Why is Tea Poured Seven-tenths Full?

In traditional Chinese culture, there is a saying "fill up the alcohol to show respect, pour tea seven-tenths full to show courtesy." Pouring tea seven-tenths full has become a representative of tea ceremony etiquette.

Leaving three-tenths of the tea cup empty represents goodwill, tolerance, and propriety. Pouring tea seven-tenths full not only gives others space, but also gives oneself freedom. The reasons for this are:

  1. If the tea cup is filled too full, it will be too hot to handle, and guests may get burned or accidentally break the tea set.
  2. If the tea cup is filled too full, it may spill when drinking, making the tea-drinker feel embarrassed.
  3. Tea is usually tasted repeatedly, and one pot of tea is usually divided into several cups. Therefore, it is not suitable to pour too much tea into one cup.
  4. When tasting tea, one not only drinks the tea soup but also observes the color and smells the fragrance of the tea. If the tea cup is too full, it will be inconvenient to taste.
  5. If the tea cup is filled too full, it may be difficult for the tea-drinker to finish the entire cup, thus losing the pleasure of savoring the tea slowly.
  6. The act of pouring tea seven-tenths full embodies a philosophy of tolerance, forgiveness, and calmness. It serves as a reminder for people to remain humble, cautious, and avoid arrogance.

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