Japan’s Matcha Takes Root in Penang

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Matcha, the quintessential tea of Japanese hospitality past and present, was introduced by the Zen monk Eisai to Japanese society in 1191. Soon, tea drinking parties became fashionable among the upper echelons, and participants would show off their exquisite tea bowls and display their knowledge about tea.1

In the Zen monasteries, matcha was lauded for its ability to produce a state of calm alertness. It became the basis for a more refined version of the Japanese tea ceremony or “chado”, developed with Zen-inspired simplicity and a greater emphasis on spirituality.2


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