By : Intan Permata Sari
Mentor : Oky Primadeka
Tea is one of the most popular drink in the world. As a drink, tea has many benefits, among others it strengthens teeth, increases endurance, prevents hypertension, refreshes body, as neutralizer, optimizes sugar metabolism, prevents cancer, etc. In some countries, drinking tea is a culture. In China and Japan, tea ceremony is a preserved tradition until now.
In a book titled “Tea: The Drink that Changed the World”, it is mentioned that tea was started being consumed at the earliest period paleolitikum which was around 500 years ago. Archaeologists in the the world indicates that in the same period, Camellia sinesis leaves first boiled by homoerectus in an area which is currently known as China. The people in China consume tea every day and each region have different tea favorite, and it includes the way of the people to enjoy it, comprising from the habit variety of the chinese in presenting and drinking tea. The way or method that best known is Gong-fu Cha. Tea that originally comes from China starts to spread in Asia with the advent of the buddhist religion in the region. Because of that, tea was brought into the neighbourhood countries including Japan. Due to having direct contact with buddhist, tea in a short time had become of japanese people choice until later the people created tea ceremony namely Chato or Cha No Yu .
In China, tea firstly used for medical matter. Along the time, tea starts to be used in religious ceremony such as in ancestral worship, marriage ceremony, even in daily life such as to give respect. In China, young generation always shows their respect to older generation through offering a cup of tea. Treating older generation going to a restaurant and enjoying traditional tea are common activities occurs in holiday. There, tea is also used to gather with family. If a men and women leave their house to work and got married, they may rarely meet their parents. As a consequent, parents seldom met with their children and their grandkids. Going to restaurant and drinking a cup of tea with the family are important activities to gather family.
Compared to China, Japan has made tea ceremony to respect guests. In Japan, tea ceremony is influenced by zen teachings, a precept which has principle “Wa Kei Sa Jaku”, namely the harmony, think honor, purity, and composure so master tea reveres this principle when they serves the tea. In tea ceremonial procession Cha No Yu, there are many meaning of life contain in it such as mutual respect between guest and hosts, and that everyone should respect guests. Furthermore, a procession when giving sweet cake or okashi, it must be spent by the guest. It is an appreciation from host in treating their guests and guest who get cake okashi have to spend it as gratitude from guests besides as form of respect. When tea master make a cup of tea, each steps is practiced carefully and patiently, and must not be in hurry. This means that somebody must do something carefully and patiently.
Gong-fu Cha and Cha No Yu have special equipment that need to be prepare before starting tea ceremony. In Gong-fu Cha , there are seven components that must be prepared. First, teapot that used is yixing known it can improves tea taste, texture, and smell of the tea. Commonly, people need two teapots. Big teapot is used to boil water, and and the other is used for brewing. Second, glass to serve tea. The shaped of glass is nearly resembling cup but the size is larger. Usually, tea has brewed in teapot then it is poured into glass for serve the tea in order to the taste of tea are same in each cup. Third, the cup of tea. The size is small and without ears. The cup is specifically designed like that in order to tea can spent in one to two sips. Fourth, small glass. The size is small and have high 5cm. The function of glass is to serve to smell the water of tea after brewed. Capacity of glass is exactly same with cup of tea, so people don’t need to worry if the water will spill. Fourth, water. We must use boiled water. The water should derive from spring water. Water is used for warming device in Gong-fu Cha, washing tea leaves, and also for brewing tea own. Last, additional equipment. The additional equipment is teaspoon, brace glass, spoon waster tea leaves, and filter tea. Teaspoon is shaped concave serves to put tea into it, a brace cup serves to holding a cup in a state of the heat when cup sterilized, a spoon waster tea served to throw tea leaves that have been worn from it, and filter tea used for filtering tea to prevent water tea is drunk clear without dirty.
In contrast to Gong-fu Cha, the equipment in a ceremony tea Cha No Yu is simpler. In Cha No Yu, takes a furnace large black, a called chawan and one container contains green tea powder, and supplies other like “whisk” tea made of bamboo that bloom called chasen, and a spoon wood long flattened to take powder tea called chasaku and a spoon water also made of bamboo.
Third, about a ceremonial procession tea. In Gong-fu Cha, tea used is tea oolong or black tea. There is no special cake that must be provided. The first thing is by boiling water used for brewing tea. After boiling the water, it is splashed into the inside and outside of tea pot to get same temperature and also to clean it from bacteria before it is served. The people throw the water using clamps cup. After sterilizing process, put tea leaves to 1/3 of of the pitcher by using teaspoon. Then, the leaves brewed with boiling water, moved the teapot to the direction rotates horizontally. After 10-15 seconds, people throw the water. The process called as the process of leaching tea leaves. Next, wait 20-25 seconds then water tea is poured into cup of tea for serve tea .Water tea of it for serving tea then be poured into small cups. And 3 to 5 seconds later water tea of a cup incorporated into cups of tea. But before drinking tea, Chinese usually smell the tea in a small glass, and grasping it while twisted a small glass with both hands that the heat of the glass can warm palms. Immediately, after it is poured into cup, tea is should be drunk with measure were trickling, not spent in a little but in two to three little.
Different from Gong-fu Cha, before Cha No Yu is done, the host must clean up the room, hang kakejiku, prepare a fireplace to boil water to make tea. They also have to prepare sweet and small cookies (chagashi). Guests have to “crawl” above tatami when going into the tea room, saying that it reflects that there is no difference levels or class. A guest is a person who has a close relationship and had already need to know the procedures for drinking tea ceremony. Guests are required to clean up their bodies before entering the room of ceremony, taking tea by swilling the hands and feet with water that has been prepared. For a guest who wears jewelry, like a ring, necklaces, earrings, watches, bracelets, have to put the jewelries off before entering tea ceremony’s room. Master tea had to wear socks. Same as Gong-fu Cha , tools for Cha No Yu also have to be involved in the process of cleansing. It symbolizes purification ritual.
The preparation for Cha No Yu is started from a guest in and the host of invited guests. Guests and the hosts has to praise God and greet each other. Then, the host give a sweet cake named okashi. It is continued with greet each other for a moment after the provision of cake okashi as a form of respect. Cake okashi is eaten by using bamboo prick to be spent to honor the host (therefore this cake is usually little and small). During Cha No Yu tea ceremonies, Japanese people use green tea powder which is still plastered on chashaku. It must be clashed to chawan to powder green tea to not wasted. Master tea pour the heated water about 50ml to make a bowl of green tea. Master tea will stir tea by using chasen, until the tea solubled and combined with hot water, stirred again until the surface frothy smooth. An expert Cha No Yu prepares tea and gives cup to a guest (usually man given simple cup and women given cup flowers).When guest drink the tea, the guest have to make a sound like sipping for show the guest enjoying the tea.
In conclusion, it can been seen that In China and Japan, tea ceremony are preserved as tradition until now. Tea ceremony in China called as Gong-fu Cha and in Japan called as Cha No Yu. In Gong-fu Cha, drinking tea shows respect to older generation. Different with Gong-fu Cha, Cha No Yu is tea ceremony served to respect guests. In addition, there are some equipment that must be prepared and both of them have their own equipment.