Also called the “Way of Tea“, where matcha, powdered green tea, is presented in a ritualistic fashion. In Japan, the ceremony is called chanoyu or chadō, also pronounced sadō. The the art of the performance is called otemae . The primary influence for the ceremony is Zen Buddhism.
Tea gatherings fall into two classifications: ochakai or chaji . Chakai is a used when simple hospitality is called upon, and consists of serving sweets such as cookies or pastries, thin tea or usucha, and sometimes a light meal. Chaji is the more formal ceremony where a full-course meal, kaiseki, is served, followed by dessert, thick tea, koicha, and thin tea. An chaji lasts for at least four hours or more.
In China, tea was first drank for medicinal purposes. It was later to be used also for pleasure. In the 9th century, Chinese author Lu Yu wrote The Classic of Tea, that focused on the cultivation and preparation of tea. Lu Yu’s life was influenced by the Zen Buddhism school of Zen–Chán. Needless to say, his ideas had a strong influence in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony.
In the 9th century, tea was brought to Japan by the Buddhist monk Eichū, who had visited China and brought tea seeds back with him. In the Nihon Kōki, Eichū is listed as personally preparing and serving sencha, which is unground Japanese green tea, to Emperor Saga, while on excursion in Karasaki, which is present day, Shiga Prefecture. This occurred in the year 815 ad. The next year, Emperor Saga gave an imperial order that tea plantations be cultivated in the Kinki region of Japan.
It was near the 12th century when the style of tea preparation called “tencha” became popular. In this ceremony, matcha was placed in a bowl with hot water poured over it. The water and ground tea were then whipped together.
During the Muromachi Period, that centered around the gorgeous cultural world of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the formation of what was to become the traditional Japanese culture of today came to be, where the Japanese tea ceremony evolves to aesthetic practice of”Wabi-sabi“. “Wabi” represents the inner, or spiritual, experiences. “Sabi” represents the outer, or material of life. By the 16th century, tea drinking had spread to all levels of society in Japan.
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia: Japanese tea ceremony
16th Century black raku cup used for thick tea.
Modern tea cups
Typica; tea room
Tea room with tatami rice rush mats.
- You: Handsome men to host tea ceremony in the spirit of cultural exchange (japantimes.co.jp)
- Why is green tea so healthy? (beatcancer2010.wordpress.com)
- Oolong Tea: Break it down (rantsbitstea.wordpress.com)
- Flavor profiles of tea (friendseat.com)
- Wabi Sabi (malisal.wordpress.com)
- How Do You Like Your Tea? (ask.metafilter.com)