The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a special ritual that has existed for centuries in Japan. Many versions of this ceremony exist for different purposes, but all show a deep appreciation for the ritual of brewing and serving matcha green tea.
It is essential for a host to show care and appreciation towards their guest during this ceremony, which serves as a special way to deepen relationships.
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What is the Japanese Tea Ceremony?
The different schools that teach the tea ceremony, as well as the multitude of venues, tea styles, and seasons during which they take place, mean that there are a multitude of styles of a tea ceremony.
However, all tea ceremonies maintain the same basic structure. A host will follow strict protocols in order to brew matcha tea for their guests.
- Preparation: the host sends out invitations and then begins to focus on holding the tea ceremony. This includes spiritual practices that begin weeks before the ceremony.
- The host selects the right utensils and prepares for the welcoming of guests. This may include preparing a meal as well.
- Guests arrive and enter after the host welcomes them in. They then wash their hands as a sign of appreciation.
- The host shows the guests how to clean the utensils. This is done beautifully, but without any unnecessary words or movements.
- The host then prepares the tea using cold water and matcha powder to first form a paste, which is then diluted.
- Each guest drinks from the bowl of tea and passes the bowl to the next guest, making sure to admire the tea and bowl as well as wipe the rim and turn it for the following guest.
- The bowl is then returned to the host for cleaning once again, which the guests watch. They then bow to show respect before leaving.
How a tea ceremony can deepen relationships
This ritual of preparing matcha green tea for guests may seem like a small, simple gesture in the eyes of Westerners, but it actually includes many precise gestures that take great care and respect to perform.
Not only is this ceremony incredibly difficult to learn and master, but it also involves a spiritual practice to host and attend. Both host and guests are intended to leave behind worldly or surface-level thoughts and respect the beauty and purity of the tea.
This practice shows a lot of care, not only for the tea itself but also for the individuals you share it with. The host intends to serve their guests in the most perfect and respectful manner, while guests are gracious and respectful to their host.
Both host and guest show each other great admiration and thus strengthen their relationships with one another.
The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a special and intricate ritual that shows care for not only matcha tea and the culture surrounding it but also for both the hosts and guests who take part.
Individuals performing or attending a tea ceremony become closer on a spiritual level by attending one of these beautiful and harmonic practices.
About the Author
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest in and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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