Fukukita, The Tea Cult of Japan. Image courtesy of Everett Collection.
Matcha is having a moment, there’s no arguing that. However, long before it developed latte-level capabilities, this powdered tea has been the default type used in the classic Japanese tea ceremony. And, despite the caffeine high that can ensue, there’s a certain tranquility to the whole ritual.

The serving of tea goes back to 9th-century Japan when Buddhist monk Eichu brought it back from China and served it to the Emperor of Japan. Over time, the players have changed, types of tea have differed and the process evolved. The continuous thread is that the process symbolizes aesthetic simplicity and represents the fundamental Zen principles of harmony, respect and purity.