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Holding your own Japanese tea ceremony
Japanese tea ceremonies are an important tradition for people in that particular part of the world.
It is a time for people to relax and enjoy tea in the best possible way - so why not try to simulate one in your own home?
For many of us, drinking tea is something we think little about - filling up the kettle and drinking a mug of black tea is simply part of our everyday life. Following a Japanese tea ceremony gives you the chance to appreciate your surroundings, and of course the tea you are drinking!
The Chanoyu ceremony
A Chanoyu ceremony in Japan would usually take place in a bamboo teahouse, but obviously you'll have to make do with what you have in your own home! The area is filled with plenty of green plants and is associated with tranquillity.
It is common for four guests to be involved in the ceremony, so don't be afraid to invite your friends and family to take part.
Fresh water is brought in for people to drink and wash their hands in, before green tea is brewed with boiling water. Usually, powdered tea is mixed using a bamboo whisk, but loose leaf tea is much more readily available.
Everyone is seated on the floor around a low table - as the tea is served, each person is expected to bow before taking the bowl with their left hand. It is then passed to the right hand and it is important to drink from the side that was not facing you when you received the bowl.
Once the tea is finished, the bowl must be turned to the left and placed on the table in front of you. Bear in mind that it is essential to drink it all!
Often sweet cakes are served to help counteract the bitterness of the tea.