January 28, 2009

Matcha or coffee

Lately I seem to become more fond of the Japanese tea ceremony. Surely, I have been studying it for more that four years and have been to various tea events and Chaji meetings. But since the age of five drinking coffee has been a daily necessity. My morning cup is loaded with four sugar cubes and rich cream, it really gets me bouncing off the wall in five minutes. Whenever I have coffee in the morning, I need another cup between 10 and 11 am and a third one around 3pm. It's the caffeine and sugar boost which wares out after a couple of hours. Leaving me needy for a fresh boosting roast.

The soul of the Japanese tea ceremony is not the perfection of the ritual preparation, it is the time and efforts made to entertain and satisfy guests. This is what my tea teacher taught me and what I slowly begin to understand. For about two weeks now, I have been drinking a bowl of Matcha in the morning instead of coffee. It feels really good!! Matcha contains some caffeine which is however released over a longer period of time. Caffeine from Matcha is released over approximately 8 hours. See Matcha health and nutrition. Matcha contains a lot more that caffeine, it is filled with minerals, aminos, and vitamins. This is because Macha is powdered made from the whole leaf.

I felt really satisfied with drinking Matcha in the morning and didn't feel the need for drinking coffee. Last Monday two friends came over and instead of serving them coffee as usual, I brought my Chawans, Chasen, Chashaku, Natsume, and a pot of hot water. I tried very hard and had bought Manju which were on a Kaishi. This from was really simple and I should deliver a bowl of green tea in a minute.

Here we go... Some of you who have some experience with making tea know that after 5 - 7 seconds of whisking with the Chasen, the tea will start foaming (which is good). But as some might have noticed here, there wasn't a Kensui, which means that I couldn't warm the Chawan before making the tea. I tried very hard to get it foaming without appearing too desperate, but my efforts were in vain. I could get only a few foamy bubbles which were not enough even for Omotesenke which usually calls for foam around the edges and a little spinning foam in the center. It was apparent that the bowl and the Chasen need to be warmed to achieve the best results. This is something i learned the embarrassing way. My friends told me that the tea was good, but I know better...

For all of you reading this post, don't forget to warm the Chawan!


temae said...

Hi! :)

Miya said...

Great blog!!
I've learned Japanese tea ceremony of Omotesenke since I was a child, and now am so interested in your blog and how you got so well at Sadou. Where do you have the Japanese tea ceremony class? in Mito city?

Japanese tea ceremony said...

I'm glad to hear from another Omotesenke student. We seem to be a rare comodity. My teacher lives in Tomobe town next to Mito city and she has her classes at her home in a proper Chashitsu with a mizuya next to it. As i might have mentioned before, I had know my tea teacher a couple of years before starting to study Chanoyu. I didn't really know the difference between Omote and Urasenke when I started but now I am glad that I am learning Omotesenke because it fits best with my own philosophies some how.

esutterkaye said...

Konnichiwa! I`m really happy you`re writing this blog. Thank you. I live in Kanagawa-ken, and have been studying omotesenke at a local kouminkan for a little over a year. I tried urasenke before, but as you mentioned, its style is different than omotesenke. My teacher says urasenke is "flashier". I like the simplicity of omotesenke. But of course, overall it`s really not that simple! Anyway, please enjoy your sadou. Corinne Sutter-Kaye