How to prepare matcha goes beyond your daily cup of tea. This traditional Japanese tea ceremony orchanoyu, as it’s called in Japanese, has its origins in Zen Buddhism. To enhance their meditation practices, monks used to whisk powdered green tea leaves in a bowl of hot water. The tradition of matcha preparation was brought to Japan from China around the 12th century and became a symbol of status among the warrior class. Later it developed into a spiritual and transformative practice throughout the country, helping reinforce some of Japan’s classic philosophies on harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.
There are 2 ways of preparing matcha. For tea ceremonies or special tea parties, Koicha is your best option. Koicha is a thick blend of premium matcha green tea that is shared among the guests. Imperial grade matcha is recommended for its flavor and mellow aroma. The highest grade of ceremonial matcha is Imperial Japanese Matcha Green Tea, but if you are a beginner, Usucha is a great choice as well, as its thinner blend is perfect for everyday use.
Although the Japanese tea ceremony has evolved throughout the years, it hasn’t lost its fundamental nature. It still takes place in a specially designed room where every single detail is carefully chosen. The flower arrangements, wall decorations, tools, and clothing vary according to the type of gathering, the season, the time of the day and the number of people joining (generally no more than 5 guests). Not only are the aesthetics of a matcha preparation ceremony studied & precise, so is every motion and gesture made by the host to the guests during the ceremony.
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