Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Tea Ceremony

Yesterday was our last tea ceremony practice for the year. Since the next time we meet will be our New Year's chaji, our sensei had us practice koicha. For those of you who are unfamiliar with tea ceremony, there are two ways to serve tea: usucha (thin) or koicha (thick). Usucha is less formal; koicha is the most formal. What makes the tea "thick" or "thin" depends on the amount of matcha. For thin tea, you use about 1 1/2 scoops of matcha per person. For thick tea, you use 3. Thick tea actually has a sludge-like texture! Also, for thin tea, each person is served in a separate bowl, but for thick tea, everyone sips from the same bowl (cleaning the rim in between guests, of course). Only a few of our members are advanced enough to serve koicha, so the rest of us needed to know how to be a proper guest. The sweets this week were this wonderful little cakes of matcha, white chocolate, and cashews. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself!

I admit, having never done koicha, this was much more involved and difficult than usucha! I am hoping I will remember everything for chaji!

After our lesson on koicha, we did some one-on-one practice. Josh and I are still beginners, so I practiced bon temae (tray ceremony, an abbreviated version of the regular usucha ceremony). I still need much work! Josh is better than me, so he practiced the full temae. I snapped a couple shots of him after I finished my temae.

I finished up the lesson by being the main guest for another group member. Josh got a couple pictures while we practiced.


  1. I'm so envious! It must be a joy to practice chado!

    I had koicha in Japan once, at a monastery. It was delicious. But then, I've always enjoyed bitter things. And such bright green! Being from the South (of USA), the standard is orange pekoe (Lipton tea). Matcha was an amazing discovery.

    BTW- I love the cat obi. Have fun at New Year's!

  2. The green little cakes looks so delicious.