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How to Use Chinese Tea Set Correctly

Mar 14,2024 | TeaTsy Team

A Chinese tea set is a traditional ensemble of tools used for brewing and serving tea, originating from China's ancient tea culture.

These sets usually consist of a teapot, teacups, and a variety of accessories, each of which plays a role in the ceremonial preparation and tasting of tea. This article will guide you through the essential steps on how to use Chinese tea set correction. Let's take a look. 

Chinese Tea Set

Different Types of Chinese Tea Sets

It would be impressive if we could all take a cue from the way Chinese people attach great importance to the tea sets they use. Not only do we enjoy the aesthetics, but we also get in touch with a practice that's steeped in tradition and tranquillity. 

There are numerous traditional Chinese tea sets ranging from porcelain, purple sand, and Gaiwan to simple wood and bamboo tea sets. Interestingly, every Chinese tea set has a distinct historical context behind its origins and distinctive materials and designs that provide an immersive tea experience. Let's get to it. 

Porcelain Tea Sets 

This has been regarded as the hallmark of the Chinese tea set. It's a classic example of timeless sophistication. Porcelain tea sets have an impressive historical precedence that dates back to over 2,000 years ago. 

Porcelain Tea Sets 

Porcelain tea sets are intricately textured in various styles and designs on vibrant-coloured porcelain sets. One famous example is our "Auspicious Dragon" handmade portable tea sets with a protective case

Porcelain tea sets exude a high level of versatility in designs. This is the basis upon which the creation of many other exquisite designs is available in various colors ranging from white, soft green, black, rice patterned, celadon, and others. 

  • Material:  Porcelain or Ceramic is the most widely used material. This material is known for its delicate beauty and heat retention.
  • How to Use:  Porcelain teapots are generally small and require multiple infusions for a full pot of tea. Follow brewing instructions for specific teas.
  • Suitable Teas:  Green, white, yellow, black, and oolong teas.

Glass Tea Sets 

We classify glass tea sets as a modern marvel. This innovative transparent tea set lets you get a feel of the tea brewing processes, from the blooming of tea leaves to the vibrant infusion of color. The glass tea set offers enormous features and functionalities besides this additional visual spectacle. 

For instance, our High-Grade glass tea cups are made with Borosilicate heat-resistant glass. Many people might see this as non-conventional or less traditional Chinese tea cups. However, glass tea cups showcase ingenuity that's merged with aesthetics and ease of cleaning. These factors make it a popular choice among tea lovers. 

  • Material:  Made from different types of glass, each with its properties such as high borosilicate glass, sodium calcium glass, and crystal glass. 
  • How to Use:  A glass teapot is generally small and requires multiple infusions for a full pot of tea. Follow brewing instructions for specific teas.
  • Suitable Teas:  Generally suitable for all tea types, but especially good for appreciating the visual aspects of teas like green, white, and blooming teas.

Glass Tea Sets 

Gaiwan and Fairness Pitcher 

This is another simple way of elevating your tea-drinking etiquette. Gaiwan and fairness pitcher make a splendid duo for casual drinking. Gaiwan means "lidded bowl" or, let's say, a simple bowl with a lid. This is made with glazed ceramic or porcelain to brew tea. 

On the other hand, a fairness pitcher or "cha hai" is used to pour tea with precision into multiple cups. 

Gaiwan and fairness pitcher can be combined with three to four tasting cups to enjoy the bliss of tea. You can get Gaiwan and its other complementary sets from Teatsy.  

  • Material:  Usually made of porcelain but can also be found in other materials.
  • How to Use:  Place loose tea leaves in the Gaiwan, pour hot water, and steep. Use the lid to trap aromas and strain the tea into fair pitcher cups.
  • Suitable Teas:  This brewing method is ideal for appreciating the full range of a tea's aroma and flavor, particularly green, white, and oolong teas.

Wood and Bamboo Tea Set 

This is another traditional Chinese tea set that's a budget-friendly option and is made from renewable materials. Wood and bamboo tea sets are made with simple sophistication. 

What sets wood and bamboo tea sets apart is its lightweight and portability. These features ensure ease of usage and carry it around wherever you go. 

  • Material:  Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource known for its natural beauty and lightweight properties.
  • Uses:  Bamboo tea sets are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for casual tea gatherings or outdoor tea picnics.
  • Suitable Teas:  Due to their lack of heat retention, bamboo tea sets are not ideal for steeping tea directly. They are best suited for serving already brewed tea, particularly green, white, and oolong teas that are typically enjoyed at cooler temperatures.

What Are the Chinese Tea Ceremony Etiquette

Chinese tea-drinking tradition can be likened to the way of life that has been deeply enshrined in the Chinese cultural fabric. Chinese tea-drinking etiquette is woven with respect, mindfulness, and appreciation of tea. Ideally, there are three prominent tea ceremonies in China. 

The Gongfu Cha ceremony focuses on showcasing tea-making techniques and the proper handling of tea wares. The wedding tea ceremony, or Jing Cha, is another symbolic event where the bride and groom serve tea to their respective families. Lastly, the Wu-wo tea ceremony is communal, where you and many others can bring your tea sets to serve each other. 

These ceremonies might look different, but they conform to the same standard of tea etiquette. It is a common practice for everyone to opt for a comfortable dress and be at the venue on time. Then, you can implement the following tea ceremony etiquette. 

  • As the host, it's polite you serve the tea with both hands. Avoid filling the teacup to the brim to avoid spilling. 
  • As the guest, show gratitude when the tea is presented. Receive the cup with both hands; place one hand beneath while the other hand should be on the lid. This is an act of respect for the host and the tea. 
  • Take a moment to appreciate the tea aroma before you take a sip. 
  • Avoid slurping or making any noise while sipping. Ensure you sit gently and slowly to enjoy your tea experience. 
  • When you are done drinking, place the tea cup on the saucer with both hands. 
  • A gentle tap on the table is a sign of gratitude. If the tea server is younger than you, Tap the table once with one finger. Tap thrice with two fingers if the serve is your peer. At the same time, you should tap with your fist thrice if the server is a senior. 

What is The Etiquette When Having Gongfu Tea as a Guest?

When partaking in a Gongfu tea ceremony as a guest, there is a specific protocol to follow. Typically, use the right hand’s thumb and forefinger to grasp the cup's rim gently while supporting the cup's sides with the left hand’s thumb and middle finger. A tea towel should be utilized to wipe the cup's base before presenting it to the guest on the tea towel, using both hands. Offer the tea with your left hand while extending your right hand slightly forward as a gesture indicating "Please enjoy the tea." When accepting the tea, guests typically express gratitude with their right hand.

In scenarios with multiple guests, ensure uniformity in the tea set’s color and design and arrange it neatly on the tea tray. Support the tray from underneath with your left hand and hold its edge softly with your right hand, presenting the tea to each guest’s right side.

Regarding the sequence of serving tea: The guests' needs are prioritized over the host’s. The order of service is primary guests followed by secondary guests, with women served before men and older individuals before the younger.

Three key principles should be observed in tea serving:

  • Distance: The tea tray should be positioned such that guests do not have to bend their arms more than 90 degrees or stretch them fully to reach their cup, indicating it is neither too close nor too far.
  • Height: Maintain the tea tray at a comfortable height, neither too elevated nor too low, allowing guests to comfortably retrieve their cups at a 45-degree downward gaze.
  • Stability: Ensure the tea tray is secure and stable. Proceed to move the tray slowly only after guests have securely held their cups, to prevent any spills or damage to the tea set.

How Do I Serve Tea Properly Using Chinese Teaware?

Tea serving with Chinese teaware is a blissful endeavor that everyone must experience. However, before delving into this process, you must understand the critical element of transforming your tea session into a moment of tranquillity. The following step will guide you through serving tea properly using Chinese teaware. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Teawares 

Ensure you have all the necessary teaware like teapots, teacups, fairness pitchers, scent cups, brewing tools like teaspoons and tongs, etc. Proceed to clean the teaware with hot water. Then, pour the appropriate amount of tea leaves inside the rinsed teapot. 

Step 2: Tea Brewing 

Boil fresh filtered water to the required temperature for optimal tea flavor. Pour the hot water over the tea inside the teapot. Cover the teapot to steep for a certain period. 

Step 3: Tea Serving 

Pour some hot water inside the fair pitcher and teacup. Use that to rinse the pitcher and tea cups and throw them away. Ensure the cups are cleaned without any dust. After that, open the teapot lid and pour some inside the fairness pitcher. 

Then, pour the tea from the fairness pitcher into each tea cup. Lastly, place the tea cups on a small saucer and serve each guest using a tea tray. 

The most important thing you must be conscious of is how you exude a respectful gesture while serving. You can do this by holding the teapot with one hand while placing the other on the lid. Not only does this count as a sign of respect, but it also prevents tea spillage. 

Cleaning and Maintaining Chinese TeaWare

Cleaning and maintaining Chinese teawares should be a chore you should not delay. The reason lies in the definitive beauty of Chinese teaware that can be eroded with stains and dirt. 

You must take proper care of Chinese teaware to preserve its quality and beauty for an exquisite everyday experience that can enhance your entire tea experience. The following cleaning and maintenance tips will guide you towards protecting the beauty and functionality of your Chinese teaware. 

  • It's essential you consider the timely cleaning of your teaware immediately after use. 
  • While cleaning, avoid using harsh detergents to prevent hard residues that can affect your tea taste and damage the teaware. 
  • Use baking powder or lemon juice mixed with water to clean stubborn stains.  
  • For porcelain teaware, you should hand wash them with hot water without including sponges. 
  • Glass teaware can be washed with mild water and a dishwasher. Ensure they are thoroughly rinsed to remove any residue. 
  • It's essential you allow Chinese teaware to be air-dried thoroughly after cleaning. Failure to dry them ultimately can lead to mold inside the teaware. 
  • Lastly, it would help to refrain from storing your teaware with smelly items that can contaminate it. 


Chinese teaware is laden with various options to provide you with an exceptional tea experience. However, understanding Chinese tea etiquette is a key role that opens up the opportunity to make the most out of your brewing techniques and the uses of each component. These are essential to correctly discover the serenity attached to using Chinese teaware. 

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