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How to perform a Japanese Tea Ceremony

Before entering the place where the tea ceremony will be held, everyone should bow to each other, remove their shoes, and wash their hands. When entering the room for the ceremony, everyone should be silent and imagine a calm and serene atmosphere. Tea ceremonies are performed with virtually no noise and with fluid and soft motions.

Have all guests seated around in a seiza style (on your knees with bottoms touching the heels of their feet) and have the equipment set closest to the host who will be preparing the tea. The equipment should not be in front of the host, but rather to the side. The guest of honor should be seated next to the host.

The tea ceremony begins with the host taking a cloth and cleaning the equipment for the tea. Clean the tea cup, the ladle, small spoon, and the whisker.

Next, the host should take the scooper and scoop up one to two scoops of the green tea powder into the tea cup. The host should then add hot water from the tea pot and then using the whisker, whisk the tea until there's a slight foam on top.

The host should now bow to the guest of honor seated next to them and offer the cup of tea. The guest of honor should now bow to the person next to them and then take a sip or two from the cup. After drinking from the cup, they should wipe where they drank from, turn the cup, and bow again to the next person and hand the cup over.
The process continues until everyone has had some tea.

After everyone has had a sip and the cup is back with the host, everyone watches as the host begins to clean the equipment. Only after the host is done cleaning, the equipment may be passed around for everyone to admire the art of it before they are put away.

As everyone leaves the room where the tea ceremony was held, everyone bows towards each other again to symbolize the end of the ceremony.

View our selection of tea sets and Japanese tea ceremony sets.