Tea: “the adoration of the gorgeous among the many information of on a regular basis existence. It inculcates purity and concord. It’s a worship of the Imperfect, as it’s a tender try to perform one thing potential on this not possible factor we all know as life.”
— Kakuzō Okakura, The E-book of Tea
Hi there, buddies! Pleased Valentine’s Day. I’ve been reconsidering the artwork and act of affection this 12 months. I am in a spot the place nurturing my relationship with myself is key to the well being of all my different relationships. As RuPaul exclaims on the finish of each Drag Race episode: “If you cannot love your self, how the hell you gonna love someone else!?” Level taken.
So for this Valentine’s Day, I wish to share one ritual which permits me domesticate a deep sense of affection, peace, and groundedness in my life: chanoyu! In English: sizzling water for tea. It refers back to the centuries-old Japanese matcha tea ceremony developed by Taoist and Zen Buddhist monks. I will speak about love for a second, then we’ll get into tea, and eventually you will discover my match tea recipe on the finish of the submit.
“On this sacred path of Radical Acceptance, relatively than striving for perfection, we uncover the right way to love ourselves into wholeness.”
So! What does this should do with matcha tea? Every part. Chanoyu is about embracing imperfections, steadiness, simplicity/austerity (wabi), ritual, respect, the current second, and all of the senses with the intention to join with the universe and our personal our bodies. For me, that is an extremely highly effective act of acceptance of the Now, of myself, and of the forever-changing nature of the world. As I am going by way of the phases of getting ready after which ingesting matcha, I’m conscious of my senses, and the temporariness of identification, emotions, and ideas. All the teachings remind me I’m however one mortal mammal within the universe, no higher or worse than anybody else. Every imperfect a part of the ceremony comes collectively to kind a sacred entire, and I’m a part of this course of. I’m dwelling. I deserve the tranquility chanoyu brings, and I deserve love. All of us do.
I will not go into the small print of the historical past of matcha and chanoyu, as a result of different folks have written about it with extra data and articulation than I probably might. I’m simply starting my journey into the ceremony. I like to recommend the next sources in case you are yearnin’ to study extra!
– Means of Tea, by Rand Castile, ahead by Sen no Soshitsu
MATCHA TEA (usucha)
60-80 ml water, slightly below boiling (70–85 °C)
Preparation: Earlier than making your matcha, put together your tea bowl (chawan) and bamboo whisk (chasen). Pour some sizzling water into the bowl and gently stir the whisk round within the water. This warms up the bowl and whisk so they’re prepared in your matcha. If you want, wipe the bowl dry with a linen material. Now, let’s make the tea!
Making the matcha: Fastidiously sift 2-4 grams of matcha powder by way of a high-quality sieve into your bowl. Subsequent, pour in 60-80 ml of water heated to 70–85 °C. Introduce the whisk to the matcha and water, making just a few W shapes slowly. Then, whisk as rapidly as you may for 20 seconds in a vertical backwards and forwards sample. It will produce that fantastic foam.
Ingesting the matcha: drink the matcha straight away, or else it turns into very bitter. Take a deep breath, coming again to your physique and spirit. Discover all the gorgeous particulars in your bowl of matcha: the colors, textures, smells and shapes. The entire universe is on this bowl! Take 3 and a half sips in whole: the final half sip would be the remaining foam. With every sip, keep focused on how the matcha tastes and the way it’s transferring by way of your entire physique. This tea is nourishing, energizing, and turning into a part of you. Consider all of the individuals who performed a component in bringing this matcha to you. Discover how the matcha makes you’re feeling after you’ve got drunken it.
Non-compulsory additions: I like having my matcha with a candy deal with like a cookie to steadiness the bitterness. Historically in chanoyu, these sweets (wagashi) are eaten earlier than the matcha is served to visitors. You may also add nondairy milk or a sweetener to your matcha if you happen to like. Or, have it over ice.