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Fair Cup

What is a fair cup? Fair cups, Gong Dao Bei or tea pitcher in Gong fu tea is used to hold the tea liquor then share the equal amount of tea to the tea drinkers. Shop our selected Fair cups with different design.

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What is a fair cup?

The modern fair cup, also known as Gongdao cup, Cha Hai, is an important ultility in Gongfu tea ceremony and tea party. Gongdao, is the Chinese for fairness, justice.

When making tea, people usually pour the tea from the teapot directly into each person’s cup. However, this will result in an uneven tea tasting experience. The tea in front will be light and the tea in the bottom will be strong. The fair cups are different. It can evenly divide the tea liquor. So, when making tea, people first pour the tea from the teapot into the fair cups and then divide it to everyone at the tea table. This results in all the cups having tea of the same taste and strength. And this is why fair cups get the name.

Whats the history of fair cups?

Fair cups were originally made for alcohol in the Han Dynasty, based on the principle of syphon. When filling the cup, if the alcohol level is lower than the top of the porcelain tube, the liquor will not leak out; when the level exceeds the top of the porcelain tube, the liquor will leak out through the hole at the bottom of the cup.

ancient fair cup in Han Dynasty
It is most fair to use this cup to hold the alcohol, which can not be too full, otherwise, all the alcohol in the cup will leak out and not a drop will be left.
During the Ming Dynasty, loose tea became popular, and there was a stereotype of the pot. People began to share the tea evenly when they drank it, and the Gong Dao cup was just perfect for this scenario. The use and name of the Gong Dao cup was then passed down to this day.

Things to consider when using Gongdao cup

There is also a lot to understand about the use of the fair cups.

The selection of Gongdao cup

Fair cups are made of porcelain, Yixing clay, glass and so on.

  • Porcelain cups have good heat preservation and can keep the color and aroma of the tea soup well.
  • Yixing clay material is breathable and can keep the true aroma of tea.
  • Glass cups are highly transparent and allow us to appreciate the beauty of the tea.

When choosing fair cups, you should note that the size of the fair cups should be larger than the tea making vessel. Otherwise the tea soup is too full and easily burns your hands.

High Brewing Low Pouring

High brewing refers to brewing tea in a way that water can be poured from a high place depending on the tea leaves. This can stimulate the aroma of tea.

Low pouring means that when pouring tea for guests, the fair cups should be close to the tasting cup. This can reduce the loss of tea fragrance and avoid spilling tea soup. This will give you a better tea tasting experience.

Fairness in mind

The size of the guest tasting cups are different, and very often the way of “tea pouring seventy percent full” does not allow every guest to share the same amount of tea. Then it is necessary to have “fairness” in the mind for the host, to take care of every guest.

Timely Refill
The fair cups should always have tea inside, and if the guest’s cup is empty it should be refilled in time.
Avoid dripping

Before serving tea to guests, use a tea towel to wipe the fair cups. Keeping the cup clean and tidy at all times shows our respect to the guests.

Working with tea filter

Inevitably, tea leaves will flow into the cup when making tea. The tea residue left in the cup will also affect the taste of the tea broth. One of the criteria for a good cup of tea is to maintain a uniform taste and color of the tea broth. This is where the use of tea filters with fair cups can enhance the experience.


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