Japanese Tea Ceremony: What Not To Do

June 06, 2019

Japanese Tea Ceremony: What Not To Do

The Japanese tea ceremony is a popular ritual which is held in the country to mark the preparation and serving of Japanese green tea. Also known as Chanoyu or Sado, the Japanese tea ceremony involves the serving and drinking of a powdered Japanese green tea known as Matcha in addition to Japanese sweets to reduce the bitterness of the tea. In Japan, serving tea is considered as an art and spiritual discipline. As a discipline, the tea ceremony entails aesthetic contemplation of ceramics, flower arranging, calligraphy, and the tea ceremony roots which backdates to the 12th century. As an art, the ceremony involves the appreciation of the tea room’s design, being around friends and the feel of the Chawan on the hand.

Chawan in a Japanese tea ceremony


A Japanese tea ceremony can have several guests usually ranging from 4 to 5 guests in a small meeting. The name given to the first guest is Shokyaku while the second guest is called Jikyaku. Other guests are simply known as Kyaku. The last guest has a name which is known as Tsume while the person serving tea and directing the ceremony is known as the Teishu. Are you interested in joining the Japanese tea ceremony this year? It is possible to see for yourself, and catch a flight to Japan with HK express! It doesn’t matter whether you are Japanese local or a tourist, it is vital that you follow formal tea ceremony etiquette.


Rituals which are hosted outside the country should also follow the formal code of conduct. If you are a foreigner, it is important you learn the standard protocol before being allowed in a Japanese tea ceremony. For example, as a guest, you are required to remove your shoes before being allowed to enter the tea room. Slippers will be provided before the ceremony starts. You will be seated in order by your host, and you should avoid touching a thing with your palm. When a tea bowl is offered to you, make sure you turn slightly before taking a sip. The following are things that you should not do at a Japanese tea ceremony.

Don’t sit in a seiza style because you will tire quickly

When you enter a Japanese tea ceremony, it is likely to see people seated in a seiza style or even Indian style. Unless you are a child, you should not sit like that. Remember that tea ceremony in Japan can last way too long than you think, so make sure you sit down with your legs sprawled out. This way you will avoid all the pain and agony that comes with seating in a seiza style for hours.

Don’t wash your hands in the tea room unless it is really necessary

Before you enter a Japanese tea ceremony it is likely that you washed your hands and they are clean. So when you are presented with a basin to wash your hands, decline in a polite way. You came to the ceremony to drink tea and not to eat food with your hands. If you did not touch anything dirty on your way to the ceremony, there is no need to wash your hands again.

Sweets are served in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony

Don’t ask fake questions which do not relate to the tea ceremony

Sometimes you may be tempted to exaggerate your compliments or questions to the point that you sound insincere or fake. Don’t go overboard by complementing your host just to look social. A Japanese tea ceremony is a time for being genuine and sincere. So when you are asking a question, it should come from your heart. You can ask questions about the Matcha and how it is harvested or other sincere questions related to the ceremony.

Do not wait to eat the sweets, but consume them as soon as they are presented to you

As green tea is being prepared at the ceremony, you will be presented with sweets. Instead of waiting for the water to boil and the tea to be prepared, eat your sweets as soon as you receive them. As a foreigner (gaijin), you have needs to eat and not to wait. So don’t pretend you came to the ceremony to wait for everything to be ready so that you can start to eat.

Sweets are served in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony

Do not eat or drink anything unless they are offered to you

As a guest attending the Japanese tea ceremony, you will enter the tea room known as the chashitsu. This is a social room where guests are told what to do, what to eat and what to say by the teishu. Do not consume any sweets or drink anything unless they are offered to you. Your role as a guest is to drink tea and consume sweets as well as give compliments on the tea room’s design whenever you are given a chance to do so. Do not take extra sweets or drink more tea than you are given.

Do not drink the tea like there is no tomorrow

Remember that this is a tea ceremony and not a party where you have to eat until your stomach is full. Before you start taking tea, there are a variety of things that will be done. You will be presented with sweets to eat, but remember you should not say or do anything which is not part of the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony starts when the teishu gives sweets to the guest known as the shokyaku and declares there is something to eat for the guest. After filling your belly with sweets, it’s time to drink the tea which is quite bitter. Make sure to balance the bitterness of the tea with the sweets. However, don’t gulp down the Matcha like there is no tomorrow. Take time to enjoy every sip you take.


Knowing the above tips will prevent you from looking like an idiot while at a Japanese tea ceremony. While at the ceremony, you are expected to eat and drink everything that is served to you. There will be no leftovers. However, you should not worry because the sweets are quite tasty while the tea is sumptuous, to say the least. You are not allowed to smoke inside the tea room. In case you are not sure about anything, don’t do it at the tea ceremony.

Related Articles You May Be Interested In

Do You Know How to Prepare and Serve Green Tea Correctly?

 

 

Japanese Green Tea Simply Explained

HOW TO BREW TASTY JAPANESE GREEN TEA 


Get Free Bonus Content

Green Tea and Matcha Books for Bonus

If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an “acquired taste” or that it is “too bitter” to enjoy, we’re here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.

Don’t miss out on the health benefits of tea!

  • Improve health
  • Increase brain function
  • Regulate weight
  • Lower your risk of cancers
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Lowers risk of diabetes

We know that you will love this tips to brewing tea and getting the most flavor and elegance out of every cup.  Sign up for Free Japanese Green Tea Club and get this great informative manual on brewing green tea. You will learn what it is that makes it one of the most popular beverages in the world.

Sign up for Free Green Tea Club for to Get The Two Books for Free.


Unsubscribe anytime. It's Free!

What is GREEN TEA CLUB?

Sign up free to Green Tea Club to get tips and exclusive articles about how to use your matcha and green tea for a healthy lifestyle. Green Tea Club is hosted by Kei Nishida, Author of Cook with Matcha and Green Tea and CEO of Japanese Green Tea Company.

Get free E-book "Green Tea Science – 12 Scientific Tips for Brewing Green Tea To Taste Better" By Kei Nishida - Value $9.99

Get free E-book "Matcha Lover's 21st Century Recipe Collection" By Kei Nishida (42 pages recipe book)  - Value $9.99

Get immediate access to 10% Off coupon for your first order and access to Exclusive Coupons and Specials - Value $50+

Monthly Giveaways - Value $50+

Access to New Green Tea Recipe and Health Articles - Value $50+

Unsubscribe anytime. It’s free!

What do you think about the article? Please comment below or reply me privately here!






Also in Japanese Green Tea and Health

Japanese Green Tea vs Chamomile Tea - 10 battles you don't want to miss
Japanese Green Tea vs Chamomile Tea - 10 battles you don't want to miss

June 30, 2020 0 Comments

Japanese Green Tea and Chamomile garnered a cult following over the years. People drink these beverages for different reasons, some prefer their taste while others often drink them for their wonderful health benefits. Let’s find out which drink suits your lifestyle and health needs so you can figure whether you’re going to purchase Japanese Green Tea or Chamomile Tea.

View full article →

Gyokuro vs Tencha – What are they and what are the differences?
Gyokuro vs Tencha – What are they and what are the differences?

June 23, 2020 0 Comments

What do you really know about Gyokuro and Tencha? This article is a reply to some of your questions and a challenge for you to expand the world of tea that you currently enjoy. Let’s take a few moments to dive into gyokuro and tencha and find out what differences and similarities are out there!

View full article →

Tea for Allergies?! What is Benifuki Tea? - ChaCha's GreenTea Room Video
Tea for Allergies?! What is Benifuki Tea? - ChaCha's GreenTea Room Video

June 14, 2020 0 Comments

Did you know that there is tea good for allergies? Benifuuki green tea is a type of green tea that is booming in Japan due to being good for relieving allergies such as seasonal allergies, cedar allergies, hay fever. The study has also shown that benifuki is good for MCAD (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome). Click here to watch the video Presented by ChaCha's Greentea Room Now

View full article →

Steeping Guide
Steeping Guide