Japanese Tea Ceremony
what is Japanese tea ceremony?
The Japanese tea ceremony is one of the most popular tea ceremonies in the world. However, the dominant part of this ceremony is about tea, the Japanese Tea Ceremony is more than just tea. It’s about mindfulness and simplicity to harmony and appreciating beauty in simple things.
The traditional Japanese tea ceremony, or the ‘Way of Tea’, is a Zen Buddhist-inspired ritual that involves great attention to detail in the way the loose tea is scooped, the water boiled and the teacup handled. People have written theses on the detail and meaning of each intricate stage and action involved in the ceremony, and it can often take years of training to master the art of its performance.
Therefore, the steps outlined below are a somewhat pared-down version.
JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY: STEP BY STEP
Equipment needed: Matcha green tea powder, a traditional tea bowl (tenmoku Dhawan), tea scoop (chashaku), bamboo whisk (Chasen), a kettle or pan in which to boil water.
Guests often wait in a different room from where the ceremony will take place and are required to walk across the moist ground (roji), to symbolically purify themselves before the ceremony. To further purify themselves, guests then wash their hands and mouth in a stone basin (tsunami).
The host of the tea ceremony receives the guests through a short door, so they have to bow upon entering the room. The host bows silently to each guest.
An informal ceremony might see guests served with a light sweet snack (wagashi), whereas in a more formal situation a three-course meal would be served.
In preparation, the equipment is cleaned with water brought to a boil and then cooled. The host of the tea ceremony will perform this cleaning task with graceful, sweeping movements.
Three scoops of matcha per guest are placed in the tea bowl, hot water is ladled into the bowl and the whisk is used to mix the tea into the water.
The host will hand the tea to the first guest, who will admire the liquid and rotate the bowl once, before taking a sip, wiping the rim and passing it to the next guest. This is repeated until each guest has taken a drink from the bowl.
Once all guests have taken a drink, the host empties the tea bowl and cleans all the equipment once again while the guests watch. Then the guests exit the ceremony room.