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A Guide to Japanese Tea.

Japanese gardens are usually associated with houses and well elaborate paths that lead to the Japanese tea shop.The tea gardens are located in a private and secluded place far from the world and other lifestyles.The gardens are special places for strolling and experience the serene 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 garden is mostly evergreen throughout the year.

Tea was first introduced to Japan in the 8th century as a substance with medicinal value. 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. Tea was used by priests and monks to assist them in practice meditation.The tea gardens usually have a spiritual meaning to the Japanese people as well as the guests who visit the gardens.The Japanese tea gardens have a natural appearance, and there is a golden rule to never make it appear artificial.

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. The scarcity of tea was the basis of the tea ceremony where people will come together to drink tea.

The tea ceremony may last up to four hours.Planned activities for the tea ceremony are well coordinated and carried out correctly. The guests of the ceremonies may be served with light meals before the start of the tea ceremony. The Japanese tradition involves people serving and receiving tea and all the participants share tea using the same bowl.

Two types of tea are served during the ceremony which includes the Matcha and Sencha. The Matcha is a thick, milky green traditional tea with a bitter taste while the Sencha is the green tea that is often drunk during common events.

The tea experts in Japanese tea shops make the tea by the use of a powdered Matcha and bamboo whisk and the tea served 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.
Japanese teas are prepared traditionally and served on bowls which are of different sizes, shapes and thickness depending on the unique characteristics of the tea. Taller tea bowls and thick walls are mostly used for casual tea and are easier to hold. Half-circle shaped bowls with a small size are used for high-grade aromatic teas like Matcha and Sencha.When serving the low-grade Japanese tea types, big wide bowls are used.

The green tea is the most popular tea used in Japan.The manufacture of green tea is well identified with Japanese tea companies with the tea being used as medicine.Green tea is processed from camellia sinensis leaves but there are also different varieties.