Drinking Tea from Japan.
Japanese gardens are usually associated with houses and well elaborate paths that lead to the Japanese tea shop.The tea gardens are located in a private and secluded place far from the world and other lifestyles.When walking across the tea garden, you experience a unique and refreshing atmosphere.
Walking through the garden requires one to concentrate on the ground which is placed with stepping stones raised above the ground level.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 signify a particular spiritual and religious attachment for the Japanese people as well as the visitors.The serene tea garden seems to be more natural rather than artificial and regulations are made to ensure it remains with the natural appearance.
The Japanese view on tea and drinking on tea arose in the Heian period when tea was a rare commodity in Japan. The scarcity of tea was the basis of the tea ceremony where people will come together to drink tea.
More than four hours are spent during the tea ceremony.The activities of the ceremony are well planned and carried out carefully. The guests of the ceremonies may be served with light meals before the start of the tea ceremony. The Japanese tea ceremony focuses on serving and receiving tea using a bowl that is shared by all participants.
During the ceremony, two types of teas are served namely: the Matcha and the Sencha. Matcha is a traditional type of tea that is thick, milky green and bitter in taste while the Sencha is the casual green tea drunk 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.There are several rules when drinking the tea during the ceremony with a variety of paraphernalia such as tea-box, the bowls involved and carrying bags.
Japanese teas are usually made and served traditionally on bowls of different sizes, shapes and thickness depending on the particular characteristics of the tea. Taller tea bowls and thick walls are mostly used for casual tea and are easier to hold. Matcha and Sencha which are high-grade aromatic teas are served using small half-circled bowls.Low-grade Japanese tea types are served using big wide bowls.
The green tea is the most popular tea used in Japan.The manufacture of green tea is well identified with Japanese tea companies with the tea being used as medicine.The leaves of Camellia sinensis are used to make the green tea although there are other varieties.