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What does it mean to be a guest at our workshop.

Posted by Stephen Sōshun on

What does this Tea-ceremony Workshop uniquely offer its participants?

While most Tea-ceremony ‘experiences’ misleadingly present nothing but thin tea, authentic Tea-ceremony can be properly understood only through direct encounter with (the awesome, and heady) thick tea.

This is what this workshop exceptionally offers – and only afterwards will frothy thin tea, too, be served to you, as that final, and casual, refreshment as which it has always been provided.

Further explanation of why this Workshop is head-over-heels way ahead of any of its would-be rivals follows below. And nothing that we claim is hype: we know exactly what we are doing, and why we should be doing this. For we at The Tea Crane love and revere the rite of Tea, and we most enjoy sharing it with all that are by it potentially engaged, or at least intrigued.


This Workshop uniquely invites you to participate in a service of thick tea conducted using the grand Tea-sideboard and its accompanying set of matching bronze utensils. This service originated in Japan’s late-medieval period; and all other ways of preparing Tea are but later variations upon this solemn, time-hallowed ritual.

The rite of Tea is no mere performance (let alone any ‘ceremony’): this hospitable and yet meditative rite cannot be properly conducted without the active participation of plural guests. And, here, that means yours.

Such understanding is what this Workshop offers, through immersion-participation. And participants are gently and expertly guided as to how to aid the host in fulfilling his/her role, and are thoroughly supported in so doing.

Tea is also essentially a happy activity; accordingly, well-timed laughter, too, will not prove out of place.

With the above as ultimate goals of the guidance we provide, while themselves learning to apply the comportment most desirable in a Tea-guest, participants also learn not only what contribution such comportment essentially provides but, in addition, just what age-old aspects of the culture of Japan are revealed within these precepts as to conduct as a guest.

According to the given participant’s requirements, such explanations can be offered in any of English, Japanese, or Dutch.

Most other Tea-ceremony ‘experiences’ employ only cheap and shoddy utensils. Our Tea-workshop, however, throughout employs only utensils of some degree of both aesthetic and historical value. And relating directly to such utensils – taking them into your own hands, and feeling their weight/lightness, passing your sensitive fingertips over their variously-glazed or lacquered surfaces, and examining them from all angles, is one of those informative pleasures that the rite of Tea essentially affords. (Oral explanations of what to note in each of just three, most vital utensils are provided – and there are few questions that we cannot answer.)

In so concluding our Workshop, we hope that, whenever in future a foreign visitor such as yourself should – in museum, antique-shop, private home, or formal Tea-meet – encounter Tea-utensils, that foreign visitor will now know how to examine – and thereby gain greater aesthetic pleasure.

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