International Tea Ceremonies
Vendor: Bon Tea Place
Argentinian Mate Ceremony: The Argentinian Mate Ceremony is a traditional ceremony that involves passing around a gourd filled with yerba mate, a type of herbal tea. The gourd is passed around in a circle as the participants talk, share stories of the day, laugh, and sometimes even dance. Despite some standard etiquette, this ceremony is relaxed and meant to signify friendship and respect.
Taiwanese Tea Ceremony: The Taiwanese Tea Ceremony is a formal ritual meant to honor the tea itself. There are steps that should be followed during the event; however, it isn’t the most rigorous. While it draws influences from Chinese and Japanese ceremonies, the ritual has evolved into its own. It uses some specific utensils ( such as the fairness pitcher) and unique practices (such as taking a step to “trap” the aroma of the tea). This ceremony is meant to celebrate the tea’s flavor and aroma.
Japanese Tea Ceremony: The Japanese Tea Ceremony is an ancient ritual meant to be a sign of respect for the tea and the people present. This ceremony is much stricter in structure than others, requiring the host and his guests to follow various steps of brewing tea, etiquette, and even decoration. This ceremony is meant to be a peaceful and calming experience, allowing the guests to live in and enjoy the moment and meditate on the realization that, since no two moments are ever the same, this is a unique and valuable experience they share with the other guests.
Rooibos Tea: Rooibos tea is native to South America and, in theory, isn’t a “tea” – having nothing to do with the Camellia sinensis plant that black and green teas are made of, Rooibos is a plant with needle-like leaves that, once dried, can be harvested into a herbal infusion, commonly called a “red bush tea”. It has been brewed in the area for centuries and has grown famous worldwide due to its health benefits: antioxidant levels and heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are also some distinct differences between the ceremonies. For example, the Argentinian Mate Ceremony focuses primarily on spending time with others, sharing stories, and enjoying yourself. In contrast, the Japanese Tea Ceremony is much more serious and formal. Likewise, the Taiwanese Tea Ceremony involves an intricate brewing process, while brewing Rooibos Tea has always been a much more relaxed experience for the natives in South Africa. These differences make each tea ceremony unique and special in its own way.
Although each of these tea ceremonies has its own unique rituals, they all have one thing in common—the celebration of tea. Every tea ceremony is meant to honor the tea and the culture that it originated from. In addition, these ceremonies are a way to connect with others, share knowledge and experiences, and enjoy a simple, peaceful moment with others.