The craft of preparing and drinking green tea has been around for ages.
Green teas, in particular, has been used in several tea rituals in China and Japan.
In these areas, the tools and steps used to serve the tea to the guests are highly ceremonial in nature.
THE “MAGIC PLANT” FOR THE GREEN TEA RITUAL IN JAPANE
The Japanese, tea ritual is rooted deeply in tradition and is still used to celebrate special occasions.
The tree historically used for a Japanese tea ritual is known as Matcha, which is a Green tea in powder form.
In Japan, special attention is given to the ritual itself instead of the taste of the tea.
Nowadays, Japanese tea rituals usually last for around 45 minutes, however, in the past, a traditional tea ritual could go on for as many as 5 hours.
Tea experts study the matter for years to perfect the picking of flowers, clothing and tea preparation used in a ritual.
WHAT IS A TEA RITUAL?
During a traditional tea serving ritual like this, guests come in and gaze at the tea utensils and flowers or plants in the room.
Then they bend down and sit.
They are also given treats like soft sweet cakes made of bean starch while the tea is getting served.
The tea is also prepared by a tea master who has study tea for years to make sure that the ceremony goes smoothly as expected.
UNTENSILS USED IN A TEA CEREMONY
The utensils and serving tools used for tea ritual in Japan are also very significant.
They are passed from generation to generation.
These may include iron tea kettles, tea bowls, bamboo water scoops, and teacups.
TEA CEREMONY AND WEDDINGS!
Likewise, in China, tea rituals are associated with the celebration of a special occasion.
The difference is that in China, the emphasis is given mostly in the aroma and taste of the tea rather than the actual ceremony.
The most popular Chinese tea ritual takes places when there is a marriage.
During the early wedding day, the bride gives tea to her parents at their homeplace before the arrival of the groom.
Once the wedding ceremony is finished, the newly married couple serves tea to the groom’s family as well.
The bride and groom bow down to the groom’s family guests and serve them tea as a symbol of appreciation.
During the wedding reception, the bride and groom get red envelopes from guests containing money or valued items as gifts for the couple.
Specific symbols are also very significant in a traditional Chinese wedding. These may be lotus flowers and dates, which symbolise offspring to be born and joyful married life.
GREEN TEA IN WESTERN COUNTRIES
For us in Westen countries though, green tea is something we drink for pleasure and for health aims.
In fact, it has been proven that green tea is one of the top habits to revive your health.
Green tea’s antioxidant content has been proven to boost health in numerous ways.
Green T. consumption (long-term) has been shown to stop the onset of many cancer types as well as bad cholesterol and heart disorders.
Additionally, green teas have been found to be a very efficient aid for weight loss and a natural insulin control agent.
It has also been proved to be a supplementary therapy for cancer sufferers who are subject to chemotherapy.
Some studies have suggested that chemotherapy’ efficiency is raised when patients took green tea along their treatment sessions compared to those who did ot drink this tea.
Here a super interesting articles about the Benefits of this infusion!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GREEN TEA FOR YOU RITUALS
To prepare your own green tea you should pick first a green tea variety.
This may be a challenging task because the amount of fo green tea varieties is literally overwhelming.
In fact, there is an old quote in China that there are many types of green tea as the towns in China.
Some of the most common green tea types are the following:
- GUNPOWDER TEA
This is renowned for its smokey note. Gunpowder tea is a firmly rolled vessel that unfolds as it’s brewed to release a light green brew with pretty tea leaves.
This is a traditional green tea variety in Japan and is a popular choice for accommodating guests. It grows in the shadow of mountain Fuji.
If you wish to try green tea with extra flavors, this is often blended with vanilla, jasmine, and mint.
HOW TO PREPARE A GOOD CUP OF GREEN TEA
To prepare a great cup of green eat, load your kettle with cold water and put it on the stove.
Once it heats add some warm water to your teapot and cups optionally, to heat them.
Once the water is boiled, take off from the stove and remove the water from the teapot.
Allow the water sit for a couple of minutes to allow its temperature to drop a little.
It should also be prepared with water at a temperature of 160F, which is lower than other tea types.
Place 1 tsp of green tea leaves/cup into your teapot and pour the warm water over the tea leaves to steep for a couple of minutes, before serving.
The finest quality tea will yield 2-3 infusions. Regardless of the reason, you choose to drink green tea–traditional ritual, pleasure, or health reasons, you’ve made a smart choice.
There is a good reason why green tea is used in so many rituals and especially in the oriental world.
It’s a symbol of celebration and it’s tasty and healthy too