Wednesday, May 2, 2007

C2S Travels: Tea Ceremony in Kyoto, Japan

According to a website that I read about Japanese Tea ceremony, The Japanese tea ceremony (cha-no-yu, chado, or sado) is a traditional ritual influenced by Zen Buddhism in which powdered green tea, or matcha (抹茶), is ceremonially prepared by a skilled practitioner and served to a small group of guests in a tranquil setting.

While I was on Kyoto, my sis and I got a chance to experience one of these tea ceremony where we will be taught the ritual. If you are in Kyoto, go to the Gion Corner if you want to experience one of these classes.

We started out with all the utensils being placed like this.

After certain steps such as cleaning the bowl and utensils, we got to this stage where hot water was poured into the bowl with the green tea powder in it.

It is time to whisk away with the whisk and believe me, I was whisking away like crazy but somehow couldn't seem to whisk it the right way. Most of us in the class had to have the Japanese Lady whisking for us instead. After successfully whisking, the picture above shows how the texture is meant to be like.
After that, you can take one of the sweets on the right corner of the picture and eat it after which you drink the tea. That way, the bitterness of the tea is slightly sweetened. Why would the tea be bitter? That is because of the amount of water that was placed into the bowl is quite little, thus the green tea is highly concentrated!

The weird thing was, the Japanese lady asked us after the class where we were all from and every single person on my table was from Australia. Freaky!

The Japanese Tea Ceremony is available at the Geisha Centre in Kyoto.


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