The Art of Japanese Tea Ceremony

October 07, 2010

The Japanese Tea Ceremony, also called Chanoyu or Chado is a cultural experience meaning 'Way of the Tea'. 

The Urban Tea Merchant has been fortunate to have Sayaka Mizoguchi work with us over the past two years.  Sayaka has had seven years of Japanese Tea Ceremony experience and she has shared some of the experience of this art of tea.  Within the experience, we have found there is an authentic sense of able to capture the beauty of a moment, and each time I am reminded that every sip is a journey.

In Japan, this Tea Ceremony can be practiced both at a tea house or in a hosts home given they have created the environment and space for the traditional ceremony.  Sayaka reminds us that not everybody in Japan is familiar with or practices the ceremony but the way of tea has been a long and honored tradition within the Japanese culture.  Sayaka suggests that every ceremony is considered a special experience and as the seasons change so do the ceremonies to honor the change. 


As we learned more of this Japanese Tea Ceremony we discover that there are four main principles in the Art of Tea - wa, kae, sae, and jubuo.  These are translated to mean harmony, respect, purity and tranquility.  The Urban Tea Merchant has been fortunate to have demonstrations of the tea ceremony in our stores.  Sayaka has provided some guests with a personal demonstration at their table.  Each time I have observed a ceremony I have personally realized that there is a sense of calm and presence that occurs to all of us who observe and participate in it.  These feelings validate the principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility even though it may be for a brief period within the day.  

THEODOR provides The Urban Tea Merchant with a beautiful authentic 'grand cru' Japanese organic Matcha.  There are special tools that are used in the Japanese tea ceremony and The Urban Tea Merchant makes these tools available for our customers to buy.  The tools that we carry at The Urban Tea Merchant are the chawan- the tea bowl, the chasen - the tea whisk, the chashaku - the tea scoop, and the hishaku - the water ladle made of bamboo.

We are excited about being able to feature our THEODOR Matcha Tea and each time we have a sip, it can remind us of the four principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility.  

Tom James