Matcha and the Philosophy of Tea

Here’s a rare experience for the consummate tea lover

Creativity 4 min read Sep 25, 2019

From smoothies and gelatos to pancakes and facial masks, matcha has become part of our urban lifestyle. Not just the latest tea craze, it’s a fantastic habit to acquire, considering its many benefits: has superb antioxidant power, protects against heart disease, helps increase concentration, boosts metabolism, and even burns fat!

Matcha is made of the same old leaves as your usual green tea; but because it’s in powder form, you obtain every last concentrated bit of healthful goodness that you don’t usually get from the steeped variety. Plus it’s really easy to make and takes much less time than brewing coffee. Just add hot water and whisk!

There’s more to matcha

Behind this Asian superfood, however, is a longstanding tradition in Zen Buddhism. The Japanese Tea Ceremony - which curiously enough is not just about serving tea, at all - is built around matcha and the practice of wabi-sabi, the ancient philosophy that embodies the Japanese idea of beauty in imperfection.

It’s not just ceremony; it’s a social art form. In the choreographed rite, the vessel used (ideally, a bowl) is simple and inornate, handmade, irregularly shaped, maybe even chipped or cracked. With a calm mind, you slowly pour the tea and with it, your entire self. It is one’s way of connecting with others in an elegant ritual of purity, mindfulness, and authenticity.