The Japanese tea ceremony, also known as the Way of the Tea, is one of the most popular events at the Wellington Japan Festival.
The tea ceremony is much more than a refined way of preparing and drinking tea. It’s an aesthetic experience, in which every movement by the host is carefully choreographed.
Guests appreciate not only the tea, but also the utensils in which the tea is prepared, the paintings in the room and the simplicity of a flower arrangement.
The green tea itself is called Matcha and is served with traditional Japanese sweets to balance out its bitter taste. The powdered tea is mixed with hot water and blended with a delicate bamboo whisk.
The tea ceremony has a very long history. Green tea was introduced to Japan from China around the 8th century while Matcha powdered green tea arrived at the end of the 12th century.
The practice of holding social gatherings to drink Matcha spread among the upper class from about the 14th century under the influence of Zen Buddhism.
Come along to the Wellington Japan Festival and try some Matcha for yourself!