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Introduction to Japanese Tea.

Japanese tea gardens are designed with clear paths that lead to the Japanese tea shop and surrounded by residences.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.Throughout the year, the tea garden is evergreen.

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 have an important spiritual and religion connection for the Japanese and the visitors alike.There are golden rules made to make sure that the tea gardens always appear natural and not as artificial.

The Japanese view on tea and drinking on tea arose in the Heian period when tea was a rare commodity in Japan. The tea ceremony was based on scarcity where people would come together and celebrate drinking tea.

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. The Japanese tradition involves people serving and receiving tea and all the participants share tea using the same bowl.

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 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. Casual tea is served in tall bowls compared to their width and which 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.When serving the low-grade Japanese tea types, big wide bowls are used.

The green tea is the most popular tea used in Japan.Tea companies in Japan are large producers of green tea which is sometimes consumed for its medicinal purposes.The green tea is extracted from the leaves of Camellia sinensis although different varieties exists.

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