Tea rituals from Asia to inspire your own tea culture
In Japan, the tea ceremony involves matcha, powdered green tea that is prepared and presented ceremonially. A tea gathering is a relatively simple course of hospitality that includes confections, thin tea and sometimes a light meal. More formal gatherings involve a full-course meal, followed by confections, thick tea and thin tea and may last up to four hours.
Although any nice space may be used, special tea rooms are found in Japan. The venue, the equipment and the type of tea served all vary, depending on the season and the occasion of the tea ritual. The tea ceremony is part of a highly formalized and integrated set of Zen practices that characterize the Zen esthetic in Japan.
In Japan, green teas are the drink of choice. They need to be prepared carefully to bring out their subtle essence. Green teas are not complemented by boiling water; instead, the temperature is best around 170-185 degrees F. Oolongs made with unboiled water are more fragrant, which enhances the tea drinking experience.
China is the original home of green tea. Most teas used in the Chinese tea ceremony are particularly refined, such as fermented oolong or red teas.
Asian tea culture is highly developed and extremely subtle and complicated. Still, you don’t have to be a worldly sophisticate to enjoy relaxing with a delicious cup of tea. Make your tea ritual your own.