Apr 25, 2013

A Japanese Tea Ceremony (The Way of Tea)

One of my favorite things about Japan and the Japanese is the traditional tea ceremony (Chanoyu or Sado). Ceremonial tea drinking was brought to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks in the 1200's. These monks developed a simple and precise ceremony that has lasted several centuries. The setting of a tea ceremony should be calm and meditative, should stand in a garden and be small, simple, and very clean. For decorations it should have a scroll (kakemono) with calligraphy or an ink painting and an alcove with a flower arrangement.



The tea for a Japanese Tea Ceremony called Matcha is green and thick. It is brewed over a charcoal fire and poured into large cups without handles. Those participating in the tea ceremony should sip their tea quietly and keep their conversation formal and short. Their focus should be on the movements of the server, the beautiful surroundings and the marvelous taste of the tea. 
Amanatto (azuki beans covered in sugar), Manju (Japanese sweet dumplings), and Uiro (Japanese steam cakes) are a few of the delicacies that are served during a tea ceremony. No matter where you are in the world creating a simple tea ceremony amongst family and friends is one way to immerse yourself into the world of JAPAN.

                         Green Tea Cookies (A Taste of Japan)

1 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg beaten, 1 tablespoon Green Tea powder (Matcha) and 2 1/2 cups flour.

Cream butter in a large bowl, add sugar & egg, mix well. Sift flour and green tea powder (Matcha) into the butter mixture and form into a dough. Wrap dough inside plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Roll dough on a flour board. The dough should be 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut cookies into circles with a glass or cookie cutter. 
Place on lined baking sheet and bake 10 - 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Japanese Desserts
                                   
           
Matcha (Green Powder Tea)

                             
                             ENJOY YOUR JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY!
        












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