I finally got down to signing myself up for a tea appreciation course – this one at the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Singapore Association at Liang Court. It was such a fascinating lesson! However, I was not allowed to geekily take notes as I usually do at courses, but my sensei, Harumi, did encourage me to “reflect” on what I’ve “absorbed” for each lesson. So here it goes:
1) The sweets are yummy! The tea cups are so pretty (some are apparently more than 200 years old)! Now that green tea really packs in a punch!
2) Folding that hanky thing is like folding origami.
3) One person = half tatami mat. Must sit 16cm from the edge of the mat, must go over mat edges with right foot (left foot if exiting). Must “slide” feet to make dainty shuffling sound. Must slurp daintily only once at last sip to show appreciation. Bow 60 degrees for senior people, bow 45 degrees for “mid-range” people, bow 30 degrees for random acquaintances who don’t look very tidy. This is really a dream-tea-ceremony-come-true for people with OCD.
4) Don’t wear jeans, it will cut off blood circulation from your legs with all that squatting.
5) Breathe from the core – this will calm you down and in turn, make your guest feel comfortable.
6) The conversation is as important as the food and drink.
7) Serve the guests one by one. No such thing as “mass production, help yourself to whatever”.
8 ) Wow those Japanese chicks age so beautifully – they can be models for SKII ads!