Japanese Tea Ceremony
At the end of the South Song Dynasty (1259 AD), the 24-year-old Japanese Zen Master Nanpo Shōmyō came to China and learned the tea ceremony at the Jingshan Mountain Temple. He then brought back what he had learned to Japan, which was combined with the Japanese etiquette and gradually developed into a Japanese tea ceremony with the spirit of "harmony", "respect", "purity", and "tranquility" that has prevailed until now.
Tea ceremony is very popular in Japan, but there is no tea room in average families. The tea ceremony is only for the reception of distinguished guests, or for special occasions where people who like tea ceremony meet as a kind of etiquette.
The etiquette and procedure of Japanese tea ceremony:
(1) After entering the "tea room", the guests take their seats in order facing the host. The guests and the host bow silently as the "meeting etiquette” and the host expresses thanks to the guests with “words showing respect.
(2) In the solemn interior of the tea room, the guests and the host sit upright, watching the tea girl go back and forth to prepare the tea set, and use the small jade stick to grind the tea cake in the bowl.
(3) When the water is boiling, the host takes over the teapot with respect and pours the boiling water into the bowl, with the tea spreading, the milky white foams floating and the fragrance coming into the air.
(4) Hold the first bowl of tea with the lacquer tea case, slowly move toward the first guest, kneel in front of the guest and present him with the tea bowl up in front of one’s brows.
(5) The guest kowtows to thank for the tea and takes the tea. The host then kowtows back too.
(6) The tea then is presented one bowl after another to all guests in the way in step 5 and the last bowl is for the host. Then all guests and host hold their own tea bowl, sniff slightly, drink slowly and chat casually.
Korean tea ceremony
The Korean tea ceremony began in the Korai Dynasty and was popular among the royal family, officials, martyrdom and common people.
South Korea's tea ceremony has a wide variety with unique characteristics. According to the types of tea, there are four kinds: “Tea Powder Method”, “Cake Tea Method”, “Qian Tea Method” and “Leaf Tea Method”. Here is the leaf tea method of Korean tea ceremony:
(1) Greetings: When guests come, the host will first come to the gate to welcome them with the words "Welcome" and "Please come in" and lead the way. Guests then come in one by one according to age priority. After entering the tea room, the host will stand in the southeast, greet the guests once again, and sit in the east facing west. The guests sit in the west facing east.
(2) Warming tea set: Before making tea, first pack and fold the tea towel and put it on the left side of the tea set. Then pour the boiling water in the kettle into the teapot to warm it, and then pour the water in the teapot into the tea cups on average to warm the cups. The water is discarded in the tea bucket finally.
(3) Making tea: The host opens the lid of the teapot, holding the teaspoon in the right hand, and the tea caddy in the left hand. Take out some tea with the teaspoon and put it in the teapot. According to different seasons, the orders of pouring tea and water are different. Generally speaking, in spring and autumn, the tea will be put into the teapot after pouring the first half water, and then the left half water be poured in. In summer, the tea will be put into the teapot after all water poured into the teapot. In winter, the tea will be put into the teapot before pouring water in. When the tea is ready, pour the tea into the cups to high-medium amount from the right to the left in 3 times.
(4) Tasting tea: When the tea is ready in the cups, the host puts the tea to the tea tables in front of the guests with respect, holding the cup saucer with the right hand and holds the right sleeve with the left hand. Then the host goes back to his own seat and pick up his own teacup, making eye contact with the guests and saying “Please enjoy the tea.” The guests reply with thanks. After that, the host and the guests taste the tea together. They may eat some refreshments like cakes and fruits while tasting tea.