Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tea Etiquette to UNwelcome your guest

Tea etiquette is a frequently discussed subject among tea drinkers. These discussions are usually about what should be done and how one should behave; and almost always these rules/routines/etiquette/whatever you call them are centered around politeness and other good intends. So far I have yet to find any detailed discussions about tea etiquette of bad intends, at least in gongfucha. So while I will share the other gongfucha etiquette I know with all of you here on this blog in the future, I am going to start off with an example of gongfucha drinker behaving badly.

Gongfucha has been around for a bit over a thousand years. Gongfucha drinkers have been using it as a platform to make new friends and establish business connections all this time. But of course, once in a while we meet people that we want nothing to do with. So gongfucha drinkers have invented ways to signal to their peer that it's time to wrap things up, using gongfucha.

Two overfilled teacups. This is an unwelcoming
gesture in gongftcha.

One good example of tea etiquette with bad intend is to fill the teacup up to the brim, aka overfilling the teacup. This tells your fellow guest or fellow drinker that he/she is not welcomed to have tea here. The logic behind it is that gongfucha is usually prepared with boiling/close to boiling water. Overfilling the teacup makes the cup very difficult if not impossible to hold. In other words, you don't want your guest to pick up the cup, which is translated into you don't want your guest to have tea - an unwelcoming gesture.

So fellows, don't overfill the teacup when pouring tea for your teamates, unless you want them away from the table or out of your house.

Edit: Just to follow up with more detail. It's okay to overfill the cup when you are rinsing it. Just don't overfill when the tea is meant for your guest to drink.


  1. Keep up with this! Interesting, and not highly discussed! I like this topic.

  2. ...and I thought they just wanted me to try lots of their lovely tea :(

  3. Well, if the person serving the tea doesn't know the etiquette, then he/she may really want you to try lots of their lovely tea.