A coffeehouse, coffee shop, or café is an establishment that serves coffee, related coffee drinks, – depending on country – other drinks including alcoholic. Some coffeehouses may serve cold drinks such as iced tea. A coffeehouse may serve some type of food, such as light snacks, muffins or other pastries. Coffeehouses range from owner-operated small businesses to large multinational corporations. While café may refer to a coffeehouse, the term "cafe" refers to a diner, British cafe, "greasy spoon", transport cafe, teahouse or tea room, or other casual eating and drinking place. A coffeehouse may share some of the same characteristics of a bar or restaurant, but it is different from a cafeteria. Many coffeehouses in the Middle East and in West Asian immigrant districts in the Western world offer shisha, flavored tobacco smoked through a hookah. Espresso bars are a type of coffeehouse that specializes in serving espresso and espresso-based drinks. From a cultural standpoint, coffeehouses serve as centers of social interaction: the coffeehouse provides patrons with a place to congregate, read, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups.
Since the development of Wi-Fi, coffeehouses with this capability have become places for patrons to access the Internet on their laptops and tablet computers. A coffeehouse can serve as an informal club for its regular members; as early as the 1950s Beatnik era and the 1960s folk music scene, coffeehouses have hosted singer-songwriter performances in the evening. The most common English spelling, café, is the French and Spanish spelling, was adopted by English-speaking countries in the late-19th century; as English makes little use of diacritics, anglicisation tends to omit them and to place the onus on the readers to remember how it is pronounced without the presence of the accent. Thus the spelling cafe has become common in English-language usage throughout the world for the less formal, i.e. "greasy spoon" variety. The Italian spelling, caffè, is sometimes used in English. In southern England around London in the 1950s, the French pronunciation was facetiously altered to and spelt caff; the English words coffee and café derive from the Italian word for coffee, caffè—first attested as caveé in Venice in 1570—and in turn derived from Arabic qahwa.
The Arabic term qahwa referred to a type of wine, but after the wine ban by Islam, the name was transferred to coffee because of the similar rousing effect it induced. European knowledge of coffee came through European contact with Turkey via Venetian-Ottoman trade relations; the English word café to describe a restaurant that serves coffee and snacks rather than the word coffee that describes the drink, is derived from the French café. The first café is believed to have opened in France in 1660; the translingual word root /kafe/ appears in many European languages with various naturalized spellings, including. Coffeehouses in Mecca became a concern of imams who viewed them as places for political gatherings and drinking, they were banned for Muslims between 1512 and 1524. The Ottoman chronicler İbrahim Peçevi reports in his writings about the opening of the first coffeehouse in Istanbul: Until the year 962, in the High, God-Guarded city of Constantinople, as well as in Ottoman lands coffee and coffee-houses did not exist.
About that year, a fellow called Hakam from Aleppo and a wag called Shams from Damascus came to the city. Various legends involving the introduction of coffee to Istanbul at a "Kiva Han" in the late-15th century circulate in culinary tradition, but with no documentation; the 17th century French traveler and writer Jean Chardin gave a lively description of the Persian coffeehouse scene: People engage in conversation, for it is there that news is communicated and where those interested in politics criticize the government in all freedom and without being fearful, since the government does not heed what the people say. Innocent games... resembling checkers and chess, are played. In addition, mollas and poets take turns telling stories in verse or in prose; the narrations by the mollas and the dervishes are moral lessons, like our sermons, but it is not considered scandalous not to pay attention to them. No one is forced to give up his conversation because of it. A molla will stand up in the middle, or at one end of the qahveh-khaneh, begin to preach in a loud voice, or a dervish enters all of a sudden, chastises the assembled on the vanity of the world and its material goods.
It happens that two or three people talk at the same time, one on one side, the other on the opposite, sometimes one will be a preacher and the other a storyteller. In the 17th century, coffee appeared for the first time in Europe outside the Ottoman Empire, coffeehouses were established, soon becoming popular; the first coffeehouses appeared in Venice in 1629, due to the traffic between La Serenissima and the Ottomans. The first coffeehouse in England was set up in Oxford in 1650 by a Jewish man named Jacob at the Angel in the parish of St Peter in
Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on a small plate. Dim sum dishes are served with tea and together form a full tea brunch. Due to the Cantonese tradition of enjoying tea with this cuisine, yum cha, which means "drink tea" in Cantonese, is synonymous with dim sum. Dim sum traditionally are served as cooked, ready-to-serve dishes. In some Cantonese teahouses, carts with dim sum are served around the restaurant. Dim sum is linked with the older tradition from yum cha for example, people call it is “One cup accompanied by two pieces” in Hong Kong, which has its roots in travelers on the ancient Silk Road needing a place to rest. Thus, teahouses were established along the roadside. An imperial physician in the third century wrote that combining tea with food would lead to excessive weight gain. People discovered that tea can aid in digestion, so teahouse owners began adding various snacks; the unique culinary art dim sum originated with the Cantonese in Guangzhou and after that its transmitted inward to Hong Kong, who over the centuries transformed yum cha from a relaxing respite to a loud and happy dining experience.
In Hong Kong and most cities and towns in Guangdong province many restaurants start serving dim sum as early as five in the morning, each cantonese restaurant will have its own signature dim sum dish. It is a tradition for the elderly to gather to eat dim sum after morning exercises. For many in southern China, yum cha is treated as a weekend family day. More traditional dim sum restaurants serve dim sum until mid-afternoon. However, in modern society, it has become commonplace for restaurants to serve dim sum at dinner time. A traditional dim sum brunch includes various types of steamed buns such as cha siu bao, rice or wheat dumplings and rice noodle rolls, which contain a range of ingredients, including beef, pork and vegetarian options. Many dim sum restaurants offer plates of steamed green vegetables, roasted meats and other soups. Dessert dim sum is available and many places offer the customary egg tart. Dim sum is eaten as breakfast or brunch. Dim sum can be cooked among other methods; the serving sizes are small and served as three or four pieces in one dish.
It is customary to order family style. Because of the small portions, people can try a wide variety of food. Dim sum brunch restaurants have a wide variety of dishes several dozen. Among the standard fare of dim sum are the following: Dumpling Shrimp dumpling: Steamed dumpling with shrimp filling. Teochew dumpling: Steamed dumpling with peanuts, chives, dried shrimp, Chinese mushrooms. Xiao long bao: Dumplings are filled with meat or seafood with a rich broth inside. Guotie: Pan-fried dumpling with meat and cabbage filling. Shaomai: Steamed dumplings with pork and prawns. Topped off with crab roe and mushroom. Taro dumpling: Deep fried dumpling made with mashed taro, stuffed with diced mushrooms and pork. Haam Seui Gok: Deep fried dumpling with pork and chopped vegetables; the wrapping is sweet and sticky, while the filling is salty and savoury. Dumpling soup: Soup with one or two big dumplings. Rolls Spring roll: A deep fried roll consisting of various sliced vegetables and sometimes meat. Tofu skin roll: A roll made of tofu skin filled with various meat and sliced vegetables.
Rice noodle roll: Steamed rice noodles and filled with meats or vegetables inside but can be served plain. Popular fillings include beef, dough fritter and barbecued pork. Served with a sweetened soy sauce. Bun Barbecued pork bun: Bun with barbecued pork filling, they can either be steamed to be baked to golden. The baked variant are called. Sweet cream buns: Steamed buns with milk custard filling. Pineapple bun: a bread roll with a topping textured like pineapple skin sweet. Does not contain pineapple. Cake Turnip cake: puddings made from shredded white radish, mixed with bits of dried shrimp, Chinese sausage and mushroom, they are steamed cut into slices and pan-fried. Taro cake: puddings made of taro. Water chestnut cake: puddings made of crispy water chestnut; some restaurants serve a variation made with bamboo juice. Steamed meatball: Steamed meatballs served on top of a thin bean-curd skin. Phoenix claws: Deep fried and steamed chicken feet with douchi. A
Geisha, geiko, or geigi are Japanese women who entertain through performing the ancient traditions of art and singing, are distinctively characterized by traditional kimonos and makeup. Contrary to popular belief, geisha are not the Eastern equivalent of a prostitute; the word geisha consists of two kanji, 芸 meaning "art" and 者 meaning "person" or "doer". The most literal translation of geisha into English would be "artist", "performing artist", or "artisan". Another name for geisha is Geiko, which translates as "Woman of Art"; this term is used to refer to geisha from Western Japan, which includes Kanazawa. Apprentice geisha are called Maiko "Woman of Dance", or Hangyoku, "Half-Jewel", or by the more generic term o-shaku "one who pours"; the white make-up and elaborate kimono and hair of a maiko is the popular image held of geisha. A woman entering the geisha community does not have to begin as a maiko, having the opportunity to begin her career as a full geisha. Either way, however a year's training is involved before debuting either as a maiko or as a geisha.
A woman above 21 is considered too old to be a maiko and becomes a full geisha upon her initiation into the geisha community. On average, Tokyo apprentices are older than their Kyoto counterparts. Geisha began the earliest stages of their training at a young age, sometimes as early as 6 years old; the early Shikomi and Minarai stages of geisha training lasted for years and months, longer than in contemporary times. A girl is a shikomi for up to a year while the modern minarai period is one month, it is still said that geisha inhabit a separate world which they call the Karyūkai or "The Flower and Willow World". Before they disappeared, the courtesans were the colourful "flowers" and the geisha the "willows" because of their subtlety and grace. In the early stages of Japanese history, there were female entertainers: Saburuko were wandering girls whose families were displaced from struggles in the late 600s; some of these saburuko girls sold sexual services, while others with a better education made a living by entertaining at high-class social gatherings.
After the imperial court moved the capital to Heian-kyō in 794 the conditions that would form geisha culture began to emerge, as it became the home of a beauty-obsessed elite. Skilled female performers, such as Shirabyōshi dancers, thrived. Traditional Japan embraced sexual delights and men were not constrained to be faithful to their wives; the ideal wife was a modest manager of the home. For sexual enjoyment and romantic attachment, men did not go to courtesans. Walled-in pleasure quarters known as yūkaku were built in the 16th century, in 1617 the shogunate designated "pleasure quarters", outside of which prostitution would be illegal, within which yūjo would be classified and licensed; the highest yūjo class was the geisha's predecessor, called tayuu, a combination of actress and prostitute playing on stages set in the dry Kamo riverbed in Kyoto. They performed erotic dances and skits, this new art was dubbed kabuku, meaning "to be wild and outrageous"; the dances were called "kabuki", this was the beginning of kabuki theater.
These pleasure quarters became glamorous entertainment centers, offering more than sex. The accomplished courtesans of these districts entertained their clients by dancing and playing music; some were renowned calligraphers. They all became specialized and the new profession, purely of entertainment, arose, it was near the turn of the eighteenth century that the first entertainers of the pleasure quarters, called geisha, appeared. The first geishas were men, entertaining customers waiting to see the most popular and gifted courtesans; the forerunners of the female geisha were the teenage odoriko: expensively trained as chaste dancers-for-hire. In the 1680s, they were popular paid entertainers in the private homes of upper-class samurai, though many had turned to prostitution by the early 18th century; those who were no longer teenagers adopted other names—one being "geisha", after the male entertainers. The first woman known to have called herself geisha was a Fukagawa prostitute, in about 1750.
She was a skilled singer and shamisen player named Kikuya, an immediate success, making female geisha popular in 1750s Fukagawa. As they became more widespread throughout the 1760s and 1770s, many began working only as entertainers in the same establishments as male geisha; the geisha who worked within the pleasure quarters were imprisoned and forbidden to sell sex in order to protect the business of the oiran. While licensed courtesans existed to meet men's sexual needs, machi geisha carved out a separate niche as artists and erudite female companions. By 1800, being a geisha was considered a female occupation; the gaudy Oiran began to fall out of fashion, becoming less popular than the chic and modern geisha. By the 1830s, the evolving geisha style was emula
Tea in the United Kingdom
Since the eighteenth century, the United Kingdom has been one of the world's greatest tea consumers, with an average annual per capita tea supply of 1.9 kg. The British Empire was instrumental in spreading tea from China to India. Tea, an upper-class drink in continental Europe, became the infusion of every social class in Great Britain throughout the course of the eighteenth century and has remained so. Tea is a prominent feature of British society. In both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the drinking of tea is so varied that it is quite hard to generalise. While it is served with milk, it is not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon, with sugar being a popular addition to any of the above. Strong tea, served in a mug with milk and sugar, is a popular combination known as builder's tea. Tea is accompanied with sandwiches, cake and/or biscuits, with a popular British custom being dunking the biscuit into the tea; the rise in popularity of tea between the 17th and 19th centuries had major social and economic implications for Great Britain.
It defined respectability and domestic rituals, supported the rise and dominance of the British Empire, contributed to the rise of the Industrial Revolution by supplying both the capital for factories and calories for labourers. It demonstrates the power of globalization and imperialism to transform a country and shape it into the modern society it is known as today. Tea remains a popular drink in Britain in the modern day and is still considered to be an important part of British identity. Historians debate the causes of tea’s popularity and many attribute it to one or two factors, but a range of different factors are apparent at different times. Ukers argues in All About Tea: Volume I that the rise in popularity of tea in Great Britain was due to tea’s reputation among men as a medicinal drink that could cure a wide array of ailments, along with its burgeoning presence in the coffeehouses where elite men congregated; as for tea’s popularity among women, he acknowledges that Princess Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese future queen consort of England, made tea fashionable among aristocratic women, but attributes its popularity to its ubiquity in the medical discourse of the 17th century.
Ellis and Mauger trace tea’s popularity back to three distinct groups in Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf that Conquered the World. These groups were virtuosi and elite female aristocrats, they argue that the influence of these three groups combined launched tea as a popular beverage in Great Britain. Smith, in his article "Complications of the Commonplace: Tea and Imperialism" differs from Ukers and Ellis and Mauger in that he argues that tea only became popular once sugar was added to the drink and tea with sugar became associated with a domestic ritual that indicated respectability. Mintz, in both “The Changing Roles of Food in the Story of Consumption” and Sweetness and Power and disagrees with Smith. Mintz acknowledges that sugar played a monumental role in the rise of tea, but contradicts Smith’s connection of tea to respectability. While Smith argues that tea first became popular in the home, Mintz believes tea first became popular in the workplace, as people drank tea during the workday for its warm sweetness and stimulating properties.
It was that it entered the home and became an “integral part of the social fabric.” The history of European interactions with tea dates back to the mid-16th century. The earliest mention of tea in European literature was by Giambattista Ramusio, a Venetian explorer, as Chai Catai or “Tea of China” in 1559. Tea was mentioned several more times in various European countries afterwards, but Jan Hugo van Linschooten, a Dutch navigator, was the first to write a printed reference of tea in 1598 in his Discours of Voyages. However, it was several years in 1615, that the earliest known reference to tea by an Englishman took place in a letter exchanged between Mr. R. Wickham, an agent for the British East India Company stationed at Japan to a Mr. Eaton, stationed in Macao, China. In this letter, Wickham asked Eaton to send him “a pot of the best sort of chaw,” phonetically an approximation of chàh, the local dialect word for tea. Another early reference to tea appears in the writings of trader Samuel Purchas in 1625.
Purchas describes how the Chinese consume tea as “the powder of a certaine herbe called chia of which they put as much as a walnut shell may contain, into a dish of Porcelane, drink it with hot water.” In 1637, Peter Mundy, a traveller and merchant who came across tea in Fujian, wrote, "chaa – only water with a kind of herb boyled in it". Though there were a number of early mentions, it was several more years before tea was sold in England. Green tea exported from China was first introduced in the coffeehouses of London shortly before the Stuart Restoration Thomas Garway, a tobacconist and coffee house owner, was the first person in England to sell tea as a leaf and beverage at his London coffeehouse in Exchange Alley in 1657, he had to explain the new beverage in a pamphlet. After Garway began selling it, the Sultaness Head Coffee House began selling tea as a beverage and posted the first newspaper advertisement for tea in Mercurius Politicus on 30 September 1658; the announcement proclaimed "That Excellent, by all Physicians approved, China drink, called by the Chinese, Tcha, by other nations Tay alias Tee...sold at the Sultaness-head, ye Cophee-house in Sweetings-Rents, by the Royal Exchange, London".
In London "Coffee, chocolate and a kind of drink called tee" were "sold in a
Women in the Victorian era
The status of women in the Victorian era was seen as an illustration of the striking discrepancy between the United Kingdom's national power and wealth and what many and now, consider its appalling social conditions. During the era symbolized by the reign of British monarch Queen Victoria, women did not have the right to vote, sue, or own property. At the same time, women participated in the paid workforce in increasing numbers following the Industrial Revolution. Feminist ideas spread among the educated middle classes, discriminatory laws were repealed, the women's suffrage movement gained momentum in the last years of the Victorian era. In the Victorian era women were seen, by the middle classes at least, as belonging to the domestic sphere, this stereotype required them to provide their husbands with a clean home, food on the table and to raise their children. Women's rights were limited in this era, losing ownership of their wages, all of their physical property, excluding land property, all other cash they generated once married.
When a Victorian man and woman married, the rights of the woman were given over to her spouse. Under the law the married couple became one entity represented by the husband, placing him in control of all property and money. In addition to losing money and material goods to their husbands, Victorian wives became property to their husbands, giving them rights to what their bodies produced: children and domestic labor. Marriage abrogated a woman's right to consent to sexual intercourse with her husband, giving him "ownership" over her body, their mutual matrimonial consent therefore became a contract to give herself to her husband as he desired. Rights and privileges of Victorian women were limited, both single and married women had to live with hardships and disadvantages. Victorian women were disadvantaged both financially and sexually, enduring inequalities within their marriages and society. There were sharp distinctions between women's rights during this era. Marriages for Victorian women became contracts which were difficult if not impossible to get out of during the Victorian era.
Women's rights groups fought for equality and over time made strides in attaining rights and privileges. While husbands participated in affairs with other women, wives endured infidelity, as they had no rights to divorce on these grounds and divorce was considered to be a social taboo. By the Victorian era, the concept of "pater familias", meaning the husband as head of the household and moral leader of his family, was entrenched in British culture. A wife's proper role was to love and obey her husband, as her marriage vows stated. A wife's place in the family hierarchy was secondary to her husband, but far from being considered unimportant, a wife's duties to tend to her husband and properly raise her children were considered crucial cornerstones of social stability by the Victorians. Representations of ideal wives were abundant in Victorian culture, providing women with their role models; the Victorian ideal of the tirelessly patient, sacrificing wife is depicted in The Angel in the House, a popular poem by Coventry Patmore, published in 1844: Man must be pleased.
She loves with love. Virginia Woolf described the angel as: immensely sympathetic, utterly unselfish, she excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily... in short, she was so constituted that she never had a mind but preferred to sympathize always with the minds and wishes of others. Above all... she was pure. Her purity was supposed to be her chief beauty. There are many publications from the Victorian era that give explicit direction for the man's role in the home and his marriage. Advice such as "The burden, or, rather the privilege, of making home happy is not the wife. There is something demanded of the lord and master and if he fails in his part, domestic misery must follow" was common in many publications of the time. Literary critics of the time suggested that superior feminine qualities of delicacy, sensitivity and sharp observation gave women novelists a superior insight into stories about home family and love; this made their work attractive to the middle-class women who bought the novels and the serialized versions that appeared in many magazines.
However, a few early feminists called for aspirations beyond the home. By the end of the century, the "New Woman" was riding a bicycle, wearing bloomers, signing petitions, supporting worldwide mission activities, talking about the vote. Feminists of the 20th century reacted in hostile fashion to the "Angel of the House" theme since they felt the norm was still holding back their aspirations. Virginia Woolf was adamant. In a lecture to the Women's Service League in 1941, she said "killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer."'The Household General' is a term coined in 1851 by Isabella Beeton in her influential manual Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. Here she explained that the mistress of a household is comparable to the commander of an army or the leader of an enterprise. To run a respectable household and secure the happiness and well-being of her family she mus
Chinese tea culture
Chinese tea culture refers to how tea is prepared as well as the occasions when people consume tea in China. Tea culture in China differs from that in European countries like Britain and other Asian countries like Japan, Vietnam in preparation and occasion when it is consumed. Tea is still consumed both on casual and formal occasions. In addition to being a popular beverage, it is used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as in Chinese cuisine; the concept of tea culture is referred to in Chinese as chayi, or cha wenhua. The word cha denotes the beverage, derived from Camellia sinensis, the tea plant. Prior to the 8th century BCE, tea was known collectively under the term 荼 along with a great number of other bitter plants; these two Chinese characters are identical, with the exception of an additional horizontal stroke in the Chinese lettering 荼, which translates to tea. The older character is made up of the radical 艸 in its reduced form of 艹 and the character 余, which gives the phonetic cue.
There are several special circumstances in which tea is consumed in Chinese culture. A sign of respect In traditional Chinese society, members of the younger generation show their respect to members of the older generation by offering a cup of tea. Inviting their elders to restaurants for tea is a traditional holiday activity. In the past, people of a lower social class served tea to the upper class in society. Today, with the increasing liberalization of Chinese society, this rule and its connotations have become blurred. Sometimes parents may pour a cup of tea for their children to show their care, or a boss may pour tea for subordinates at restaurants to promote their relationship. Family gatherings When sons and daughters leave home for work or marriage, they may spend less time with their parents; every Sunday, Chinese restaurants are crowded with families during the holiday season, for this reason. This phenomenon reflects the function of tea in Chinese family values. To apologize In Chinese culture, tea may be offered as part of a formal apology.
For example, children who have misbehaved may serve tea to their parents as a sign of regret and submission. To show gratitude and celebrate weddings In the traditional Chinese marriage ceremony, the bride and groom kneel in front of their respective parents and serve them tea and thank them, a devout way to express their gratitude for being raised. On some occasions, the bride serves the groom's family, the groom serves the bride's family; this process symbolizes the joining together of the two families. Light finger tapping is a customary way to thank the tea tea server for tea. After one's cup is filled, the bent index and middle fingers are knocked on the table to express gratitude to the person who served the tea; this custom is common in southern Chinese cultures, like the Cantonese. In other parts of China, it is only acceptable if the person wishing to express gratitude is preoccupied with conversation or cannot say "thank you" when the cup is filled; this custom is said to have originated in the Qing dynasty when the Qianlong Emperor traveled in disguise throughout the empire and his accompanying servants were instructed not to reveal their master's identity.
One day in a restaurant, after pouring himself a cup of tea the emperor filled a servant's cup as well. To that servant it was a huge honor to have the emperor pour him a cup of tea. Out of habit, he wanted to kneel and express his thanks to the emperor, but he could not do this since that would reveal the emperor's identity. Instead, he knocked the table to express his gratitude and respect. In this sense, the bent fingers signify a bowing servant, one finger representing the head and the others the arms. In formal tea ceremonies nodding the head or saying "thank you" is more appropriate; the different ways of brewing Chinese tea depend on variables like the formality of the occasion, the means of the people preparing it, the kind of tea being brewed. For example, green teas are more delicate than oolong black teas; the most informal method of brewing tea is to add the leaves to a pot containing hot water. This method is found in households and restaurants, for example, in the context of dim sum or yum cha in Cantonese restaurants.
Another method for serving tea is to use a small lidded bowl called a gaiwan. The Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty contributed to the development of loose tea brewing by banning the production of compressed tea. Gongfu cha, meaning "making tea with skill", is a popular method of preparing tea in China, it makes use of small Yixing teapots holding about 100–150 ml, the size being thought to enhance the aesthetics and to "round out" the taste of the tea being brewed. Brewing tea in a Yixing teapot can be done for private enjoyment as well as to welcome guests. Depending on the region of China, there may be differences in the steps of brewing as well as the tools used in the process. For example, Taiwanese-style gongfu cha makes use of several additional instruments including tweezers and a tea strainer; the procedure is applicable to oolong teas, but it is some used to make pu'er and other fermented teas. Tea has had a major influence on the development of Chinese culture, Chinese traditional culture is connected with Chinese tea.
Tea is associated with literature and philosophy and is conn
Japanese tea ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. In Japanese, it is called chanoyu or sadō, chadō, while the manner in which it is performed, or the art of its performance, is called temae. Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony. Much less Japanese tea practice uses leaf tea sencha, in which case it is known in Japanese as senchadō as opposed to chanoyu or chadō. Tea gatherings are classified as a formal tea gathering chaji. A chakai is a simple course of hospitality that includes confections, thin tea, a light meal. A chaji is a much more formal gathering including a full-course kaiseki meal followed by confections, thick tea, thin tea. A chaji can last up to four hours. Chadō is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement, along with kōdō for incense appreciation, kadō for flower arrangement; the first documented evidence of tea in Japan dates to the 9th century, when it was taken by the Buddhist monk Eichū on his return from China.
The entry in the Nihon Kōki states that Eichū prepared and served sencha to Emperor Saga, on an excursion in Karasaki in the year 815. It was practiced by Japanese nobles. By imperial order in the year 816, tea plantations began to be cultivated in the Kinki region of Japan. However, the interest in tea in Japan faded after this. In China, tea had been known, according to legend, for more than a thousand years; the form of tea popular in China in Eichū's time was "cake tea" or "brick tea" —tea compressed into a nugget in the same manner as pu-erh. This would be ground in a mortar, the resulting ground tea mixed together with various other herbs and flavourings; the custom of drinking tea, first for medicinal, largely for pleasurable reasons, was widespread throughout China. In the early 9th century, Chinese author Lu Yu wrote The Classic of Tea, a treatise on tea focusing on its cultivation and preparation. Lu Yu's life had been influenced by Buddhism the Zen–Chán school, his ideas would have a strong influence in the development of the Japanese tea.
Around the end of the 12th century, the style of tea preparation called "tencha", in which powdered matcha was placed into a bowl, hot water added, the tea and hot water whipped together, was introduced to Japan by Eisai, another monk, on his return from China. He took tea seeds back with him, which produced tea, considered to be the most superb quality in all of Japan; this powdered green tea was first used in religious rituals in Buddhist monasteries. By the 13th century, when the Kamakura Shogunate ruled the nation and tea and the luxuries associated with it became a kind of status symbol among the warrior class, there arose tea-tasting parties wherein contestants could win extravagant prizes for guessing the best quality tea—that was grown in Kyoto, deriving from the seeds that Eisai brought from China; the next major period in Japanese history was the Muromachi Period, pointing to the rise of Kitayama Culture, centered around the gorgeous cultural world of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and his villa in the northern hills of Kyoto, during this period, the rise of Higashiyama Culture, centered around the elegant cultural world of Ashikaga Yoshimasa and his retirement villa in the eastern hills of Kyoto.
This period 1336 to 1573, saw the budding of what is regarded as Japanese traditional culture as we know it today. The use of Japanese tea developed as a "transformative practice", began to evolve its own aesthetic, in particular that of "sabi" and "wabi" principles. "Wabi" represents the spiritual, experiences of human lives. Its original meaning indicated quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste "characterized by humility, simplicity, profundity and asymmetry" and "emphasizes simple, unadorned objects and architectural space, celebrates the mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials." "Sabi", on the other hand, represents the outer, or material side of life. It meant "worn", "weathered", or "decayed". Among the nobility, understanding emptiness was considered the most effective means to spiritual awakening, while embracing imperfection was honoured as a healthy reminder to cherish our unpolished selves and now, just as we are—the first step to "satori" or enlightenment. Murata Jukō is known in chanoyu history as an early developer of tea as a spiritual practice.
He studied Zen under the monk Ikkyū, who revitalized Zen in the 15th century, this is considered to have influenced his concept of chanoyu. By the 16th century, tea drinking had spread to all levels of society in Japan. Sen no Rikyū and his work Southern Record the best-known—and still revered—historical figure in tea, followed his master Takeno Jōō's concept of ichi-go ichi-e, a philosophy that each meeting should be treasured, for it can never be reproduced, his teachings perfected many newly developed forms in architecture and gardens and the full development of the "way of tea". The principles he set forward—harmony, respect and tranquility —are still central to tea. Sen no Rikyū was the leading teamaster of the regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who supported him in codifying and spreading the way of tea as a mea