Three Cups of Tea – Bai Tea Ceremony, Yunnan, China

Three Cups of Tea – Bai Tea Ceremony, Yunnan, China

The Baizu (Bai language: 白和; Chinese: 白族; literally: white people) are East Asian. They are one of the 56 ethnic groups of China. In 2010 their population was 1,933,510. They live mostly in Yunnan.

The tea ceremony, known as “three cups of tea (san dao cha),” is part of the ethnic Bai’s traditional culture. Its history can be dated back to the Tang Dynasty, “first a cup of clear tea, then a cup of salt tea, and last a cup of honey tea.”

The first courseof tea is called bitter tea, made from local bitter tea. Meaning “To achieve success, one should not fear hardships.

The second course of tea is called sweet tea. It is made from brown sugar, milk fan chips, walnuts, chayote, sesame, orange skins, and popcorn. Means that after all hardships, the sweet will finally come.

The third cup is pungent, with a distinct aftertaste. Made by mixing prickly ash, ginger, pine nuts, and Chinese cinnamon with honey and bitter tea. It suggests after going through all kinds of hardships and enjoying the joys of life, one can recall both bitter and happy experiences.

The custom has inherited the traditional tea culture that is unique to the Bai ethnic group and shows the spirit of our age. By showing the wisdom of life -“bitterness, then sweetness, and last aftertaste,” it reflects the beauty of Bai culture.

Video Source: Three Cups of Tea – Custom of Bai Ethnic culture 三杯茶—白族文化习俗 from China culture series on YoutubeCC BY