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Keiji Kitani

What is a Tea Ceremony

If you’ve ever seen a video of a tea ceremony, or you’ve attended one yourself, you may have wondered why there are such strict rules in place simply for drinking tea.It is true that when one first begins to learn Chado, there are a surprising number of rulesI learned ado from a master myself, and was taught that it isn’t the rules which express the true nature of Chado, it is the learning of the rules which acts as a step to in understanding the nature of Chado.Chado is one type of aesthetic practice born from the thoughts of Zen...

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Keiji Kitani

What is Sencha? (information on the tea and the best way to drink it)

Among the many Rokucha teas, Sencha is well known as one of the most commonly drunk varieties. As an especially ubiquitous drink in Japan, there are also many varieties of Sencha available for sale in plastic bottles.Typically tea is a product produced when raw tea leaves raised on a farm are further processed. From the time they are picked, raw tea leaves begin to change through oxidation (and fermentation), but when fresh Rokucha is processed with heat, this process stops the oxidation, and makes the tea non-fermenting. That’s why tea leaves are taken to a tea processing plant immediately on...

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Keiji Kitani

What is Gyokuro? (information on the tea and the best way to drink it)

Gyokuro is the tea produced through a process where, when about 2 to 3 new buds begin to open on the tea plant, a roof is placed above the plants for about 20 days, to allow them to grow in limited sunlight. By limiting the amount of light they receive while raising the new buds, the transformation of amino acids (theanine) into catechin is slowed, creating a less astringent flavor with great umami. The unique scent, reminiscent of seaweed, is a hallmark of the tea.In order to make a tasty brew, it’s best to use hot water which has cooled...

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Keiji Kitani

Relax and Help Your Brain Work Smoothly with Hojicha

Drinking Hojicha Increases Alpha Waves in the Brain The NHK TV program Tameshite Gatten had an episode which introduced the health effects of the fragrance of Hojicha.In the episode, they investigated how relaxed the brain was after drinking both Hojicha and Rokucha.Hojicha is made from roasted Rokucha, and unroasted Rokucha typically contains a large amount of Theanine, and amino acid which relaxes the body. This is why drinking Rokucha is known to make it easier to relax.However, Hojicha only contains one hundredth of the Theanine in Rokucha, which makes it seem that it wouldn’t have the same relaxing power as...

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