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Three Course Tea Ceremony

Three Course Tea is an ancient tea ceremony mainly prevails among the Bai People in Dali since Ming dynasty(1368-1644). The essence of this ceremony can be summarized by one sentence: "First bitter, second sweet, third features aftertaste" and is only seen in grand situations such as wedding or in the presence of distinguished guests. 

Three Course Tea features different procedures and ingredients: the first course tea is called"bitter tea", it indicates one has to overcome difficulty in life before succuss. First, the master will put some Tuocha tea(one of the Dali specialties) into a clay pot and roast them on the fire. When the fragrance fills in the air, he or she will add boiling water into the pot, the hissing water will make a roaring noise, hence it is also nicknamed as Lei Xiang Cha ( Sound of Thunder Tea). Interestingly, the Bai people deem the sound as an auspicious sign. After that, the master will fill each cup half full, and their children will honor the tea to guests. Bai people regard it offensive to instill the cup fully, partly due to the potential danger the hot tea may cause. 

The second tea is called "sweet tea". The sweet flavor metaphors one finally taste the fruits of success after overcoming obstacles in life. The light-flavored Gan Tong Cha( a famous tea in Dali) will be baked and boiled before ingredients include Ru Shan( a milk product unique in Dali) , walnut kernel and brown sugar are put into it. Guests will drink off the 70% full cup of tea in one time. 

The third tea, Hui Wei Cha( Reflection Tea), will be cooked by the similar method, only with different ingredients. The main ingredient Cangshan Snow Green Tea, is used. Besides, honey, pepper, ginger and cassia will be added into the tea. When drink the third course tea, one has to shake the 70% full cup so the ingredients can better dissolve into the tea. Featuring sweet, bitter and spicy flavors, it indicates after experiencing the ups and downs in life, one has to cherish a peaceful attitude when look back upon the past. Only by this way can one appreciate the beauty of life.

 Bake the tea till the fragrance fills in the air

 Bai people perform tea ceremony


 Bai people' residence

 Bai girls are performing the three course tea ceremony

 the tea ceremony is accompanied by singing and dancing

 Three Course Tea

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