We would like to take you to the world of ” the way of tea – chanoyu” by introducing to actual tea lessons to provide better understanding of the way of *Ichigo Ichie (一期一会).
Each lesson demonstrates different types of tea ceremony using basic manner of serving tea below:
Lesson 1: Bonryaku Temae (盆略手前)
Lesson 2: Chabako Temae (茶箱手前)
Lesson 3: Furo Temae (風炉点前) & Ro Temae (炉手前)
Lesson 4: Chakai (茶会)
SPECIAL COLUMN: What is Wagashi (Japanese sweets)?
SPECIAL COLUMN: The beauty of Fukamushi-cha.
BASIC MANNER OF SERVING TEA
All types of tea ceremony includes a following basic manner to serve a bowl of tea, which starts with ritually cleaning each utensil used in a ceremony.
- Each utensil: the tea bowl (茶碗), tea whisk (茶筅), and tea scoop (茶杓) is ritually cleaned with a white wet cloth in the presence of the guests in a precise order and motions and placed in a precise arrangement.
- The host will then place green tea powder from a tea container in the bowl, add the appropriate amount of hot water and whisk the tea.
- The bowl is then served to the guest of honour/first guest (初客), either by the host or an assistant. Bows are exchanged between the host and guest of honour. The guest then bows to the second guest, and raises the bowl in a gesture of respect to the host.
- The guest rotates the bowl to avoid drinking from its front, takes a sip and then takes two or three more sips before wiping the rim, rotating the bowl to its original position, and returning the bowl to the host. (*In a case of thicker tea (濃茶), the procedure is repeated until all guests have taken tea from the same bowl, and then the bowl is returned to the host. )
- After all the guests have taken tea, the host cleans the utensils.
- The guest of honour will request the host to show the utensils to the guests. Each guest admires each item used in a ceremony with extreme care.
- The host then collects the utensils, and the guests leave the tea house. The host bows from the door, and the ceremony is over.
A tea ceremony can last between one hour and four to five hours, depending on the type of ceremony performed, and the types of meal and tea served.
*Ichigoichie (一期一会) literally meaning “one opportunity, one encounter , is a very important concept in the Japanese tea ceremony where each tea ceremony is unique, different and will never recur in one’s lifetime – people, atmosphere, seasonal decorations, art objects, freshness of tea and sweets. We have to enjoy every single moment to the fullest and remember each moment we have and each person we meet may not recur.