How To Use Aroma Cups and Drinking Cups in a Taiwanese Tea Ceremony

In Taiwanese tea ceremonies, the use of aroma cups and drinking cups enhances the sensory experience and connection with the tea. The aroma cup allows the taster to appreciate the tea's fragrance, while the drinking cup showcases the tea's flavor and texture. Embrace the art of tea tasting with an open heart, and let the beauty of the tea ceremony guide you on a journey of mindfulness and connection with nature. 

Step 1: Prepare the Tea Set Set up your tea area with the necessary items, including a teapot, tea leaves, hot water, aroma cups, and drinking cups. Ensure everything is clean and ready for the ceremony.

Step 2: Warming the Cups To ensure the best tea-tasting experience, pour hot water into both the aroma cup and the drinking cup to warm them. Let the water sit for a moment, then pour it out.

Step 3: Placing the Tea Leaves Measure the appropriate amount of tea leaves into the teapot. The quantity will depend on the tea type and the size of the teapot.

Step 4: Waking the Tea Leaves Before brewing, "wake up" the tea leaves by briefly rinsing them with hot water. Pour hot water over the leaves and then quickly pour it out into a waste bowl.

Step 5: Brewing the Tea Pour hot water over the tea leaves in the teapot. Allow the tea to steep for the appropriate amount of time, depending on the type of tea. Different teas have different steeping times.

Step 6: Filling the Aroma Cup Fill the aroma cup with the brewed tea, leaving about 20% of the cup empty. The aroma cup is the tall and slim one.

Step 7: Covering the Cup Cover the aroma cup with the broader teacup, ensuring a snug fit.

Step 8: The Elegant Pour With the aroma cup covered, delicately lift the set of cups using your index and middle finger, placing your thumbs on the broader cup, which covers the aroma cup. With one swift and graceful motion, turn the cups 180º toward yourself. 


Step 9: Concentrating the Aroma Lift the aroma cup from the broader teacup, allowing the tea from the aroma cup to flow into the broader teacup beneath it. Using your thumb and finger, gently flip the aroma cup over, and with your two palms, rotate it back and forth in a graceful motion to concentrate the aroma.

Inhale deeply, savoring the enchanting fragrance of the tea. The tall and slim design of the aroma cup intensifies the aroma, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in its nuances.

Step 10: Savoring the Taste Now, using the drinking cup, take small sips and let the tea roll over your taste buds. Pay attention to the flavor, texture, and aftertaste of the tea. Allow yourself to fully appreciate its unique characteristics as you savor each moment.

Step 10: Repeat the Process Depending on the ceremony and the number of guests, the process of filling the aroma cup, appreciating the aroma, and transferring to the drinking cup may be repeated multiple times with fresh steeped tea.

Step 11: Mindfulness and Gratitude Throughout the ceremony, practice mindfulness and gratitude. Focus on the present moment and the tea's natural qualities, expressing appreciation for the tea, the brewing process, and the shared experience.

Remember that tea ceremonies may have variations based on different cultural practices and personal preferences. The key is to approach the ceremony with respect, intention, and an open heart to fully immerse yourself in the art of tea tasting.


You can purchase these aroma tea cups here.

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