When it comes to Asian “Tea Ceremonies” I divide them into three (3) distinct regions; China Mainland, Taiwan and Japan. This not a complete representation, but it is my personal experiences they demonstrate the range to which tea making and serving extends.
Japan, demonstrates the highest level of importance to the adherence of ceremonial dictates. Simply stated: Ceremony first, tea taste secondary. Great importance is placed on the; tea growing, picking, processing and storage.
A woodblock print by Toyohara Chikanobu depicts a tea ceremony during the reign of the Meiji Emperor. At this time tea was part of etiquette training for women.
(2 of 3) Taiwan has a foot in both China and Japan when it comes to tea. I see interesting adaptations and personalizing in making and serving. Tea rises to the forefront with adaptable ceremonies.
My Taiwanese friend’s tea table.. a typical business meeting is centered around having tea and sharing ideas.Tea garden in Ping Lin Taiwan, home of the Tea Museum. High Mountain tea in Taiwan’s central mountain region near Mount Sylvia
(3 of 3) China Mainland, enjoys a fabulous diversity in the brewing, serving and sharing tea. The physical size and diversity of peoples in China plays into regional variations. The common denominator: Tea is first and foremost.