American Tea Ceremony Now a Reality
The American Tea Ceremony, developed and launched by the American Tea Masters Association on April 4th, is modeled after the tea ceremonies in China and Japan. It is an opportunity to sit down, put cellphones and other electronic gadgets aside, and have tea with those most important to you. The environment creates the opportunity to strengthen personal values, especially in children. Use of the ceremony is expected to have a major impact on the continuing growth of tea consumption in the U.S., which approaching $10-billion in annual sales.
The ceremony takes advantage of teas grown from all over the world reflecting the melting pot of ethnicity and the diverse cultures of which this nation’s population is composed. The ceremony, modeled after the ceremonies in China and Japan, is an opportunity to sit down, put cellphones and other electronic gadgets aside, and have tea with family, friends, and business associates. It is an opportunity to discuss subjects that will strengthen personal values. The tea in the ceremony is simply an enjoyable vehicle allowing the person leading the ceremony an opportunity to model positive values and behaviors for everyone present, especially children.
Prior to its start, whoever leads the ceremony should sample each tea to be served to determine the ideal temperature for brewing it, along with the length of time it should be steeped.
Several elements of the ceremony make it unique. The aroma of the dry tea leaves and the tea itself after brewing is paramount. It is indeed through the sense of smell that we perceive the essence of what we taste, which is where the aromatic complexity of a drink like tea is revealed. It is for this reason that we pour the tea after it is prepared into Aroma Glasses. Instead of preparing the tea in a ceramic or metal teapot, a glass Tea Press is used, and instead of pouring the tea into ceramic or porcelain teacups after steeping, Tasting Glasses or glass teacups are used.
The significance of these features allow the participants to not only capture the tea’s fragrance, but watch the tea develop its natural color during the steeping process as the leaves open, expand, and release their flavor. These steps add a special sensory dimension to the ceremony’s process.
The experience of following the American Tea Ceremony when serving tea is expected to be extremely positive, allowing everyone present to communicate with one another as it enhances relationships.
More information on the American Tea Ceremony, including a video presentation, is available on the association’s web site at http://www.TeaMasters.org.