An important part the tea ceremony is the concept of 一 期一会 (ichi go ichi e), which literally means "one moment, one meeting". It pretty much translates into that each moment is unique, and must be lived to the fullest and treated with the utmost sincerity. This saying goes hand in hand with tea ceremonies as the objective of the latter is to clear your hear of all distractions and really focus on the present moment.
During the demonstration, matcha was served. Even if only two of my classmates got to participate in the ceremony, the rest of us still got to drink some matcha. I've always heard that matcha served in the rituals were always quite bitter, and hence why a sweet is always offered to the guest before they drink the tea. Likewise, I was offered some azuki mochi right before receiving my bowl of matcha. To my big surprise, there was only a tiny bit of tea in the bowl, and the matcha wasn't bitter at all! It was delicious! If given the opportunity again, I'd love to be part of the ceremony. Who knows, maybe I'll get an invitation from a tea master when I go to Japan next month!
|Samia & I enjoying some Sencha after the ceremony|