The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Tea is the leaves and bud of a plant called camellia sinensis. It is an agricultural product. Tea means an aromatic beverage, tea is the most consumed beverage after water in this world. There are various kinds of tea's such as white, yellow, green, black etc,. The mentioned are the one's that are frequently used and found in the market too. Tea was introduced to Japan in the sixth century. It was a drink or beverage that was consumed by the religious classes. It was first brought into Japan by the priests and other people who were sent to china to learn about their culture, later it became the drink of the royal classes. Slowly tea plantation was started in Japan and drinking tea became a culture in Japan. The tea ceremony of Japan was introduced into Japan by the Buddhist monks of china in the 15th century. Tea also played a major role in Japan's feudal diplomacy. The Japanese tea ceremony is a ceremony for the presentation of the powdered green tea. The tea mostly consumed by the Japanese is the green tea. The Japanese tea ceremony is other wise called the way of tea. It is a cultural activity which was mostly influenced by Zen Buddhism.

Tea gatherings are classified into chakai and chaji. Chakai is an informal meeting it is just a simple gesture of hospitality. Where as chaji is a formal gathering which lasts up to four hours it includes a full course meal followed by confections, thick tea and thin tea. The ceremonies are mostly held in tea rooms. The seasons play a major role in the tea ceremony. Traditionally the year is divided into two, the colder and the warmer months. The utensils, equipments and the variations in tea are different from the warmer months to the colder months. Koicha and usucha are the two methods of preparing a matcha. A matcha means powdered green tea. Koicha is the thick tea and usucha is the thin tea. Guests are first served thin tea separate in an individual bowl. Then the thick tea or koicha is shared by the several guests in single bowl. The equipments used in the making of the tea also differ a lot. There are various shaped utensils that are ought to be used according to the season. On the whole the Japanese tea ceremony is a celebration of the tea and a social gathering event.