At the University of Illinois in Champaign campus, they have a very special place called the Japan House. Open to the community, they offer many classes and special events including a traditional Tea Ceremony. We were delighted as part of our world culture studies to attend! We first got a tour of the Japan House including their most beautiful gardens and some of the traditional tea house rituals including a hand washing station. The ceremony started with a small Japanese sweet. It was about the size of a gumball and it melted in our mouths. Delicious! Next we were focused on the host of the tea ceremony as she slowly cleaned and arranged all the pieces that would help make the tea. One by one, we were each served our cup of matcha, green tea. We were taught that we were to turn the cup in our hands before drinking out of respect for the artist that created it and so the person looking at it could enjoy the beautiful designs. The tea was slightly bitter, but very tasty! They said one cup of matcha was like eating a days worth of GREENS! So if you don’t like eating your greens, this tea might be for YOU!