We usually have New Year’s tea ceremony around 10-11th in January with masters and students. It’s the happy event as well as the start of the learning in the New Year for us.
Today, I would like to introduce the tea ceremony which you can do even if you don’t have a big iron kettle or tatami at home.
It’s useful idea to welcome guests at home or prepare happy anniversary parties with your family.
The basic of tea ceremony is “Cha-ji”
We have some kinds of tea ceremony just for light tea, light meal with 2 kinds of tea(thick and light), but all of them are based on Cha-ji, which includes Japanese traditional meal, sake, sweets and 2 kinds of powdered green tea. Of course, the main is tea (especially, thick tea), so the order of the dish is all decided to help you feel the tea more tasty.
１， Zen（rice・soup・Muko-zuke）：Muko-zuke is the dish put on the top of the main tray. Sashimi (raw fish) or vinegared food is in it.
３， serve Rice and soup again
４， Boiled dish
６， Shiizakana：It’s not necessarily since the basic is one soup, 3 vegetables, small soup, sea food & food from mountain, hot water with rice, and pickles.
８， small soup
９， sea food & food from mountain with Sake: It is usually served with wooden square plate
１０， hot water with rice, and pickles.
１１， fresh sweets
１２， thick tea
１３， Japanese cookies (dried sweets)
１４， light tea
The light meal “Tenshin”
Tenshin is the lighter meal than Japanese traditional meal “kaiseki”. It’s more casual than full course and often used when we welcome many guests at once
For example, it’s served with Bento of square box, flat tray or sometimes western plates.
Since Tenshin doesn’t have the strict formats or order, we have to think the combinations of dishes and imagine the situations of the guests.
I think it’s useful and suitable to welcome guests at home!
（This picture is the dish of Yamabana Heihachi-jyaya in Kyoto）
Tea Ceremony including light meal at home!
When I was living in one-room apartment, I had served matcha and sweets to my friends, but it was difficult to do tea ceremony including traditional meal because I didn’t have tatami room and enough space and money to place varieties of dishes.
But don’t you think it is good idea to serve light meal “Tenshin”? It’s easier to try even in the western room.
Menue of Tenshin. You can do it at home!
Muko-zuke：Sea bream sashimi sandwiched between sheets of kelp
Tray of half moon：rice, boiled shrimp with dashi, okura, herring roe, sweet black beans, grilled yellowtails
Soup：with dumplings made of Lotus roots, shrimps, and mashrooms
Sake：”Koto”（made by Sasaki sake brewing in Kyoto）
Sweets：Hanabira rice cake（made by Tawaraya Yoshitomi in Kyoto）
Light tea：”Satorino sora”(made by Ippodo）
I used a half moon shaped tray. On the top of the small square dish, I cooked sea bream sashimi. We think the combination of curved tray and square dish fit together well.
During the meal, I will serve Sake named Koto, old capital of Japan. It’s made in Kyoto.
The transparent soup tastes Japanese flavor “dashi”. I put a white dumpling made of lotus roots, which I grated and steamed with cut shrimps and mushrooms.
The sweets is Hanabira rice cake. Hanabira means petals. Sweet miso pastes and burdock are in it. It’s on the shigaraki pottery shaped Japanese fan.
At the last, I chose the light tea called Satorinosora made by Ippodo, one of the traditional tea shop in Kyoto. We can feel the happy New Year if we use the tea bowl with pine tree paintings or treasures etc.
We need many dishes to prepare traditional meal, but it’s possible to use just one tea bowl with family. After the first guest drinks, a host purifies the bowl with white cloth, and then makes another matcha again and again.
Your family or friends will be surprised to see such a special meals.
Let’s select the nice dishes at home and enjoy the preparation!
- お茶事ができる懐石レシピ 小澤宗誠・小澤宗香 淡交社