Things You Need to Know About the Japanese Tea Ceremony
The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is known as Chanoyu, Sado, or simply Ocha in Japanese. To counteract the tea's strong flavor, it is a planned process to make and serve Japanese matcha green tea alongside traditional Japanese dishes. Making and drinking tea in this ceremony necessitates entire concentration on the planned moves. Rather than serving tea, the entire technique is about aesthetics and making a bowl of tea with enthusiasm. The host's every action and gesture is always done with the guests in mind. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the perspective of the guests, particularly the main visitors known as the Shokyaku.
Another immensely significant cultural activity that combines respect, calm, and symbolic purification is the tea ceremony. Tea ceremonies are still practiced as a hobby by some Japanese today, although the majority refer to it as the "art of tea" and regard it as a traditional art form. It may take years of practice to finally reach the point where one can perform each step of these forms with almost no mental effort. Martial arts, samurai class, and other Japanese traditions and practices might be viewed similarly.
What is a matcha ceremony? (Japanese Tea Ceremony)
The Japanese tea ceremonies include ritualistic and ceremonial preparation, serving, and drinking of tea to promote welfare, mindfulness, and harmony. The Japanese tea ceremony is a kind of artistic relaxation that entails the pouring and sipping Matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea. The most important types of equipment are the tea bowl, tea container, and tea caddy. The high-level implements are brought into the room first and are always held in two hands. Even though Japanese green tea was introduced to Japan from China around the 8th century, Matcha powdered green tea arrived at the end of the 12th century. Around the 14th century, the wealthy class began to hold social gatherings to drink Matcha tea.
The purpose of the Japanese tea ceremony is to create a bond between the host and the visitor while also gaining inner peace. The tea ceremony is especially significant in Japanese culture since it was historically only performed by elite zen monks and royal warlords. Even if you only witness or participate in the Japanese Tea Ceremony once, you will realize that serving tea is both an art and a spiritual discipline in Japan. As an art form, the Tea Ceremony allows one to appreciate the simplicity of the tea room's decor such as the flower arrangement of seasonal flowers, the feel of the Chawan in one's palm, the company of friends, and simply a moment of purity.
Why is matcha used in ceremonies?
It has a special place in Japanese culture as the main course of the Japanese tea ceremony, when it is served alongside wagashi, a sweet delicacy. Monks used to strengthen their meditation practice by stirring powdered green tea leaves in a basin of hot water. Around the 12th century, this matcha preparation process was brought to Japan from China and became a show of status among the warrior class.
Why is the tea ceremony so important?
In Japan, a tea tradition or tea ceremony is a spiritual exercise deeply rooted in Zen philosophy. The strategy of the most tea ceremonies are designed to provide guests with respect purity and tranquility by allowing them to disengage from the outside world and focus on the simple, transitory moment of serving and enjoying tea. In Japan, tea is more than just a hot beverage. It's a huge ritual with a lot of cultural significance. The tea ceremony is precisely prepared and represents purity, serenity, respect, and harmony.
What are the rules of a Japanese tea ceremonies?
On the surface, a Japanese tea ceremony is about tea. Everything matters, from the placement of guests to the washing of the instruments to the scooping of loose-leaf tea. The deeper aim of the tea ceremony is appreciation - of the products provided, the host's efforts, and the other guests. That respect begins with following the standards of manners.
THE BASIC ETIQUETTE
A few simple principles should be followed when attending a tea ceremony, two of which are highly recognized throughout Japan.
Don't be late, follow the time that has been talked about.
The host/s always provides slippers so you may remove your shoes before going in.
Wear traditional clothing which is kimono. Western conservative wear is also acceptable.
TEA ROOMS ETIQUETTES
Once you're inside the tea room, you must be aware and careful of your words and actions. Here's a list of rules you must take note:
Always let the host seat you
Come in on your knees. Step away from the center of the mats. When touching the mats, use closed fists rather than palms.
When the cup is transferred to you, turn it slightly to avoid sipping from the front, where the last guest's lips touched.
Eat or drink what is given by the hosts.
Two Types of Tea Ceremony
There are actually two types of tea ceremonies in Japan. The two types of ceremonies are:
Formal Tea Gathering (chaji) - The chaji gathering is a formal tea ceremony that usually includes a full course of kaiseki meal along with some sweets thick tea and thin tea. It takes usually four hours to finish with guests taking small breaks to walk around in the garden by the tea hut.
Informal Tea Gathering (chakai) - It is a simple tea ceremony that includes some sweets and serves thin tea.
What are the two ways of tea preparation?
There are two ways of tea preparation in every tea ceremony. Here are the two ways of preparing matcha tea:
THICK TEA - Koicha, as the name implies, is a thick blend of matcha and hot water that requires roughly three times the amount of tea to the comparable amount of water as usucha. To make usucha, whisk matcha and hot water together with the tea whisk, whereas koicha is kneaded with the whisk to smoothly integrate the huge amount of powdered tea with the water. The thick tea is prepared from the first harvest of tea plants over 30 years old. Thin tea is prepared from the leaves of relatively young plants and is of poorer quality. Each guest is served thin tea in a separate bowl, while thick tea is shared among multiple people. Sen no Riky is credited with inventing the sharing of a bowl of koicha, which first appeared in historical sources in 1586.
THIN TEA - Thin tea is prepared from the leaves of relatively young plants and is of poorer quality. Each guest is served thin tea in a separate bowl, while thick tea is shared among multiple people. Sen no Riky is credited with inventing this practice of sharing a bowl of koicha, which first appeared in historical sources in 1586.
Three Tea Schools in Japan
Sansenke - The Sansenke are the three primary tea ceremony schools. Sen no Rikyu, also known as Rikyu Seki, was the great-grandfather of the three main schools' founders. They are considered the main schools because of their ancestry to Sen no Rikyu, the grand master of the tea ceremony, and because they have the largest student body. The term "Sen" appears in the names of all three Sen family schools.
Urasenke is the most popular school among the Sansenke. Sen Sshitsu (1622-97) founded this institution and inherited the Konnichian teahouse.
Omotesenke is the second-largest Japanese tea ceremonial school. Koushin Sousa (Kshin Ssa) (1613-72) founded the Omotesenke tea school and inherited the Fushinan teahouse. Iemoto Ssa Jimyosai is the current president of the Omotesenke-fishing-foundation.
Mushanokjisenke is the smallest of the Sansenke tea schools. Ichiou Soushu (Ichi Sshu), a great-grandson of Sen no Rikyu, founded the Mushanokjisenke tea school.
Experiences by Japan Crate: Uji Matcha Tea Experience Set
The wonderful matcha flavor will leave you wanting more. As a result, it is popular not only with the elderly but also with younger generations, who enjoy it in their coffee or green tea. We can't deny that drinking matcha provides a pleasurable experience and health benefits. Fortunately, experience sets let you make your favorite matcha green tea or matcha latte at home.
The Experiences by Japan Crate: Uji Matcha Tea Experience Set will level up your experience and make you become a tea master on your own. All the tools included, a whisk, whisk holder, spoon, hook, organic Uji matcha, tea bowl, and 3 pieces of mochi. Order now because you will not need a subscription, and you will receive free worldwide shipping. For more details, visit our website now!
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