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hashiba_hideyoshi
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:01 am    Post subject: Question about how tea is served outside tea ceremony Reply with quote
I'm curious as to whether or not tea is served outside of tea ceremony in the Sengoku era.

I seem to also recall seeing a painting depicting some kind of a roadside tea seller guy, but it didn't saw what time period was that supposed to be.

Do people serve tea to guests? Do they drink tea casually in spare time or in teahouses? Or tea is ONLY for tea ceremony?

And if tea WAS served outside of tea ceremony, would it be a different kind of tea? Do brewed tea leaves even exist this time?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
It is that tea drinking was an imported culture and started by religious figures and adopted by the upper crust. They tend to ritualise everything. I doubt many lower class people drank matcha during the Sengoku. Maybe during the Edo period with sencha becoming more popular tea drinking for the lower classes became more widespread. There were teas of that time for the more poor, genmaicha or mugicha for example.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
As shin no sen says, you need to be clear about what you define as "tea" when you ask this question. No one sat around sipping matcha while curled up with a good scroll or chatting with a neighbor, and certainly not the lower classes. You're really talking about two (or more) completely different things. Sure, "tea" was served when someone stopped by on business, etc.--much as it is in any office today (though in my experience, coffee is just as likely to be served to an office guest nowadays). But that "tea" was sencha perhaps, or mugicha in the summer, or houjicha, or whatever...it wasn't "tea ceremony" tea (matcha). A traveler stopping in for a bite at an inn wasn't getting matcha, he was getting one of these other teas (probably mugicha or houjicha or genmaicha) as a refreshment, not as some ceremonial thing.

I'm trying to think of an appropriate analogy. It's somewhat like asking if the bread served to guests in medieval Europe was unleavened bread used for eucharist in the Catholic church. Both can be called "bread", but there's a very distinct difference, and one has a very distinct purpose. It's not a perfect analogy, but I think it gets the point across.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm no tea otaku, but while mugicha (which doesn't have any 'tea' in it) has been around since at least the Heian period, houjicha and genmaicha are relatively new – both of them were apparently created in Kyoto around the 1920's. Sencha is somewhat older, dating from the 1780's.

I don't know when tea spread to the masses in Japan, but it doesn't seem it was a drunk as widely as in China, being reserved for the elite. I presume mugicha was widely available, but tea made an impact in the Edo period.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tea certainly spread to the masses during the Edo period - there were teahouses everywhere, and not just as a cover, or euphemism, for brothels. There were plenty that really were primarily about serving tea (and/or other drinks, food, and/or lodging), and were not brothels. And those which were brothels did serve tea as well.

Teashops attached to kabuki theaters (shibai jaya) were also a common thing, where people could take a break before/during/between shows.

What kind of tea they were drinking exactly, if sencha was only first popularized in the 18th century, and then only initially among Sinophile scholar types, I don't know though...
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The point being, once again, that the original poster needs to define what is being asked with "was tea served to guests outside of the tea ceremony?" Tea ceremony tea (matcha) was not. Whether or not there were other types of tea-derivative drinks is a different question.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Question about how tea is served outside tea ceremony Reply with quote
hashiba_hideyoshi wrote:
I'm curious as to whether or not tea is served outside of tea ceremony in the Sengoku era.
Yes. According to accounts in They Came to Japan, 16-17century European accounts, serving tea "is the first and most usual way of entertaining a guest, both during his visit and at his departure." "It is almost impossible even to enter anyone's home without it being offered." It was also drunk after a meal. The accounts quoted say the tea was powdered.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I just have this feeling that there were hot concoctions of herbs way before common Camellia leaves tea was introduced. When I was travelling in some more remote villages in China I was served teas made with a few flower blossoms, not a speck of 'tea' in them. I got the impression it was to give a light flavour to boiled water, which is safer to drink, more than these were very poor people. How far back the custom goes, I have no idea.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea#Japanese_green_tea

Maybe just go down the list?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Or you can check out the Omotesenke School's official website and read about the spread of drinking tea around the world and the history of it in Japan.
http://www.omotesenke.jp/english/list1/
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
The point being, once again, that the original poster needs to define what is being asked with "was tea served to guests outside of the tea ceremony?" Tea ceremony tea (matcha) was not. Whether or not there were other types of tea-derivative drinks is a different question.


Ack! I apologize for not being clear.

I was asking if matcha was served outside of tea ceremony, and if not, were there any other types of tea that are served to guests or at tea houses (if it already existed).

I've looked all over and all I seem to be getting is the tea ceremony matcha, and I can't find anything about the other teas.

Bethetsu wrote:
Yes. According to accounts in They Came to Japan, 16-17century European accounts, serving tea "is the first and most usual way of entertaining a guest, both during his visit and at his departure." "It is almost impossible even to enter anyone's home without it being offered." It was also drunk after a meal. The accounts quoted say the tea was powdered.


Oh, I never saw the bit where it says it was drunk after meals. I only saw the part about guests, and I remember seeing in some drama or anime (I can't remember what) where the guest was directed to the tea room and was served tea in a tea-ceremony-like manner, which only served to add to the confusion.

I don't know if that counts as "ceremony" or not and whether the tea served there is matcha or not. I mean, I can't tell what part is accurate and what is artistic license in dramas or anime.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
So, not Sengoku specific, but soon after: "Ryori Monogatari" was published with an entire chapter (if extremely short) on "tea". It includes recipes for:
Nara-cha: It uses a matcha base with adzuki, soybeans, and rice, as well as cowpea (sasage) and arrowhead root (kuwai), along with sanshou pepper and salt).
Kuko-cha: Boil young Chinese matrimony vine (kuko) shoots, and add 1/3 "normal tea" (vice "matcha tea")
Ukogi-cha: Same as Kuko-cha, but made with Siberian ginseng (ukogi).

The date on that is 1643 (though I've seen some thoughts that it was originally published much earlier--I believe about 1610).

For Itoen's take on the history, check out this link: http://www.itoen.co.jp/eng/allabout_greentea/history_of_tea.html

Josh
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The "tea ceremony" involves inviting guests and a serving meal, starting the fire to boil the water, etc. (See They Came to Japan p. 264- ) The description on p. 198 (also by Rodrigues) of always having hot water on hand to make tea (he says tea was powdered) for the unexpected guest can hardly be called a tea ceremony, so certainly matcha was served outside the tea ceremony.
Of course if you make matcha, whether you make it for an unexpected guest or as part of a tea ceremony, the steps in the actual making of tea--warming the bowl and the whisk, drying the bowl, scooping the tea into the bowl, ladling water into the bowl, whisking the tea, rinsing the bowl, etc.--will be the same.

Rodrigues considers powdered tea to be Japanese and brewed tea to be Chinese (This Island of Japon). Of course, he is late 16th early 17th century.
Kaempfer at the end of the century, says ordinary homes and inns and roadside tea stalls use brewed tea, though he mentions that high-ranking people use powdered tea as a common beverage of tea served to visitors and for drinking after a meal as a farewell drink. So probably a century earlier brewed tea was used among the common people.
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