The highly popular and world famous Japanese tea ceremony called Chanoyu is a tradition Japanese cultural activity. It involves a detailed ceremonial preparation followed by an equally detailed and stylish presentation of the powdered green tea called matcha tea. In fact, the preparation for the Japanese matcha tea ceremony involves many intricate steps.
Everything right from opening of the door for the guests who have been invited to the matcha tea ceremony to presenting the sweets to the guests in the traditional way and bringing in the tea utensils you would need for the ceremony, is done in a well defined, clearly specified and laid down manner. Doing everything and performing every step in an aesthetic manner is of prime importance in this traditional ceremony. Sweets are offered to balance the somewhat bitter taste of the matcha tea. The host pours out the matcha tea for the main guest called the Shokyaku from the core of his heart while holding the guests in the highest esteem.
Let us look at some of the key aspects in relation to creating a traditional Japanese matcha tea ceremony at home.
Steps involved in creating the ultimate Japanese matcha tea ceremony at home
Pre-heat your matcha bowl – Pour hot, but not boiling, water at around 70-80 degrees C till the bowl overflows slightly. Empty the bowl and dry gently.
· Putting matcha tea in the bowl – Use a bamboo tea spoon to put 1 large scoop of around 1.75 grams of matcha tea in the bowl. For best absorption of the finest grains, you may use a strainer.
· Making the tea – Fill around 70 ml of hot, but not boiling, water between 70-80 degrees C and using a bamboo whisk, mix the tea vigorously in a �W’ direction until you get a frothy and bubbly tea. You must whisk your matcha tea till all the lumps dissolve well to avoid a bitter taste.
Reasons for using only high-grade matcha tea in the traditional Japanese tea ceremonies
A traditional Japanese matcha tea ceremony is not just any ordinary ceremony. It has a much deeper and profound meaning with the tradition going back hundreds of years. Attention to small details, movements and gestures makes it a truly enjoyable ceremony for the guests and the host alike.
In view of the above, it is of paramount importance that only high-grade matcha tea grown by the loving Japanese farmers in the Uji region of Japan is used in the traditional Japanese matcha tea ceremonies. The green tea leaves are hand picked, de-veined, de-stemmed, steamed and dried before being fine-ground to perfection. It is supplied directly from the farms to the resellers.
Tools needed for creating a traditional Japanese matcha tea ceremony at home
· Chakin – A small linen cloth piece to wipe the tea bowl.
· Tea bowl - To mix matcha tea in
· Tea caddy – A small container with lid for keeping the powdered tea.
· Tea scoop – Carved out of bamboo or wood.
· Tea whisk – Carved out of bamboo. Generally, a new tea whisk is used every time you are having a tradition matcha tea ceremony.
Now you have all the information to create an enjoyable traditional Japanese matcha tea ceremony at home and enjoy great hospitality with every single sip!