Tea ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is one of the oldest rituals for preparing and enjoying tea in the world. It follows strict rules that must be observed. In order to offer a guest, the opportunity of inner contemplation, the tea ceremony takes place in a deliberately simply furnished tea house. The ritual is close to Zen philosophy. One or more guests are given a special green tea and a small light meals.

The tea used is Matcha, a green tea that has been ground to a fine, light green powder. This is taken with a bamboo spoon, poured into a special Matcha bowl with boiling water and then whipped with a bamboo whisk until foamy. A cast iron teapot acts as a container for the water, which, due to its nature, ensures that the temperature of the water remains constant.

A Japanese tea ceremony is not just about preparing and enjoying the tea. The importance of the tea ritual matters much more. Before the guests enter the tea house, they have to walk a small path in the garden and clean themselves. It is important to forget the noise of the world - the guest should enjoy a break from daily life. The mouth and hands are then cleaned with water. Purification also cleans all evil that one has done or said.

Now the tearoom must be entered in a stooped position to show humility. At the same time, differences in status between the guests are void. The last guest closes the door with a slight noise, which is the sign for the master of ceremonies to start preparing the tea. A full tea ceremony involves offering several teas one after the other. First you drink the "thick tea" (Koicha), then the "thin tea" (Usucha). After a short conversation, the tea ritual will finish.

The ceremony can last differently and is used for mental and physical relaxation. There are now many schools and regional features that determine the course of the ritual. The basic idea is always the same: Relax, forget about daily life and then focus on the essentials again.