【Tea Ceremony Etiquette】Japan / China / Taiwan

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Tea can be said to be the most representative drink in Taiwan. In addition to the high-grade tea flavours, there are also drinks from bubble tea shops that must not be missed, which are absolutely indispensable in our lives. Did you know that Taiwan also has its own tea culture?

In view of everyone’s curiosity about tea culture, let’s check out the differences between Japanese tea ceremonies, Chinese tea ceremonies, and Taiwanese tea ceremonies. Today, I will give you a detailed explanation, and I believe that after reading this article, you will have a clear understanding of Japanese tea ceremonies, Chinese tea ceremonies, and Taiwanese tea ceremonies. Without further ado, let’s get on with today’s article!

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What is Tea Ceremony?

What is Japanese Tea Ceremony?

The Japanese tea ceremony originated in China. But after entering Japan, it developed into a mainstream school with Japanese style, which is now a very important tradition in Japan. In Japanese, the Japanese tea ceremony is called “Cha no Yu”, which can be divided into three schools: tea ceremony and sencha ceremony, as well as three schools: Risenjia, Omojisenjia, and Samurai Kojisenjia.

In a Tea Ceremony, every movement is deliberate, every gesture imbued with grace and meaning, as we pay tribute to the art and tradition of tea.

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Japanese Tea Ceremony Etiquette

The Japanese tea ceremony is very rigorous and particular. From the simple act of serving tea to guests, it has become an artistic performance. The tea party is a casual gathering revolving around the enjoyment of tea. If it is on a more formal occasion, it can also be called a “tea affair”.

In addition, in the Japanese tea ceremony etiquette, whether it is the place or the tea ceremony etiquette, there are certain norms. For example, tea drinking must be carried out in a tea room, and there must be a tea garden where guests can rest. In addition, a special tea master needs to serve tea to the guests according to the process, and the guests also need to receive the tea respectfully and appreciate them. At the end, the host wants to see off the guests warmly, etc., which are all the etiquettes of a Japanese tea ceremony.

【Tea Ceremony Etiquette】Japan / China / Taiwan - ABoxTik 一盒精品 4

Japanese Tea Ceremony Rules

The “four rules” and “seven principles” of Japanese tea ceremonies are of the utmost importance. The “four rules” refer to “harmony, respect, purity and silence”. Harmony and respect are the attitudes and etiquette that both the host and the guests need to have; purity and silence are the elegance and quiet atmosphere that need to be maintained while drinking tea.

The so-called “Seven principles” means that the tea must meet the appetite of the guests. The charcoal fire must be set in advance before making tea. The tea room must be warm in winter and cool in summer. Take precautions for anything and always keep your guests in mind. From the “four rules” and “seven principles”, we can find that Japanese tea ceremonies are very particular about rituals and etiquette.

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What is a Chinese Tea Ceremony?

China is one of the earliest countries in the world to cultivate and utilise tea, and it is also the country where the tea ceremony originated. According to the “Tea Sutra” written by tea saint Lu Yu in the eighth century, the “Tea Sutra” can be said to be the earliest special book on tea, and it is also an important source of the formation of Chinese tea culture.

We will find that the Chinese tea ceremony is not only a way of self-cultivation, but also a traditional way of entertaining customers and making friends. The following is a detailed explanation for you.

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Chinese Tea Ceremony Etiquette

Chinese tea ceremonies arose in the Tang Dynasty and prevailed in the Song and Ming dynasties. It is expressed through seven principles of tea art, tea ethics, tea etiquette, tea principles, tea feelings, tea theory, and tea ceremony, and the most important core spirit is “harmony”.

Taking specific tea brewing as an example, 1. the spout of the tea set should not face the guests, 2. there should be no extra tea sets and supplies on the stage, 3. The overall process must have a sense of “harmony”, 4. When the teapot comes out of the water, the water column must rotate in its own direction, so as not to make the guests feel aggressive. In addition, when pouring tea, only 7/10 is poured, so that guests can easily pick up their cup and drink it, which is the etiquette of Chinese tea ceremonies.

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Chinese Tea Ceremony Rules

The Chinese tea ceremony mainly emphasises the “beauty of the five realms”, such as: the variety of tea leaves dancing in the water as water is the mother of tea. Good tea must be accompanied by quality water and fire. Prior to the water reaching a complete boil is the best time to add the tea leaves, a simple guide is ensuring the bubbles are not yet too rapid. But it must make people comfortable, which is the “beauty of the five realms” that Chinese tea ceremonies pays attention to.

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What is Taiwanese Tea Ceremony?

Influenced by China and Japan, Taiwanese tea ceremonies have developed into a unique cultural feature of Taiwanese. In Taiwan, it is not called a tea ceremony, but instead called “tea art”. The reason for this is that after the 1970s, Taiwanese tea art gained a consensus, so the term “tea art” is usually easier for the public to understand and accept, and it can also reflect the integration of multiple cultures, which is the origin of Taiwanese tea ceremonies.

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As the fragrance of tea fills the air, the beauty of the moment unfolds, and we are transported to a world of serenity and harmony.

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Taiwanese Tea Ceremony Etiquette

Taiwanese tea art pays more attention to the “tea itself”, for example, the colour, aroma and taste of tea leaves, as well as the tea-drinking atmosphere that can be created. In terms of tea art etiquette, Taiwanese tea art attaches great importance to the pursuit of integrating tea into daily life, so whether it is to make tea with family after a meal, or to chat with friends, the process and actions such as warming the pot, making tea, or tea tasting are to be completed smoothly and calmly.

And between the host and the guest, the main thing is to maintain the proper etiquette and courtesy. For example, the speed of brewing tea must meet the needs of guests, and when serving tea, the spout of the teapot must not touch the edge of the guest’s cup. These are all part of the Taiwanese tea art etiquette and considerate moves. Both counterparts are to be caring and respectful of each other effortlessly.

Taiwan Tea Ceremony Rules

Taiwanese tea art is deeply influenced by Chinese Kung Fu tea, and the requirements for craftsmanship are relatively low. But the tea utensils that should be available at each step are also indispensable, such as teapots, tea serving, tea scoop, scent cups, tea tasting cups, etc. In addition, the tea brewing steps consist of pot warming, setting tea leaves, brewing, cup warming, pouring tea from brewing pot to serving pot, serving tea, tasting tea, etc. Although it will take a lot of time, the overall steps and rules are clear, and it is easy for ordinary people to grasp.

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A Comparison of the Tea Ceremony Cultures of Taiwan, China and Japan

Although Taiwanese tea art came from Japan, its own unique tea culture has evolved step by step. The Japanese attitude towards tea ceremonies is very serious and rigorous, and it is a part of the tea drinking ceremony from beginning to end; while China attaches great importance to the display of re-brewing skills; Taiwan has a tea culture that pays attention to the integration of life. This is the biggest difference between the tea ceremony culture of Taiwan, China and Japan.

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No matter which country’s tea ceremony rules and etiquette, its culture is meaningful and worth learning. I believe that no matter the essence of tea ceremonies in any country, it can take you to appreciate the beauty of tea ceremony life together!

ABoxTik will continue to bring everyone different tea knowledge, including history and various analyses of tea culture. In hopes for everyone to acquire a better understanding of tea, please read through our articles. If you are interested in various tea cultures, as well as the history and knowledge of tea, you are welcome to explore more secrets of tea with ABoxTik products. Continue to follow our article updates, and visit our official website!