In our recent blog post, we talked about the history of the Japanese tea sage — Sen no Rikyu. Without a doubt, he had a significant effect on The Way of Tea in Japan, and his legacy continues to this day. Ultimately there are three separate schools of Chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony) that follow his teachings to this day, although all slightly varying. These schools refer to "San Senke" — Three Sen Families.(Read more)
Sen no Rikyu (1522 – 1591) is known by everyone to have the most profound influence on chanoyu, the Japanese "Way of Tea". Also known as matcha tea ceremony. Rikyu took to tiny grass-hut tea houses for his tea practices and kept promoting the wabi-sabi style of tea ceremony that he and his tea master started. (Read more)
Chashitsu is the Japanese term for a tea room. It is a little hut, resembling a house, where Japanese tea ceremonies (chanoyu) would take place. Following tradition, matcha green tea is always served in the chashitsu, alongside with some simple sweets prepared by the tea master. It is said that chashitsu started appearing during the Sengoku period (mid-15th century to early 17th century). Before then, tea was commonly enjoyed in separate rooms and not in individual tea huts. (Read more)
The Chinese Tea Ceremony. Gong Fu Cha. In the west, we have all developed certain connotations behind these phrases, and for most of all, the image we get when we hear Chinese tea ceremony is the same. A gaiwan or yixing teapot filled to the brim with tea leaves, some small teacups, a tea table with some tea utensils, and a tea pet. Indeed, the vast majority of us will get the same image in our minds when we hear gong fu cha. The Chinese tea ceremony is almost comparable to Chinese food in the US. Is American Chinese food the same food you will find being served in China? No. It is the same with the Chinese tea ceremony. Not everyone in China practices what we nowadays refer to by this term. Furthermore, modern day gong fu cha is not purely Chinese. (Read more)
Teacups! They come in so many different shapes and sizes. Growing up in the west, I was always used to drinking tea from giant mugs. And the more absurdly giant the cup was — the better! I still remember like it was yesterday, the day I first tried tea from a tiny teacup, which barely fit in my fingers. It seemed it wasn’t even enough tea for half a sip. However, that half a sip was incomparable to any of the giant tea gulps I’ve had before!
There exist many different styles of teacups used for both the tea ceremony and casual tea drinking. Let’s take a look at each one. (Read more)