Tea Ceremony

By Laura Lainez

In Japan they serve tea differently than we do in America. The host serving the tea is very diligent with how he/she makes it. They scoop the matcha (green tea) into the tea bowl with the Chashaku (a bamboo scoop) and whisk the tea powder very well with the Chasen (bamboo whisk) making sure to mix well the matcha powder. After serving the tea the recipient picks up the bowl with their right hand and puts it on their left palm, rotating the bowl two times admiring the bowl’s design. You have to bow your head in a show of thanks towards the host who served the tea. Since the matcha is bitter, you eat sweet snacks while drinking it. The university students had different snacks to try before we drank the tea.

It was a new experience because we have green tea in my house and I drink it often, but the tea they gave us was in powder form. We don’t serve it like they do in Japan where someone makes it and the other drinks. They also give thanks to the host, where here we don’t really do that, because we make the tea ourselves. I knew that green tea is bitter so I expected it to be and the sweet snacks balanced out the taste.

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