Chinese Tea Ceremony Transports Students to Regions in China

Students in Ling Wang’s Chinese classes learned about the origins and importance of the tradition of the Chinese tea ceremony last week to explore the cultural side of the class curriculum.  

First, Wang showed students several videos demonstrating ceremonies throughout China as well as educated them on how and where tea is picked and the intense, tea-making process.

Before they dove into the ceremony, students also learned about ceramic ware designated for the tea ceremony from specific regions of China. The most popular of these is the Yixing teapot that only comes from the Yixing region in east China which is meant to steep black and oolong teas. Eventually the teapot will develop a special coating that retains the tea’s flavor, so it’s never to be washed with soap.

When it came time to try the teas, students were excited! They each received a warm cup in which to pour the tea and a small saucer to place it on. But they had to wait for the green, oolong, jasmine and black teas to steep. They learned about steeping times for different varieties of teas and enjoyed their warm cups with cookies. Students also were able to practice their Chinese with each other and Wang during the ceremony.

“It was a really cool aesthetic that brought more life into the classroom,” said Marah Gordon ’22. “I liked learning about all the ceremony involved in pouring the team, and I learned that you have to pour the tea back and forth between cups to ‘wake up the tea.’”