Utensils for tea ceremony!
Throughout the centuries different rituals of tea preparation have evolved, from green tea ceremonies in North Asia to the "milk-in-first" tradition in England and the East Frisian "Koppkes" which is prepared with rock candy and cream. What all these rituals have in common is that one needs some moments of quietness and peacefulness to enjoy and appreciate a freshly brewed cup of tea.
Here you can learn how green tea is prepared in Japan and Korea according to a thousand years old tradition:
On a tray prepare the tea pot, cups, wooden saucers, cooling bowl and bamboo measuring spoon with green tea leaves (for a detailed description of each utensil see below on this page).
Pour boiling water first in the cooling bowl, then into the tea pot. The hot water in the tea pot is poured into the cups to warm them up.
To prepare tea boiling water is poured into the cooling bowl. There the water temperature shall cool down from 90°C to 85°C.
Use the bamboo measuring spoon to put green tea leaves into the tea pot.
Pour the water from the cooling bowl into the tea pot. The proper amount of water is approx. 50 ml water per 1.5 to 2 grams tea (one tea spoon). Let the tea draw for 40 to 90 seconds, depending on the type of tea.
Discard the water which in step 2 had been filled into the tea cups.
Pour the tea from the tea pot into the warmed cups.
Serve the tea to your guests on little wooden saucers. The last cup is for the hosting person who tastes the tea and asks the guests to enjoy it.
New water is poured from the cooling bowl into the tea pot. This process can be repeated up to three times.
The following utensils are necessary to prepare green tea according to the traditional way:
Traditionally the tea set is made of celadon or fine china. The Korean name of the tea pot is Da-guan. Green tea leaves are given directly into the tea pot and brewed with approx. 85°C hot water.
Tea from green tea leaves is traditionally served in small cone-shaped tea cups. Tea from green tea powder is served in larger, bowl-shaped cups in which the green tea powder is brewed with boiling water and stirred with the matcha bamboo broom.
Traditionally the tea coaster is made of carved wood.
As green tea leaves shall never be brewed with boiling water a cooling bowl is used, with the Korean name Suk-woo. The boiling water is first poured into the cooling bowl and then, at a temperature of approx. 85°C, from this bowl into the tea pot.
After the tea pot and the cups have been warmed with hot water, this water is discarded into the "emptying bowl" or Toe-su-gi.
When pouring the tea from the pot into the cups a fine tea strainer is used to prevent leaves from entering the cup.
According to the traditional way a bamboo spoon is used to give the green tea leaves or powder into the tea pot or matcha bowl.
To prepare tea from green tea powder the matcha whisk is used which is made of pure bamboo. Contrary to the preparation of green tea from leaves green tea powder is brewed with boiling water and then stirred in the matcha bowl with the matcha whisk.
Traditionally, the tea is served on a wooden tray.