Brian Kagen pick: “Tea and Aikido” by Kenjiro Yoshigasaki

“Tea was cultivated and developed in China about 2000 years ago – initially for medicinal purposes. Buddhist priests brought it as a medicine to Japan about 1500 years ago where the Japanese started to cultivate it not only as a medicine but also as a daily drink.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony developed from the 1300s through Zen philosophy. Matcha (pure tea) is used for the Tea Ceremony where as ryokucha (green tea) or bancha (dried tea) is used by Japanese people as a daily beverage. Matcha is rather expensive and so is normally used only for tea ceremony. Ryokucha (green tea) is for daily life but it should be drunk immediately after it is made. Bancha (dried tea) can be drunk several hours after brewing so it is more convenient than ryokucha. It is also cheaper than ryokucha.”

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