Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Japanese Tea Ceremony and other Tea topics.
As you take a refined sip of your tea, you notice that your host looks a bit upset. You quickly run through a mental checklist. You narrowly avoided stepping on the cat's tail, but you did avoid it. You almost didn't manage to sit on the mat, but you're sitting on it now. In fact, you may never leave it since you had so much trouble sitting down. The problem obviously isn't the tea. You take another careful sip, pleased with your quiet, mannerly drinking style.
Actually, the problem is the tea, or at least the way you are drinking it. Your host knows that the Japanese custom is to make a bit of noise when you drink your tea and is afraid something is wrong with the beverage. Slurp that tea the way mom always told you not to and your host will be delighted.
Another important thing you should know about Japanese tea is how to hold the cup as you drink it. Use your right hand to reach for the cup and then put your left hand underneath the cup as you start to lift it. The left hand stays under the cup to keep it steady, while the right hand continues to hold the side. It can be a bit awkward to do this at first, so you may want to practice the maneuver before you attend a tea ceremony.