Tea is nought but this:
First you heat the water,
Then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly
That is all you need to know
- Sen no Rikyu
By the early sixteenth century tea had been known to the Japanese for at least seven hundred
years. Initially a transplant from the Buddhist monasteries of China, the ceremonial serving of tea in
Japan gradually evolved into an art form for the masses. In earlier segments of this series, we
explored the developmental stages of Cha-no-yu, which is popularly called The Japanese Tea
Ceremony. The formative years of Cha-no-yu coincided with the most significant developments of
Japanese culture. It was the favorite amusement of many of the Japanese aesthetes, artists, and
nobility for several centuries. The final form of the ceremony emerged as an amalgam of the essential
elements of sophisticated Japanese decorum.
Ceremonial tea assumed a variety of forms over the centuries, and even today there are advocates
of distinctly different styles. However, the simple aesthetic thatched hut tea ceremony (soan cha) of
the fifteenth century became the paradigm for many of the great Tea Masters who would follow.
Since the Tea Masters were considered to be the experts in all matters of taste and etiquette, their
promotion of the simpler tea ceremony guaranteed the success of soan cha even among the wealthy
and the powerful. This specific form of Cha-no-yu is certainly the most widely celebrated in
"Upton Tea Imports was founded in 1989 with the objective of providing the North American tea drinker with
the finest teas available. We purchase teas from reputable brokers and estates worldwide, dealing only with
sources who are capable of providing top quality teas. We sell directly to the consumer, thus ensuring the
freshest product and fairest pricing."