This post, which focuses on the tea ceremony in Korea, is the second in a series of posts about tea art, tea ceremony, and chado.

Korean Chadao usually refers to the Korean tea ceremony. The Korean tea ceremony has two parts – the rite ceremony (仪式茶礼) and the life ceremony (生活茶礼). The rite ceremony is the tea ceremony for a rite of passage, while the life ceremony refers to tea etiquette in daily life.

The rite ceremony is similar to ancient sacrificial rites. The most famous tea rite ceremony is the “five elements of tea ceremony” (五行茶礼), a national event in memory of the saint of tea, Shen Nong. The ceremony involves as many as 50 people, who observe a serious and orderly admission order. The five elements of tea ceremony represents Eastern philosophy and include:

  1. The five elements of the tea ceremony: to serve tea, to get tea, to drink tea, to taste tea, and to have happiness
  2. The five directions: north, south, east, west, and middle
  3. The five colors: yellow, cyan, red, white, and black
  4. The five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty
  5. The five colors of tea: yellow tea, green tea, black tea, white tea, and dark tea
  6. The five elements: gold, wood, water, fire, and earth
  7. The five permanents: benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and credit

The main processes of the rite include the entrance, a sword show, serving candles, incenses, vases, and flowers, preparing tea, serving tea, and a final funeral oration reading.

The life ceremony is tea etiquette in daily life. It is similar to Chinese tea art and includes greeting, warming tea sets, making tea, and tasting tea.

The Korean tea ceremony has its own tea spirit; that is, it is characterized by kindness, reverence, thrift, sincerity (和,敬,俭,真), an emphasis on etiquette, care for the relationships between people and between ancestors and living people, and an emphasis on loyalty to ancestors. All of these characteristics are strongly related to Confucianism. The Korean tea ceremony is mostly based on Confucianism.