Why do Chinese tea cups have no handles?

Chinese tea culture has a long and storied history, with many traditions and customs that have been passed down through generations. One of the most distinctive features of Chinese tea ware is the handle-less tea cup, which might seem unusual to those more familiar with Western tea culture.

There are several reasons why Chinese tea cups traditionally lack handles. One reason is that handle-less tea cups are easier to hold and manipulate when performing the delicate motions of a tea ceremony. The ceremony often involves closely inspecting the tea, as well as smelling and tasting it, which is easier to do with a small, handle-less cup that can be raised directly to the lips.

Another reason is that handle-less tea cups are more aesthetically pleasing to the Chinese eye. Chinese tea ware has long been prized for its simplicity and elegance, and the sleek, handle-less design of the traditional tea cup fits perfectly with this aesthetic.

Finally, there is a practical reason for the lack of handles on Chinese tea cups. In Chinese tea culture, it is customary to pour tea for one another as a sign of respect and friendship. A handle-less cup allows for easier pouring, as the server can use one hand to steady the cup while pouring with the other.

So, while the lack of handles on Chinese tea cups might seem unusual at first, it is actually a reflection of the unique cultural and practical considerations that have shaped Chinese tea culture over the centuries.

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