Japanese tea ceremony, also known as Cha-no-yu or ‘the Way of Tea’, is a choreographed ritual for serving Japanese powdered green tea known as matcha. The process is not just about making tea but preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart. The ceremony is about aesthetics as the host considers each guest in their hand gestures and movements as well as the choice and placement of tea utensils. Each tea gathering is a unique experience, so a particular combination of utensils and guests will never be repeated. Japanese tea is just as much about beauty and connection as it is about refreshment, and Japanese tea bowls and utensils are valuable possessions, chosen with great care.
The first documented evidence of tea in Japan is from the 9th century when it was brought by the Buddhist monk Eichu on his return from China. Matcha powdered green tea didn't reach Japan until the 12th century, before tea ceremony became commonplace amongst the upper classes during the 14th century, eventually filtering down to the lower classes. While matcha tea is used in tea ceremonies, sencha tea is a leaf tea that is used for everyday tea drinking. Japanese tea cups are called tea bowls and don’t have handles like Western teacups. Sencha tea is drunk from ceramic tea sets consisting of small cups, a tea pot and a water pourer.
The tea ceremony has recently been making a revival in China and other countries, with Japanese and Chinese tea becoming more popular among young people. Kazari + Ziguzagu stock an ever changing range of tea ceremony objects including mizusashi (water pot), kogo (incense container), natsume (tea container), Chawan (tea bowl), kama (water pot for boiling) and hibachi (charcoal brazier).