A tea ceremony is a ritualised form of making tea, which includes the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tea ceremony. The Japanese tea ceremony is better known, and was influenced by the Chinese tea ceremony during ancient and medieval times. One can also refer to the whole set of rituals, tools, gestures, etc. used in such ceremonies as tea culture. All of these tea ceremonies and rituals contain "artificiality, abstractness, symbolism and formalism" to one degree or another.
These rituals can be found worldwide, although are centred on Asia and Europe, including the Victorian-era 'high tea' or afternoon tea ritual, where the ritual of being seen to have the right equipment, manners, and social circle, was just as important as the drink itself.
At a very basic level, tea ceremonies are a formalized way of making a hot drink, in a process which has been refined to yield the best taste. The Royal Society of Chemistry's Dr. Andrew Stapley has written about the chemistry behind brewing tea, and some traditional ceremonies using leaf tea appear to closely mimic his suggested method, including the idea of synchronizing ones' actions with the temperature of the water.
When tea is more than a drink and the tea ceremony is understood and practiced to foster harmony in humanity, promote harmony with nature, discipline the mind, quiet the heart, and attain the purity of enlightenment, the art of tea becomes teaism. The term "chadao" has two words, the first being 'tea' and the second the Chinese loanword tao/dao/ native suffix -ism (also Japanese: 主義), and could thus be read as 'teaism'. Another, more literal reading of the word is the 'way of tea' (茶 tea and 道 way), comparable with for example 弓道; the way of the bow. The term can be used to describe tea ceremony as the interests in tea culture and studies and pursued over time with self-cultivation. Teaism is mostly a simplistic mode of aesthetics, but there are subtle insights into ethics, and even metaphysics. Teaism is related to teamind. A sense of focus and concentration while under the influence of great tasting tea. Teaist is a person who performs or enjoys the art of tea and teaism. In Chinese and Japanese, as well as South Korean traditional culture, there are well developed teaisms.
Uses of tea drinking 
See also 
- Varley, Paul; Kumakura, Isao (1989). Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu. University of Hawaii Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-8248-1218-2.
- Milton, Joanna "A Nice Cuppa: The English Tea Ritual" in Dick Riley et al. [Eds] The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie [Second Edition] (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001) pp.18-21
- Orser, Charles E. [ed.] "Tea/Tea Ceremony" in Encyclopedia of Historical Archaeology (Routledge, 2002) p.604
- Stapley, Andrew (2003). How to Make a Perfect Cup of Tea. London: Royal Society of Chemistry.
- The Book of Tea