Ever since I first learned of Japanese tea ceremony I’ve wanted to experience one. Clementine and I found a tea house in the middle of a garden in Tokyo and it was AWESOME!
There are a bunch of details to the etiquette that they patiently taught us. The simplified version is (a) eat the sweet first and (b) turn the tea bowl so that the “best side” is facing away before you drink and (c) drink it all in consecutive sips. That’s very un-Japanese of me to summarize the important parts and skip the details! We’re learning how deeply the Japanese society appreciates details and complexity. It’s an interesting paradox. Their visual design is the result of a ton of editing, almost minimalist. But systems and processes are incredibly complicated. I guess the Song VCR user manual I had fun reading as a kid should have prepared me for this!
I think it’s time to re-work tea at Clover. We do some very special things today, but not consistently, and I don’t think many customers know how great it is. And while I understand that Americans are slow to take up tea drinking as seriously as they do coffee, I still think our tea program can be amazing and we can have fun educating folks.
Keep an eye out for more tea-experimentation in coming weeks. I’m bringing tea and ideas back from Tokyo.