User avatar
Jan 17th 17 7:14 am
Vendor Member
Posts: 3133
Joined: Aug 28th 12 12:12 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by jayinhk » Jan 17th 17 7:14 am

JK Tea Shop wrote:As we all know, most Chinese normally put only 3 tea cups on their table, anyone know the reason?
Chaozhou style...Looks like the character for taste

User avatar
Jan 17th 17 11:00 am
Posts: 117
Joined: May 26th 15 1:22 pm

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by Psyck » Jan 17th 17 11:00 am

JK Tea Shop wrote:As we all know, most Chinese normally put only 3 tea cups on their table, anyone know the reason?
Since they are superstitious about the number four.

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 3:27 am
Posts: 4583
Joined: Apr 1st 09 4:48 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by Tead Off » Jan 18th 17 3:27 am

JK Tea Shop wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
JK Tea Shop wrote:As we all know, most Chinese normally put only 3 tea cups on their table, anyone know the reason?
Chaozhou style...Looks like the character for taste
Yes, but not only Chaozhou, most of my friends who love drink tea so much in other province also put only 3 tea cups when they make Kungfu Tea.
Monkey see, monkey do. :shock:

Jan 18th 17 4:42 am
Posts: 774
Joined: Aug 1st 12 12:20 pm
Location: not anymore Bangkok, not really arrived in Germany

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by theredbaron » Jan 18th 17 4:42 am

JK Tea Shop wrote:
Psyck wrote:
JK Tea Shop wrote:As we all know, most Chinese normally put only 3 tea cups on their table, anyone know the reason?
Since they are superstitious about the number four.
Maybe this is one reason for this, but why not using 2 or 5 cups?

The number "4" has a very similar pronunciation to "death", and is therefore considered unlucky (like "Friday the 13th", or just "13" is considered unlucky in the west - we have our own traditions of superstition).
When there are 5 guests, there will be 5 cups, but generally it's three cups

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 4:59 am
Vendor Member
Posts: 3133
Joined: Aug 28th 12 12:12 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by jayinhk » Jan 18th 17 4:59 am

Down here in HK many buildings don't have 4th or 13th floors. Both traditions are alive and well. :D

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 5:26 am
Posts: 4583
Joined: Apr 1st 09 4:48 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by Tead Off » Jan 18th 17 5:26 am

jayinhk wrote:Down here in HK many buildings don't have 4th or 13th floors. Both traditions are alive and well. :D
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? :?

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 5:44 am
Vendor Member
Posts: 3133
Joined: Aug 28th 12 12:12 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by jayinhk » Jan 18th 17 5:44 am

Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Down here in HK many buildings don't have 4th or 13th floors. Both traditions are alive and well. :D
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? :?
People believe and do ridiculous things...so yes, the fact they do things that don't make sense makes total sense. :lol:

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 5:58 am
Posts: 4583
Joined: Apr 1st 09 4:48 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by Tead Off » Jan 18th 17 5:58 am

jayinhk wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Down here in HK many buildings don't have 4th or 13th floors. Both traditions are alive and well. :D
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? :?
People believe and do ridiculous things...so yes, the fact they do things that don't make sense makes total sense. :lol:
It's a good reason to keep doing it! Thinking for yourself is way overrated. :lol:

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 6:42 am
Vendor Member
Posts: 3133
Joined: Aug 28th 12 12:12 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by jayinhk » Jan 18th 17 6:42 am

Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Down here in HK many buildings don't have 4th or 13th floors. Both traditions are alive and well. :D
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? :?
People believe and do ridiculous things...so yes, the fact they do things that don't make sense makes total sense. :lol:
It's a good reason to keep doing it! Thinking for yourself is way overrated. :lol:
Ignorance is bliss! I actually looked for (and rented) office space without a '4' in the unit number. :lol:

Jan 18th 17 7:01 am
Posts: 745
Joined: Aug 4th 14 9:43 am

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by Bok » Jan 18th 17 7:01 am

Just go and buy a mobile phone in Asia. You will get a loooooong list of numbers to choose the combination which is most auspicious for you :mrgreen: Extra lucky numbers cost extra of course.

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 7:17 am
Posts: 4583
Joined: Apr 1st 09 4:48 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by Tead Off » Jan 18th 17 7:17 am

jayinhk wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Down here in HK many buildings don't have 4th or 13th floors. Both traditions are alive and well. :D
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? :?
People believe and do ridiculous things...so yes, the fact they do things that don't make sense makes total sense. :lol:
It's a good reason to keep doing it! Thinking for yourself is way overrated. :lol:
Ignorance is bliss! I actually looked for (and rented) office space without a '4' in the unit number. :lol:
Good thinking. :lol:

User avatar
Jan 18th 17 10:11 am
Vendor Member
Posts: 3133
Joined: Aug 28th 12 12:12 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by jayinhk » Jan 18th 17 10:11 am

Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Down here in HK many buildings don't have 4th or 13th floors. Both traditions are alive and well. :D
Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? :?
People believe and do ridiculous things...so yes, the fact they do things that don't make sense makes total sense. :lol:
It's a good reason to keep doing it! Thinking for yourself is way overrated. :lol:
Ignorance is bliss! I actually looked for (and rented) office space without a '4' in the unit number. :lol:
Good thinking. :lol:
I wasn't taking any chances...starting a new business and all :wink:

Jan 18th 17 9:11 pm
Posts: 157
Joined: Jan 13th 13 4:46 pm

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by thirst » Jan 18th 17 9:11 pm

So what do people do when they have three guests? :lol:

Interestingly, in The Importance of Living (1936), Lin Yutang, the Fujianese author, mentions four cups in his description of cultivated tea drinking.

User avatar
Jan 19th 17 12:58 am
Posts: 814
Joined: Nov 13th 12 6:49 pm
Location: santa monica, california, usa

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by victoria3 » Jan 19th 17 12:58 am

I was also wondering why Japanese tea sets include 5 cups. I did read the #4 ("shi" in Japanese) has another meaning as "shi" is death. Still doesn't explain 3 cups in China, 5 cups in Japan.

Jan 19th 17 2:09 am
Posts: 57
Joined: Aug 14th 13 8:05 pm

Re: Why most Chinese only put 3 tea cups on their tea table?

by Hmm » Jan 19th 17 2:09 am

If my memory serves correctly, it's because you are suppose to have 2 guests. Even if you have only 1 guest drinking, your are supposed to still fill up the third cup in honor of some "guest".

There's a Chaozhou saying also that drinking tea needs three people, drinking wine needs four people. Also the character 品, "品茶" has three mouths. Probably has to do with the old Confucius saying that you need two other people to learn properly, or in this case "taste".

I'm sure there's multiple reasons, including having too many guests ruins the atmosphere, and aesthetically it just looks better.

Isn't there also a move called Guan Yu patrolling his camp, while pouring the tea out of the tea pitcher into the cups? Perhaps there's something to do the Three Kingdoms book. Also it's not like the number three isn't significant in Chinese culture.