If you are a beginner or tourists, you might think Japanese tea ceremony of thin tea “Usucha” is really short because “the way of tea” takes only 15-20 minutes sometimes if you are a group of just 2 people or one-to-one session.
It’s not cheating or short cut course, but Japanese tea masters usually have thin tea ceremony in temple or shrines nowadays. In addition, it’s most suitable for beginners to learn.
When we Japanese students start learning tea ceremony, the first thing to remember is how to fold the cloth called fukusa, which tea masters use to purify the tea utensils. Nest, remember how to use the basic utensils such as bamboo tea whisk, tea spoon, and how to walk on tatami tea room. Then, students can also learn how to drink thin tea, so the thick tea is the later step to remember.
The another reason I guess is …thick tea is not so very popular for the tea ceremony the people don’t know each other get together.
Thick tea is more traditional and formal, 3 time stronger than thin tea. Since We expect to share one bowl with 3-5 guests, thin tea is much more popular nowadays.
How long is the longest Japanese tea ceremony?
By the way, what is the longest Japanese tea ceremony?
It takes approximately 3 hours, since it includes traditional meal with sake, Japanese fresh sweets, thick tea (koicha), dried sweets, and thin tea (usucha). It includes the way of putting “charcoals” sometimes in addition to “the way of tea”.
This is the basic full course.
1,Guests walk through the garden stepping on the stones.
Washing hands using bamboo ladle and the stone basin in the garden.
2,Japanese traditional meal (rice, soup, sake, a boiled food bowl, grilled dish, snacks to eat with sake, clear broth soup, browned rice in hot water, and Japanese pickles.)
3,the way of charcoal
4,Japanese fresh main sweets
6, the way of thick tea
7, the way of charcoal
9, the way of thin tea
In this full course, the main thing is actually thick tea!
Even though the popular one is thin tea ceremony nowadays.
If you’d like to experience thick tea ceremony…
We Tea Ceremony KOTO perform only thin tea ceremony in the group session, but guests can experience both thick & thin tea matcha in the PRIVATE session here. (or the group of over 7 adults can choose thick tea as well)
I always ask the guests joining the private session,” which would you like to try both kinds of tea or 2 bowls of thin tea?”
Many tourists are interested in thick tea which even Japanese don’t know very much and have never experienced in the daily life.
If you would like to experience more traditional or rare things, I recommend you to try thick tea.