Do you Know How to Thank Someone for Tea in China?

Ben Hadges
By Ben Hadges
December 6, 2016Learn Chinese Now

If you have ever been to a Chinese restaurant, you will know they normally serve tea with the meal, and Chinese people have a special way of thanking the waiter for tea, placing two fingers on the table. Here is the story behind this tradition….

Emperor Qianlong from the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) loved to drink to tea. He also liked to take trips around the country, dressed as commoner so he wouldn’t be recognized.

On one of his tours, south of the Yangtze River, he had this sudden craving for tea. So he and his servant went into a tea house, and he actually poured some tea for his servant.

Now this is something that almost never happens, and normally the servant would immediately get down on his knees and kowtow to the emperor for this great honor, but he didn’t want to break the emperor’s disguise, so the quick thinking servant, bent his first two fingers, and touch the knuckles to the table, to represent him kneeling. This has become a tradition.

Check out the video for a more detailed look…

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