Finding Japan in Germany! Part1: A pleasant “tea ceremony” experience at the Japanese tearoom, Macha-Macha in Berlin

"A report on Japanese culture found in Germany"- In this article TJ writer wasabi, who is currently in Berlin, is interviewing people she found who are associated with Japan and its culture. This time, she interviewed people at a Japanese tea ceremony workshop held at the Japanese tearoom, Macha-Macha.

Kohei Hirotsu   Culture,

japanese tea


【 CONTENTS 】

tea_01

【Photo by wasabi】
【Photo by wasabi】
【Photo by wasabi】
【Photo by wasabi】

You can experience a real tea ceremony in Berlin, at the Japanese tea café Macha-Macha

This might not be well known in Japan, but tea is very popular in Germany. There are so many different types of herbal tea sold at super markets and you can even find green tea (Grüner Tee) at almost any super market. The Japanese tearoom Macha-Macha just opened last October in Berlin. They specialize in offering a high quality of imported Japanese tea, which usually captivates their regular customers and those who are interested. They also hold regular workshops for tea ceremony in order to give a deeper understanding of Japan, to people in Germany.

tea_04

tea_05

【Photo by Kohei Hirotsu】
【Photo by Kohei Hirotsu】
【Photo by Kohei Hirotsu】
【Photo by Kohei Hirotsu】

We had a cup of tea in a solemn, yet little tense atmosphere.

There is a conventional tearoom with tatami mats where you can experience real tea ceremony inside the café. The workshops were divided into 5 sessions, and I was able to join one of them. They served handmade Japanese sweets and Matcha tea, both being of very good quality. The person who served tea was Ms. Atsuko Isoyama, an advisor at the Urasenke School of Japanese Tea. Before starting the workshop, she explained the history of tea in Japan, the effects of tea, and many other interesting facts. Everyone hung on to her every word. During the tea ceremony, it was so silent and solemn, making her every action so beautiful and precious. After the workshop, there were many questions about tea ceremony and everybody gained a deeper understanding of Japanese tea.
During the Q&A time somebody asked, “Why does the philosophy of tea put importance on process?” According to Ms. Atsuko, ”Tea ceremony is not all about serving tea, it’s also about creating a good atmosphere for everyone in attendance and enjoying the tea with all of your heart.” I found the ideas, “appreciating tea with all of your heart ” and “putting your heart into making every procedure important” to sound very Japanese-like.

【Photo by wasabi】
【Photo by wasabi】

There were various types interests in tea. I interviewed participants after the workshop!

Christian (left) and Robekkah (right) said they got to know Japanese tea through their friends who went to Taiwan. When their friend introduced Taiwan tea, they got very interested in the world of tea in general. Rebecca was so enchanted by tea that she visited Taiwan to get to know more about it. She says, ”During Taiwanese tea ceremony, their is more focus on yourself and the tea itself, but Japanese tea is more focused on the whole process. I think it’s interesting.”

【Photo by wasabi】I’m sorry for the blurry photo…
【Photo by wasabi】I’m sorry for the blurry photo…

These two people also participated in the tea ceremony with me. They were generally interested in at first, and then got more familiar with Japanese tea. “I was interested in the Russian tea at first, and later found Japanese tea through participating in the workshop. It was so nice to have Q&A time after it!” I met another person who said that they feel good from the effects of tea, and he said, “Coffee is too strong, but with green tea I can start my day more smoothly.” During the workshops, you can come for any interests you might have about tea and absorb some knowledge. If you live in Berlin, or if you are just visiting and are interested in tea, this is the place for you!

tea_10

【Next tea ceremony workshop】
Cha-kabuki workshop
Place:Macha-Macha
Date and time:Sun, 31st May, 2015 11:30~ (90min)
Fee:€25 (Including tea)
※Please check the shop’s facebook page for the latest information. Reservation is required if you are joining one of the workshops. (mail@macha-macha.de)

You might also like

AUTHOR

Wasabi

Wasabi

Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!

Website

Information

Address Hasenheide 16, 10967 Berlin
Hours Tuesday to Saturday 11:00-19:00/ Sunday 13:00-18:00 (Closed on Monday)
Access U7, U8, M29, M41 (3min walk from Hermannplatz) 
Phone 030 52688475
Website https://www.facebook.com/macha.macha.japanese.tea