The Process of a chaji
Chaji is constructed with Sumi-demae session, Kaiseki cuisine, Kashi, Intermission, Koi-cha session, and Usu-cha session. It takes over 4 hours from start to finish, and the 4 hours of time-space of Chaji will take you back with us for 430 years ago of Japan.
A Chaji starts from Sumi-demae from late November to early April, from late April to early November, it starts from Kaiseki. In this page, we’d like to introduce the chaji process of “Ro” season (from late November to early April).
Sumi-demae is the ceremony to add the charcoal into Ro (炉, hearth) in Chaji. The best hot water is only boiled by Kama (釜, tea kettle) and Sumi (炭, charcoal) with perfect flame. To boil the best hot water, we perform Sumi-demae in front of the participants.
It takes approximately 1 and a half hour to boil the water, please enjoy Kaiseki cuisine that we have prepared in the interim.
Kaiseki cuisine is a meal that is served while in Chaji, and it became the standard of Japanese food culture. It extends the original taste of each ingredients, the taste appears to be the great depth of Japanese culture and tradition that was grown by the people who lived together with nature.
Basically, Kaiseki cuisine is light in taste. By taste slowly with most appreciation, you can find deep taste of the ingredients. Kaiseki cuisine is originally made with idea of Zen; it teaches us that we should not live only with loving display or good looking, but by the return to human-nature basis. Through Kaiseki’s 1 soup 3 side dishes, your stomach condition will be the best to be ready for taste Koi-cha (thick tea).
As a desert of Kaiseki cuisine, you will have a Japanese traditional sweet, Kashi (菓子, sweets). The colors and shape of the Kashi shows the fun of each seasons that being imagined by the Japanese.
Nakadachi is an intermission between Kashi and Koi-cha. The host will start the preparation of Koi-cha and Usu-cha session for after session and clean up the chamber and path.
Koi-cha (thick tea) is often compared to espresso. This is the very climax of a Chaji; it is also announced as the main dish. Koi-cha session is the time of most luxurious. It is a tense period for the host as it is the most important period of time to show the host’s courtesy.
Koi-cha is quite thick in flavor. The bitterness of koi-cha has an indescribable sweetness and very aromatic flavor. With serious tea cupping time, koi-cha’s taste is in the excellent bliss. The aromatic bliss will spread in your mouth, stomach, and nose.
Most well-known foamed Matcha is Usu-cha (薄茶, thin tea). It comparatively allows you to relax from the tension of having Koi-cha. Please enjoy Usu-cha and start causal conversation with the host during this session.
Usu-cha session is the time for the host’s hospitality. The satisfaction of each guest is being found in this session.
Starting from Sumi-demae session, it takes about 4 to 5 hours to finish a Chaji. The usu-cha session, the closing part of Chaji, it will let your heart bloom in the memory of the Chaji.