Tea table: serving features
Everyone knows the phrase "tea ceremony in China." Indeed, the Chinese cultivated this event, making it their special, significant tradition. But in Russia, too, great attention has always been paid to tea drinking, so the rules for table setting and behavior during a tea meal have been formed.
Traditionally, tea was served in Russia in large copper samovars, which were melted on coals with a special boot. Families were large, and such an attribute invariably gathered everyone at one table.
It is worth noting that the culture of tea drinking with a samovar begins to revive. On sale, you can increasingly find a modern electric version for a different volume. Such a product is really able to attract attention and rally family members and friends over a cup of aromatic drink.
Exotic lovers should try to realize the idea of a real tea ceremony in China. It is important that the attributes are consistent. Get a service in the Chinese style, think over the decor of the table.
Tea etiquette basics
Proper table setting will help not to miss important details, organize the space on the table so that nothing bothers anyone, but at the same time everything was available. Taking into account cultural characteristics, it is worth dividing the concepts of serving into Russian and Chinese styles.
Purely Russian tea etiquette in modern times is gone. This phenomenon has undergone changes under the influence of Western culture for many decades. The best European houses are trendsetters in all areas of life, including eating.
To properly serve the table, make sure that its size is able to accommodate guests so that everyone is comfortable.
Everyone should be able to reach the teapot or samovar. If you expect a large number of guests, and the table is not able to accommodate everyone, arrange a tea party in the Swedish manner.
When the table is selected, proceed to serving:
- If tea drinking is a continuation of the feast, then changing the tablecloth is not required. A separate event forces the table to be covered with a beautiful tablecloth and to provide each guest with a napkin and dessert plate.
- The napkin should be folded and given a square, rectangular or triangular shape. Its place is to the left of the plate, and the free side is always turned to the right.
- Provide each guest with appliances. The tea ceremony involves the presentation of dessert dishes, so there should be dessert forks or spoons, knives for butter or jam on the table, and there should be a separate spoon in jam, jam or honey.
- The fork and knife are placed to the left of the plate, with the knife blade facing the plate. Put the spoon on the right.
- Be sure to place a saucer under the cup. Such a set is placed to the right of the spoon.
- If a special dessert is provided, for example, a birthday cake, provide each guest with a special plate.
- It is acceptable to decorate the table with flowers in a vase. The stems should not be long, this may interfere with the review. All gathered should see each other during the conversation.
When all the necessary appliances are assembled on the table, it's time to move on to arranging the dishes:
- Make sure that there are teapots on the table with different types of tea - black, green, herbal.
- If you serve sugar in the form of refined sugar, the sugar bowl should be accompanied by tongs, crumbly sand is served with a spoon.
- Thinly chopped lemon on a separate plate.
- You can use a multi-level stand for sweets and snacks, especially if the table is small.
For the event to acquire truly Russian features, put a samovar in the middle of the table. He will give an atmosphere of coziness and become an object of admiration. A tablecloth and napkins with traditional ornaments and patterns embroidered on them will help to maintain the surroundings.
China is the parent country of the tea consumption ritual. It was there that they first learned to enjoy the taste and aroma of a hot drink, and also raised this tradition into the cultural heritage.
The Chinese tea ceremony is famous for its special attributes. To create the necessary surroundings, be sure to take on the arsenal of the following nuances:
- In a small company, instead of cups, use special dishes - gaiwan. It consists of three elements: a saucer, a cup without a handle (100 - 350 ml) and a lid with an opening through which tea is drunk. Brew a drink directly in the haivan.
- Cute clay teapots with Chinese characters or painted with traditional motifs are called yixin. In the original, Yixin is molded manually from special clay that is mined off the shore of Lake Tai. It has excellent qualities after firing and keeps the drink hot for a long time.
- After the tea is infused, it is poured into a special jug - Cha-Hai.
- There are two varieties of cups used in China for tea ceremony: high and narrow - Xiang Bay, wide and low - Pin Bay. Sometimes both cups are served at the same time on a special Banch-Jean porcelain stand. A flat stand can be round or square; it is designed to combine cups into a harmonious ensemble.
- There is always a hot water boiler on the tea table.
- A special Cha-He container in which dry tea leaves are stored directly. In China, it is customary to introduce guests to the kind of tea that will be presented. Thus, guests become aware of the status of the owner. Earlier, only the rich classes could afford large-leaf, while the poor were sometimes content with tea dust.
- A porcelain spoon at a tea ceremony is necessary in order to choose tea leaves from tea and clean the teapot spout.
- A bamboo spoon serves as a dispenser for dry tea leaves.
- All the necessary utensils are brought to the table at the moment when all the guests have gathered, on a special wooden tray - Cha-Pan.
During the tea ceremony, a prerequisite is the identity of the painting on all objects of the utensil. All cups, saucers and a teapot are taken from only one set. It is not allowed that at least one saucer or cup should be chipped.
If during a tea party guests need to sit each in their own place, then the table is based on the principle that everyone has their own necessary appliances and a guest has a cup and saucer and a dessert plate.
All sweets and snacks are evenly placed in the center of the table, a kettle with boiling water and a teapot are in the corner of the table, if tea drinking with a samovar, it is placed clearly in the center.
If the table is rectangular and long, ensure there are dishes on each side of the table. Elongated vases look better along the table. The tablecloth for a round or oval table should not hang below the seat level near the chair. For square tables, sometimes use two tablecloths, which are spread on top of each other, but offset by 45 degrees.
The buffet is served differently. A service with a teapot and tea leaves is grouped separately from sweets or other snacks. It is desirable that there are 1-2 more tea sets than the number of guests, in case something breaks.
What to apply for a special occasion?
One of the best reasons to get together at the table is to celebrate a birthday or a new year. No one imagines a birthday without a cake with candles. Guests can also enjoy sweets, cookies or marmalade.
Huge multi-level cakes are also ordered for the wedding. New Year's table can be decorated with cakes. In addition, pudding, jelly-based dishes, fruit salad are appropriate. If the party is held in buffet style, it is worth considering the option of making sweet canapes on skewers or small cups with desserts based on berries, whipped cream and biscuit.
Trendy cupcakes with coffee are suitable for meeting a large group of guests, and for tea drinking for a couple of friends. Daytime and informal events involve any set of sweets - a croissant with jam and honey, a certain amount of sweets in a vase, waffles, cookies.
Beautiful examples for inspiration
Multilevel coasters really save space and allow every guest to enjoy sweets. Properly selected colors harmonize not only on the laid table, but also in the interior as a whole.
Buffet with a samovar - an unusual mixture of traditional Russian traditions and Western trends. As an additional decor are candles.
The Chinese tea ceremony takes place in an atmosphere of calm and unity with nature, so there is no familiar understanding of the table and chairs. Guests can sit directly on the floor.
See how to properly set up a tea table in the next video.