During the tea ceremony, you’re supposed to finish your cup in just three sips (it’s small—don’t worry). The first sip is small, the second is large, and the third is meant to enjoy the aftertaste and empty the cup.
As you take each sip, consider the history of Chinese tea ceremonies and the implications of this precise and ancient ritual. Its elements, right down to the taste of the tea, have been replicated for thousands of years, over and over again; yet, the experience still feels one-of-a-kind.
Editor’s note (2022): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.