Bai tea ceremony - San Dao Cha
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Oct 22, 2012 6:01 AM Last Post By: Ansileran
Oct 22, 2012 2:58 AM
Bai tea ceremony - San Dao ChaHi!
I read about the Three course tea ceremony (San dao cha) of the Bai people (around Dali, Yunnan) a few years ago in a Chinese textbook and am quite curious about it. Since I'll be travelling to this area of Yunnan in spring next year and I love drinking tea, I was wondering if, like I read, it was a "ceremony" done every time a family had a guest or only a "tourist show"?
Did any one attend one and could recommend a place? Out of the way, in a village... Whatever made it special.
Oct 22, 2012 3:14 AM
Oct 22, 2012 5:22 AM
2It's more of a tourist show now than a way to actually drink tea. It's not about enjoying good tea.
The three kinds of tea which are served symbolize different stages of life. The first is bitter, meaning you must invest hard work. The second is sweet, indicating your hard work paying off. The third tastes of ash, and its name is a play on words, that in Chinese, more or less means remembering those good days that are now past.
Oct 22, 2012 5:44 AM
3I have quite a few Chinese friends, just not from this part of China... I'm still trying to decide where to go in the Dali area and this could have helped me decide. I'll never pass for Chinese, so I'll probably be targeted by "tourist seekers"...
I guess I can also do it the other way around: decide where to go, and then look for a good place to enjoy the ceremony...
Oct 22, 2012 5:53 AM
4This tea ceremony is not a big deal. I wouldn't go out of my way to experience it.
I've just stumbled into it twice over the years when it was done as a brief preamble to a performance of song and dance somewhere in Dali (don't remember the exact spots.)
Tasting tea in a tea store is more fun, and it's free. They grow some good red ("black") tea 红茶 in the Dali area, but it's off season now. The best of it is picked and processed in the spring of the year.
Oct 22, 2012 6:01 AM
5#2: Yes, that's what I read and I'd really like to enjoy a real one, not just a tourist show... Saying that I like tea is just to say that: "I like tea" + "some interesting cultural thing about tea" = "I'd like to see/try it". I have no doubt that I'll be able to simply enjoy a good cup of tea (in a part of China where they actually grow tea ^^).
What I meant was more "Can I take part in one, some place where they do it because it's their custom?" Even if I have to pay for it (after all, I a stranger, why should they give me anything for free?), as long as it is somewhere they would really do it (for friends, family...), not only as a show for tourists.
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