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The Yunnan Tea Ceremony

China is the homeland of tea, and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau is the place where Chinese tea originated. Since Yunnan Province has both the human environment and the natural environment fit for planting tea, it is said to have "the best camellia in the world," The nine-procedure tea and the three-taste tea are representative of the Yunnan tea culture.

The nine-procedure tea is used by scholarly families of Kunming to entertain guests. Scholars of Kunming, which is known as the flower city, love flowers. Generally speaking, the host plants various rare flowers at home and hangs some tea-related paintings on the wall, which serve as a foil for tea drinking.

Since Lu Yu wrote The Book of Tea, the Chinese people have advocated telling stories about tea and enjoying the sight of tea paintings as they drink tea. The nine-procedure tea means the nine procedures of tea art, i.e., appraising tea, washing tea sets, putting tea leaves into the teapot, pouring hot water into the teapot, stirring the tea, pouring the tea into teacups, offering tea to the guests, and drinking tea together. These jobs are often done by the Yunnan girls, who are beautiful and graceful by nature. They may take their parents hint, and set out some rare teas for the guests to appraise and choose. This choice is determined by the natural conditions of Yunnan Province, for in other parts of China, it is not easy to get even one kind of fine tea, to say nothing of selecting one kind from. After die guests finish selecting one kind of tea leaves, the girl washes clean the wax-printed tea cloth and all sorts of tea sets before the guests, puts tea leaves into the teapot, pours hot water into it, and then stirs the tea. When the sweet smell of the tea floats in the air and the color of the tea is just right, the girl pours the tea into the tea cups adeptly and gracefully, and presents the cups another to the guests according to the order of their age, generation, or status. When the host says "Have a cup of tea, please," the guests may drink the tea. After several rounds of drink, the host will tell some stories or legends about tea, and talk about the beautiful scenery of Yunnan Province, The beauty of the home province of tea as well as the friendship of the host, is reflected through the nine-procedure tea.