How to Host an Innovative Tea Party: Embracing Japanese Traditions

How about bringing the mystery of the Far East into your party? A creative tea party that evokes the essence of Japan will wow your guests and transport them to a Zen state. The possibilities are endless when it comes to hosting a Japanese-themed tea party.

Nothing should stop you from impressing your visitors by replicating the famous Japanese tea ceremony. All you need is a perfect venue, and everything else will fall into place. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House in Chicago may just be the place to help you embrace Japanese tea ceremony traditions. Just because it’s a tea doesn’t mean you need to default to dainty sandwiches, pastry, and scones. Embrace a new kind of tea party by highlighting ancient traditions from Japan.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

In an ideal world, welcoming an expert who can perform the Japanese Tea Ceremony to your event would be the way to make your tea memorable and authentic. However, you don’t have to include this formality to create an enjoyable Japanese tea party. In fact, a traditional tea ceremony takes several hours, which may be “too much” for the uninitiated. Instead, you might consider incorporating portions of the Japanese tea experience so guests can partake in traditions without sacrificing the party’s social element.

Here are some of the features of traditional Japanese tea service, for you to consider. Typically, guests are encouraged to wear modest, simple clothing at a tea ceremony and avoid strong perfumes. Keep jewelry minimal to prevent any damage to the delicate tea equipment. The tea ceremony starts with a special meal known as a kaiseki course meal. This is then followed by serving a thick tea in a special bowl. A bowl of thin tea marks the climax of the ceremony.

A garden characterizes a typical Japanese tea ceremony. Happily, the Japanese Tea House and Gardens at the Emil Bach House create an excellent environment for you and your guests to enjoy. The venue is peaceful and simple in design to help calm the spirit. This influence is seen throughout the historic Frank Lloyd Wright home and honored in the Tea House as well.

Anything deemed a distraction should be avoided, and this may include brightly colored and heavily scented flowers. Stones of different sizes and shapes or delicate bonsai trees can help set the mood as elegant centerpieces instead of large bouquets. Allow guests to experience the tea ceremony’s hand-washing tradition by placing a stone basin near the entrance to the tearoom.

Typically, the host or tea master prepares the drink in front of all guests. If this is not the approach you want to take, consider highlighting the table with some of the beautiful tools used in tea preparation, such as a tea whisk, tea scoop, tea container (for powdered green tea), tea bowl, sweets plate, and of course, kettles. Along with entertaining your guests, a Japanese tea ceremony will also give tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright’s love for Japanese culture and influences in his designs.

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Japanese Tea House and Gardens