A Guide to Japanese Tea.
Japanese tea gardens are designed with clear paths that lead to the Japanese tea shop and surrounded by residences.The tea gardens are usually private and in secluded places separated from the ordinary world lifestyle.The tea gardens are considered unusual places with an ambient environment while walking across it.
Within the tea garden or Roji in Japanese, there are paths with stepping stone placement to keep your focus on the ground as you walk across the garden.The tea gardens are always green throughout the year.
Tea was first introduced to Japan in the 8th century as a substance with medicinal value. Japanese tea ceremony is based on the contents of a book written centuries ago by Chinese Buddhist priests.Chinese Buddhist priests in their book described what now forms the basis of the Japanese tea ceremony. Tea was believed to help priests and monks in their meditation.The tea gardens have an important spiritual and religion connection for the Japanese and the visitors alike.The serene tea garden seems to be more natural rather than artificial and regulations are made to ensure it remains with the natural appearance.
Tea was a rare commodity in Japan in the Heian period, and this led to the Japanese attitude to tea and the drinking of tea. The scarcity of tea was the basis of the tea ceremony where people will come together to drink tea.
The Japanese tea ceremony is conducted for up to four hours.The activities of the ceremony are well planned and carried out carefully. In some tea ceremonies, light meals are served to the guests before the ceremony begins. During the tea ceremony, tea is served and shared using a single bowl to all participants.
During the ceremony, two types of teas are served namely: the Matcha and the Sencha. The matcha tea is a traditional, bitter, thick, milky green tea while sencha is the common green tea drank on normal occasions.
Powdered Matcha and bamboo whisk are used by tea masters to make the tea which is served in bowls in Japanese tea shops.several rules are adhered to during the drinking of tea which accompanying paraphernalia such as carrying bags, tea-boxes, and use of bowls.
Japanese teas are prepared traditionally and served on bowls which are of different sizes, shapes and thickness depending on the unique characteristics of the tea. Casual tea is served in tall bowls compared to their width and which are easier to hold. Matcha and Sencha which are high-grade aromatic teas are served using small half-circled bowls.When serving the low-grade Japanese tea types, big wide bowls are used.
Most tea now taken in Japan is the green tea.The manufacture of green tea is well identified with Japanese tea companies with the tea being used as medicine.Green tea is processed from camellia sinensis leaves but there are also different varieties.