Available for Global Shipping 

8 Interesting Facts About Japanese Tea Ceremony

Nilufer tea is an organic herbal tea that originates from Japan. A popular destination for tourists worldwide, Japan is located in Eastern Asia and renowned for its exquisite food and cuisine, gorgeous scenery (cherry blossoms!!!) and fascinating culture. Speaking of culture, tea is an important factor in Japanese culture, and so is their traditional tea ceremony. Not a lot of people know the inner workings of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony so if you would like to learn something new today; you’ve come to the right place!

Related articles: 
Nilufer Tea of the Month : Sakura Tea – The Kiss of Spring
Amazing and Wholesome Benefits of Sakura Tea For You Inside Out
Not Just Green Tea: 8 Well-Known Japanese Teas

Japanese Tea Ceremony (The Way of Tea/ Chanoyu / Sado)

The ceremony is a ritual of preparing and presenting matcha – powdered Japanese green tea – along with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. It is an integral part of Japanese culture and it has been for centuries. It is a quiet celebration performed with grace and beauty, and emphasis is placed on pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements because the aesthetics of the ceremony are very important. The host of the ceremony always hold guest in a high regard, as demonstrated from their graceful and thoughtful gestures. Even the tea utensils are placed in a strategic position that allows the guests to have a good vantage point, especially the main guests (Shokyaku).

Tea ceremony procedure

A full ceremony consists of starts with a kaiseki course meal, is followed by a bowl of thick tea and ends with a bowl of thin tea. However, most tea ceremonies these days are limited to the enjoyment of a bowl of thin tea. Before the ceremony begins, guests gather in a special room known as a machiai. Guests will walk across a dew-covered ground which is a ritual to symbolise the removal of dust from one’s feet and the world. To further purify themselves for the ceremony, guests are required to wash their hands and mouths using clean water from a stone basin. Once these purification rites finish, the host greets each guest with a silent bow as they enter the tea ceremony site. Depending on how formal the ceremony is, small sweets or even a three-course meal may now be served prior to the tea being poured. Next, the host will prepare the utensils for the pouring, ensuring that each utensil is completely clean and flawless. The required equipment consists of the tea whisk, the container for the tea powder, tea scoop, tea bowl, sweet container, tea brazier and a kettle. Each equipment has a specific circumstance and position. (Arrangement is vital in the ceremony)

Guest etiquette

A small ceremony usually consists of 4-5 guests and each are ranked in order of importance. The first and main guest is the Shokyaku and all guests have specific duties to perform based on their rank. The Shokyaku is the one that asks questions and always in a polite manner. Usually when a guest wishes to move a bowl, both hands must be used because it is politer. The Shokyaku is in charge of leading the rest of the guests, he always apologises and bows for drinking first and will pick up the Chawan and place it in front of his knees, bow to the Teishu and say: "Otemae chodai itashimasu".

Tea ceremony expressions

Traditional ceremonies are conducted in Japanese regardless of the native languages of the guests. The Shokyaku and the host should know the important expressions required of the ceremony so they can communicate with each other. During the tea ceremony, there are few words exchanged, and only essential questions are asked. Both the host and the guests refrain from talking about topics unrelated to the tea ceremony to make the gathering more formal and special. Here are a few examples of common expressions:

  • Host: "Okashi wo dozo" (These are the sweets / Please have some sweets)
  • Host: "Ippuku sashi agemasu" (I would like to serve you a bowl of tea)
  • Guest: "Otemae chodai itashimasu" (Thank you for making tea)
  • Guest: "Osakini shitsureishimasu"(Pardon me for going ahead of you)
  • Guest: "Mo ippuku ikaga desuka" (would you like to drink (one)more?)
  • Host: "O-fukukagen wa ikaga de gozaimasuka" (How is the tea?)

Why is this ceremony important?

The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is a living symbol of peace, harmony and happiness. It promotes social interaction and interpersonal bonding, and provides an occasion for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves away from the worries of the outside world.

It is also a means for guests to gain a greater appreciation for traditional Japanese matcha.

Image cred: pixabay

Difference between matcha powder tea and loose green tea leaves

The tea used in tea ceremonies are match powder teas and these are high quality tea that contains up to 15 times more nutrients than loose leaf green tea. Matcha powder is ground tea leaves so you get the benefits of the whole tea leaf’s nutrients and vitamins. In comparison, in regular brewed green tea leaves, its nutrients and vitamins are left behind in the tea leaf because they are not consumed and thrown away.

Dress Code for the tea ceremony

For all formal and traditional ceremonies, you must wear a formal kimono for the ceremony unless the host tells you otherwise. The reason for this is because many of the movements in the ceremony are choreographed to adapt to the kimono. Some examples of such movements include the rituals for straightening the kimono, and tucking silk cloths and fans into the breast of a kimono. Kimono colors also differ with gender; men wear more subdued and mute colors while women wear brighter colors.

Tea room decorations

The tea room adopts a minimalistic style and keeps everything simple and basic. At its core, there must be a tatami flooring (as per tradition), flower arrangement (chabana) and sometimes a hanging scroll (kakejiku). A chabana arrangement is a simple arrangement of seasonal flowers placed in a container. They typically comprise few items, they are so simple that most of the time no more than a single blossom is used; this blossom will invariably lean towards or face the guests.

 


Download FREE Herbal Remedy Guide 

Written By admin

Hello, Nilüfer Tea provides the best herbal & flower tea. We're here to tell you all the great things about herbs and flowers. Shop Online with Nilüfer.  

More Posts

Read Next

The 3rd Workshop “Flowers in my Life”

This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.In the “Herb Tea Meeting: The 3rd Party” that was held in September, Nilufer Tea met with many people who were anticipating the lovely event during the relaxing Saturday. The theme of this event is “Mindfulness”. Participants get to design their Porsellatz, which is a method of transferring beautiful images (usually of delicate flowers) on […]

Interview with Inoue Kenya from INOUE SEIKOEN

This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.We met Mr. Inoue from Inoue Seikoen who is also from Setouchi area where Nilufer's lemon is harvested. Inoue Seikoen mainly deal with Olive oil for both cooking and cosmetics. Inoue Seikoen changes the game for olive-related products, because with over 70 years of being in the business of producing olive related products, you can […]

6 DIY Herbal Face Masks to Feed your Skin

This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.Would you like to have dewy, flawless fair skin that seems as clear and luminous as glass? Try our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) herbal face mask for your weekly facial routine. Here are 8 herbal face masks you can make from the comfort of your home! 1. Rosemary and Avocado Face Mask This flavourful herb isn't only […]

8 Healthy Seeds to Incorporate Into Your Diet

This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.As the saying goes, 'don't judge a book by its cover', the same goes for seeds - don't judge them by their tiny size! These minuscule yet mighty seeds are packed to the brim with nutrients such as protein, iron, fiber and antioxidants that all work together for better health and better skin. Seeds are […]

8 Hidden Gems in the East for Café-Hopping

This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.For those who don't live in the East side of Singapore, it might just seem like a slow and mundane community of terrace houses and quiet neighbourhoods. But time has proven these misconceptions wrong. Over the years, numerous quaint cafes have popped up in the vicinity of the residential neighbourhoods. Think ice cream bars and […]
1 2 3 27
hello world!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram