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Introduction to Japanese Tea.

Japanese gardens are usually associated with houses and well elaborate paths that lead to the Japanese tea shop.The garden is separated from worldly lifestyles and is usually private.When walking across the tea garden, you experience a unique and refreshing atmosphere.

Walking through the garden requires one to concentrate on the ground which is placed with stepping stones raised above the ground level.The tea gardens are always green throughout the year.

Tea was first grown in Japan in the early 8th century and was mainly consumed for medicinal purposes. Japanese tea ceremony is based on the contents of a book written centuries ago by Chinese Buddhist priests.Chinese Buddhist priests in their book described what now forms the basis of the Japanese tea ceremony. The priests and monks used to take tea to help them, in their meditation.The tea gardens usually have a spiritual meaning to the Japanese people as well as the guests who visit the gardens.The serene tea garden seems to be more natural rather than artificial and regulations are made to ensure it remains with the natural appearance.

Tea was rarely found in Japan in the Heian period, and this created a the treasured feeling of Japanese on tea and the drinking of tea. People would come together during the tea ceremony to celebrate drinking the scarce commodity.

The Japanese tea ceremony is conducted for up to four hours.The activities of the ceremony are well planned and carried out carefully. In some tea ceremonies, light meals are served to the guests before the ceremony begins. During the tea ceremony, tea is served and shared using a single bowl to all participants.

The Matcha and the Sencha teas are the two types of tea served in the tea ceremony. The matcha tea is a traditional, bitter, thick, milky green tea while sencha is the common green tea drank on normal occasions.

The tea masters usually make the tea by mixing powdered Match and bamboo whisk and then serving the tea in bowls.There are several rules when drinking the tea during the ceremony with a variety of paraphernalia such as tea-box, the bowls involved and carrying bags.
Bowls of different sizes, thickness and shapes are used to serve traditionally prepared Japanese teas depending on the unique features of the tea. Bowls that are taller in relation to their width are used to serve casual tea since they are easier to hold. Bowls which are half-circle shaped and small in size are used to serve the aromatic high-grade teas including Sencha and Matcha.Big wide bowls are used for the low-grade Japanese tea types.

Most tea now taken in Japan is the green tea.The manufacture of green tea is well identified with Japanese tea companies with the tea being used as medicine.The green tea is extracted from the leaves of Camellia sinensis although different varieties exists.

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