Japanese Children are very fond of playing at dolls' tea socials with tiny tea-things included in many belongings of dolls. There are two kinds of tea-sets; one for tea ceremony and the other for ordinary tea-parties.
The ceremonial tea is served in accordance with certain rules of proceedings based upon the idea of mind culture and also for teaching social etiquette. The method of serving is rather complicated as follows: The host or hostess puts a very small quantity of powdered tea (Matcha) into a bowl-like earthen cup, next pours into it a quantity of hot water by means of a specially made dipper (Hishaku) from a kettle boiling over a charcoal fire in a brazier (Furo). The whole is then stirred thoroughly into froth with a bamboo whisk (Chasen) and offered to the guests, one at a time in turn.
In order to make a good cup of ordinary tea, first an earthen tea-pot is well cleansed, into which a teaspoonful of tea leaves for each cup is put, and then boiling water is poured in and covered with the lid. After 3-5 minutes standing the tea is poured into cups which are put on metal or wooden saucers, and served to the little guests with some sweet cakes or candies.
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Courtesy of The Children's Museum (West Hartford, Connecticut)