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Tea Traditions from Japan

Tea Traditions from Japan

20 Feb 19  |  By Anil Netha
Tea drinking has for centuries been associated with the rich cultural traditions of Japan. It is considered an integral part of everyday life, with most Japanese people starting their day sipping a cup of green tea. The drinking of green tea is also considered one of the contributing factors for Japanese living longer. In Japan, green tea is valued for its health benefits which include boosting blood vessels and the circulatory system. Vitamin C that is present in a brew also helps to fight against germs and the spreading of colds.

Serving tea to guests is a sign of hospitality that promotes peace and harmony in Japan. Green tea is in fact offered free of charge in many Japanese restaurants as soon as customers walk in for a meal. Refills are also readily made available. The popular green teas of Japan include Bancha, Sencha, Kukicha, Shincha, Kabusecha, Gyukuro and Genmaicha. Matcha is usually used for the famous Japanese tea ceremonies which are known as Chanoyu, Sado or Ocha. Murato Juko is widely regarded by Japanese historians as the founder of the tea ceremony. He studied Zen practices under the monk Ikkyu, who is said to have greatly influenced Juko’s role in popularizing tea ceremonies across Japan.

Japanese tea ceremonies take place in a sacred room called a ‘Chashitsu’. It is here that guests are made to feel at home. The principal guest of the ceremony is called ‘Shokyaku’. During the tea ceremony, great attention to detail is part of every choreographed move. This art of refinement can be seen from the moment guests enter through a special door until the very end when everyone bows at each other before leaving.

Wabi Sabi is an ancient art form which finds its roots in Zen Buddhism. It pays particular interest to the aesthetic appeal of objects. This philosophy is practiced during tea ceremonies when utensils such as Matcha bowls are studied closely and appreciated by guests. The Matcha bowls are made with unique imperfections, which include cracks, uneven shapes, and irregular glazing. All these intended marks of beauty allow the potters to receive great praise from the Japanese tea grandmasters.

While Japan is often referred to as the land of the rising sun, Matcha is increasingly making tea lover’s rise energetically in the morning. The sun is actually the key factor when producing Matcha green tea. Unlike other tea leaves which get full exposure to the sun, Matcha is carefully grown under shaded sunlight which increases the chlorophyll. This enhances the health benefits that make Matcha a popular superfood. Our Matcha is a ceremonial grade and comes from the Nishio region, Aichi prefecture in Japan. You can view our full range of Matcha products here.

Anil Netha

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