Our Japanese friend invited us to a traditional tea ceremony at her house. Tea ceremonies are heaped in tradition with all sorts of nuances and rituals. For instance- the drinker must rotate their cup so as not to drink from the front, the server must take a specific number of steps when serving the tea and the cup must be placed a specific distance from the drinker. That’s just a few I remember, wikipedia has all sorts of additional information. The tea is called Matcha (powdered green tea)- it has a rich, creamy taste whilst, at the same time, being just a little bitter.
I took this picture of our friend as she prepared the tea over a special heater built into the tatami mat floor.