need to wear hosiery when wearing a dress?
Answers (1)
Answered by Charles | Feb. 23, 2022 09:54

You can prepare 2 or 3 outfits, and you’d better wear hosiery when in a dress.
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