Chinese Business Etiquette Guide Part 5 Drinking Tea

The manners of pouring tea are not only applied to the guests that pay a visit to the company but also suit for business dinner. First of all, the tea set must be clean. After the guests entered, let them have a seat first and then preparing tea. Before preparing tea, you have to clean the tea set, especially for the tea set that long time no use and with dust and dirt on it. It’s really a healthy and polite manner to make the teapot and teacup ironed with boiled water before blunt tea and pour tea. It is impolite that offering the tea with unclean tea set. If the guests see the dirt on the teapot or teacup, there are no people willing to drink your tea.

In general, most companies use the disposable cup to entertain the guests, so you have to use a cup stand to avoid the guests directly touch the hot cup. Secondly, the water amount should proper. First the tea leaves should not be too much or too less, with more leaves the tea flavor will be too thick and with less tea the tea flavor will too delicate. If the guests have his taste, do it as the guests demand.

About pouring tea, no matter using large or small cup, in order to avoid to wet the desk, chair or floor, the water amount should not be too much, and it really make the host and the guests feel awkwardness if the water scald the guest carelessly. At the same time, the water amount should not be too less. It will make the guests feel you are just put on a show or without conscientiousness if the water just covers the cup bottom. Third, use a proper way to offer tea. According to the Chinese tradition, the host should use both hands when offering the tea to the guests, unless his hands are disabled. But now most young people do not know this tradition, they just offer the tea with only one hand. There are also some aspects you need to pay attention when offering the tea with both hands. For the teacup with cup ear, using one hand to grip the ear and another hand to hold the teacup bottom; for the tea cup without cup ear, it is too hot to hold, someone just hold the edge of the cup rabbet to offer the tea for the guests. This can be avoided be scalded in a way, but it is not graceful and healthy. The guest would not enjoy licking your figure prints when drinking tea.


It’s your duty to fill the water when your boss and the guests’ tea cups run dry. You can make a hint to the waiter to add tea or just let the waiter leave the teapot on the desk and you do it by yourself. This is the best way to conceal the awkwardness of answering the difficult questions. Of course, when adding tea, the leader and the guests come first, and then is your turn.

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