Vietnamese Tea Ceremony Trays: A Beautiful Tradition to Experience

Are you looking to experience traditional Vietnamese culture during your next visit? One of the most beautiful and meaningful ways to do so is by participating in a Vietnamese tea ceremony, complete with stunning Vietnamese Tea Ceremony Trays and accessories that have obvious features to designate each piece’s purpose. Have you ever wondered what they are or where they come from? Read on for all the information regarding these exquisite artifacts, including locations to buy your own set!

The Beauty and Symbolism of Vietnamese Tea Ceremony Trays

The Vietnamese tea ceremony is a centuries-old tradition that holds immense historical and cultural significance in Vietnamese society.

It is more than just a daily activity, but a part of the country’s historical traditions. Tea is not just a beverage but a symbol of hospitality, respect, and harmony.

The tea ceremony provides a warm and intimate atmosphere where family and friends can come together and enjoy each other’s company while sipping tea.

The tea ceremony provides a warm
Source: vanhoanghethuat

To fully embrace tea traditions, a tea ceremony tray is essential. The tray is more than just a practical item; it holds symbolic meaning during traditional ceremonies and daily rituals.

It represents harmony and balance, while the design and arrangement of items on the tray symbolize wealth, status, and respect for the guests.

During tea ceremonies, each item on the tray represents a unique purpose, such as the teapot for brewing tea, the cups for serving, and the spoon for measuring. Even during daily tea rituals with family and friends, the tea ceremony tray is important in bringing people together and creating a shared experience.

The items on the tea ceremony tray are carefully arranged to create a sense of balance and harmony. Each item represents a distinct purpose, and the items on the tray also represent wealth, status, and respect for the guests.

Brewing and serving tea is considered a ritual that can be performed in various contexts, from family gatherings to business meetings.

The tea ceremony requires focus, slowing down, and savoring every moment, allowing the practitioner to become more sensitive and refined in their attention to detail.

The Types and Materials of Traditional Tea Ceremony Trays


If you’re interested in Vietnamese tea culture, understanding the different types of tea ceremony trays used in the country is essential.

These trays come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small round to larger rectangular ones. They can be made of different materials, such as wood, bamboo, or even coconut shells.

Tea trays made from wood
Tea trays made from wood

Some trays have intricate designs that symbolize wealth and luxury, while others are relatively simple. What’s interesting about Vietnamese tea ceremony trays is that they’re not just functional – they’re also beautiful works of art that are meant to be appreciated as much as the tea they hold.

The arrangement of items on the tray is also an essential aspect of the tea ceremony. The articles are arranged in a specific order, and each item has its purpose.

For example, the teapot is used for brewing tea, while the cups serve it. The arrangement of the items on the tray also reflects the host’s level of respect and hospitality towards the guests. Each type of tray has its own unique characteristics that contribute to the overall experience of the tea ceremony.

In addition to their functional role, tea ceremony trays are considered works of art in Vietnam. Some trays are carved with intricate designs that reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Choosing the right tea ceremony tray is crucial to creating an authentic and meaningful experience. Proper care and tray maintenance are also essential to ensure its longevity.


When it comes to Vietnamese tea ceremony trays, the materials used are crucial to the authenticity and beauty of the practice.

The most common materials used are wood, bamboo, and lacquer. These three materials hold significant cultural and artisanal value in Vietnam.

Tea trays made from bamboo
Tea trays made from bamboo

Wood and bamboo represent the natural beauty of the country and the skillful craftsmanship of its people, while lacquer showcases the country’s intricate traditional techniques.

Using these materials for tea ceremony trays elevates the experience and honors the pride and tradition of Vietnamese crafts. With each tray made with these materials, you can feel the culture of Vietnam and its people.

Wood is a versatile material that is widely used for tea ceremony trays in Vietnam. It is known for its durability and can withstand the test of time.

Bamboo, on the other hand, is flexible and can be woven into intricate shapes and sizes. It is often used for smaller tea ceremony trays and is prized for its natural beauty.

Lacquer is a traditional material that has been used in Vietnam for centuries. It is a complex and time-consuming process involving applying multiple resin layers to create a smooth and shiny surface. Lacquer tea ceremony trays are highly valued for their intricate designs and longevity.

Proper care and maintenance of the tea ceremony trays are essential to ensure their longevity. Each material has its own unique characteristics that require different cleaning and storage methods.

For example, wood and bamboo trays should be kept dry and away from direct sunlight to prevent warping and cracking, while lacquer trays should be cleaned with a damp cloth and stored in a cool, dry place.

Long-standing Tradition in Wedding Ceremonies

Tea ceremony trays in Vietnamese weddings have played a significant role in the country’s traditions.

These trays are beautifully crafted and used in tea ceremonies during the wedding celebration. The tea ceremony represents the bride and groom’s respect for their parents and serves as an introduction to the couple’s families.

The bride and groom are serving tea to their relatives
The bride and groom are serving tea to their relatives

Moreover, the cups and teapot on the tray symbolize the couple’s gratitude and respect towards their elders. The tea ceremony is usually performed after the couple’s engagement ceremony, and the tea served follows a strict traditional order, starting with the groom’s parents and ending with the bride and groom.

These traditions express Vietnam’s core values of respect, humility, and honor, providing a beautiful way to honor and celebrate the marriage union.

The design and choice of tea ceremony trays for weddings are carefully considered to match the wedding’s style and atmosphere.

The trays may be made from various materials, but they are often made from wood, bamboo, or lacquer to create an elegant and sophisticated look. The tray’s color and patterns are also chosen to complement the wedding’s theme and décor.

In addition, the tea ceremony’s role in Vietnamese weddings is to preserve and promote the country’s cultural traditions.

The tea ceremony is a part of the wedding celebration and a symbol of respect and gratitude towards family and the country’s culture. The use of tea ceremony trays in weddings also demonstrates the importance of preserving and honoring traditional values.

By incorporating the tea ceremony and tea ceremony trays into the wedding celebration, couples can create a meaningful and traditional ceremony that reflects their cultural heritage.

The beauty and elegance of the trays enhance the overall atmosphere and provide an opportunity to showcase Vietnam’s rich cultural traditions.

Understanding the significance of the tea ceremony in Vietnamese weddings can deepen one’s appreciation for the country’s culture and the importance of preserving and promoting these traditions.

Where can you buy it?

If you’re looking for an authentic Vietnamese souvenir to bring back home, consider shopping for a tea ceremony tray.

These beautifully crafted trays can be found in traditional markets or specialized stores throughout Vietnam.

For example, the Hanoi Old Quarter is a great place to start your search. Stroll through the bustling streets, and you’ll encounter shops and street vendors selling tea ceremony trays.

If you’re in the quaint town of Hoi An, head to the Hoi An Night Market, where local artisans sell their wares. If you’re willing to splurge, consider visiting specialized stores, such as Bát Tràng Ceramic Village, where you can find high-quality, handcrafted trays.

Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Bat Trang Ceramic Village

No matter where you decide to shop, take your time and enjoy the process – finding the perfect tea ceremony tray is all part of the fun!

Tea ceremony trays are more than just a functional pieces of serving ware. They hold tremendous cultural and sentimental value as meaningful gifts from Vietnam.

For those who have experienced Vietnamese culture, a tea ceremony tray serves as a reminder of a unique and enriching experience.

Regarding gift-giving, a tea ceremony tray makes an excellent souvenir because it can be enjoyed for years to come and evokes memories of shared meaningful moments.

For loved ones who appreciate beautiful and meaningful gifts, a tea ceremony tray is not only beautiful but also a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam.

Tips for Proper Usage and Care

Proper Usage

The tea ceremony tray serves as a practical and symbolic element in traditional tea ceremonies.

To ensure that you use the tray properly, here are some guidelines.

  • First, hold the tray with both hands and present it to the guests.
  • Then, arrange the tea utensils in the proper order of use, with the tea caddy closest to the host and the tea bowl closest to the guest.
  • Make sure to pour slowly and gracefully when pouring tea, paying attention to the guests and their cups. Holding the teapot and cup with both hands while serving is also important as a sign of respect.
  • Finally, when the tea ceremony is over, remove the utensils from the tray in the reverse order of use, starting with the tea bowl and ending with the tea caddy.

Following these guidelines will allow you to properly use the tea ceremony tray and enjoy a serene and meaningful tea experience.

In addition to proper usage, choosing a tea ceremony tray that matches the occasion and reflects the host’s personal style is important.

The tray may be made from various materials, such as wood, bamboo, or lacquer, and decorated with intricate patterns or symbols.

Some trays may also feature a designated space for holding incense or candles, adding to the ambiance of the ceremony.

By selecting the right tea ceremony tray and using it properly, hosts can create a beautiful and meaningful tea ceremony that honors tradition and expresses their personal style.

Caring for Tea Ceremony Trays

Caring for tea ceremony trays is essential to preserve their beauty and longevity and uphold Vietnamese tea ceremonies’ cultural traditions.

Vietnamese tea ceremonies are known for their beautiful tea ceremony trays, which are integral to the tradition. These trays symbolize respect and gratitude towards the cultural values of Vietnam.

To keep your tea ceremony tray looking its best, it’s important to give it proper care and maintenance.

Cleaning is essential, but harsh chemicals should be avoided as they can damage the surface’s delicate designs. Instead, clean the tray using a soft cloth or a brush dipped in mild soap and water, and let it air-dry completely before storing it.

It’s best to keep your tray in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity, as exposure to these elements can cause swelling or warping.

Different types of tea ceremony trays have specific maintenance requirements.

For example, wooden trays require regular application of wood oil to protect and enhance their natural shine, while lacquered trays should be cleaned with a damp cloth to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on their surfaces.

Understanding the cultural significance of tea ceremony trays can also deepen one’s appreciation for Vietnamese culture.

By learning more about the different types of tea ceremony trays and their cultural significance, readers can gain a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture and the role that these traditions play in creating a meaningful and authentic tea experience.

Proper care and maintenance of tea ceremony trays not only preserves their beauty and longevity but also helps to preserve their cultural value and uphold the longstanding traditions of Vietnam.

The symbolism of Elements in the Tea Ceremony

Have you ever wondered why a simple tea ceremony involves many intricate elements and rituals?

Well, my friend, you’ll be surprised that each element of this ancient Japanese tradition carries a deep symbolic meaning.

For instance, the tea symbolizes purity, while the cup represents the bond between the master and the guest.

Even the utensils, such as the tea scoop and whisk, carry weight in their shape and material.

The tea ceremony is not just about enjoying a cup of tea; it’s a way to honor and connect with nature, oneself, and others through careful attention to each element and step of the ritual.

Next time you sip on your tea, take a moment to appreciate its symbolism.


In conclusion, experiencing the Vietnamese tea ceremony and its associated items is key to truly understanding the local culture.

By understanding the various types of trays, the materials used for them, and even where to find them, you can become much more empowered to experience the culture just like a local would.

Below we’ve outlined resources where you can learn more about Vietnamese tea ceremony trays and purchase some for yourself so that wherever you are in the world, you can experience this wonderful tradition as if you were there in person.

Have fun exploring traditional culture!

Jenny Phan

I am Jenny Phan, a travel blogger from Vietnam and the owner of The Eye Traveler blog. My aim is to share my travel knowledge and experiences to help foreign tourists have an amazing experience when visiting Vietnam. The Eye Traveler reflects my belief that we should travel with open eyes and hearts to explore and learn new things. Through my blog, I hope to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and explore the world.

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