The Romanticism of Tea Ceremonies
By Kym Gordon Moore
Have you ever attended a tea ceremony? What was the atmosphere like and how did you feel during the experience? Watching the preparation, pageantry and performance of a tea ceremony, whether it is that of Asian, Indian, British or Russian persuasion, is like engaging in a romantic interlude before reaching the best moment of anticipation and satisfaction. Normally, a tea event is conducted in a tearoom, often set apart in a tea garden, to capture the essence of cleanliness and quietude. The ambiance is soothing.
The host of the tea ceremony is trained and very intuitive to the tiniest of preparatory and serving details. Movements are carefully orchestrated, very fluid and meticulously performed. Characteristically, the atmosphere is not large, but in a small and intimate setting.
Tea rituals are diverse among many cultures. For example, Asian tea events vary in Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Tibet, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand cultures, having specific names according to the season or time of day. The type of event is also based on the tea that is being served. The preparation and serving of tea is an experience beyond the history of the Camellia Sinensis leaf accidentally falling into hot water, thus giving birth to the hot tea revolution.
Instruments used in various tea ceremonies are necessary with each part of the preparation and presentation process. During the ritual, the placement of every tea element is carefully positioned in a specific order. The serving bowls and utensils are cleaned with boiling water that is gently scooped out of a pot or iron teakettle. A wastewater bowl is used to discard water once tea bowls are rinsed.
There is a science to the order and spirit of preparing tea. This process is not rushed, but each moment is savored. Gracefulness and meditation reflect aspects of Zen Buddhism influence when it comes down to the earnestness and romance for the art of tea preparation during a tea ceremony.
Kym Gordon Moore, author of “Diversities of Gifts: Same Spirit” and “Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry” is an award winning poet, author, speaker, philanthropist, certified email marketing specialist and an authority in strategic marketing. http://www.kymgmoore.com She is the administrator of the Tea and Poetry Book Club http://www.teaandpoetrybookclub.blogspot.com/, co-founder of Favorite Things for a CAUSE and selected as one of the 2012 U.S. World Book Night Volunteer Book Givers.