On Tuesday afternoon, a triple Hungarian record was set in a bold gastro-cultural theme at Kálvin Square in downtown Budapest. The organizers enlarged the traditional Japanese team art instruments to seven times their original size. The largest cup and matcha frother in Hungary were registered, and the amount of tea made with them also set a national record, according to a press release.
Matcha Tsuki, a popular tea shop in Kálvin Square, is a committed advocate of matcha tea, which is gaining popularity around the world for its positive health benefits and unique taste. Tea lovers have come up with a quite amazing idea. The Japanese tea art tools chawan and chasen have been enlarged to gigantic proportions with the help of a Hungarian ceramic artist.
The cup 90 cms in diameter, 45 cms high and weighing almost 80 kgs, and the 70-cm-long bamboo tea pot was unveiled by Japanese Ambassador Otaka Masato and Urasenke tea master, Kornélia Rajzó-Kontor to the public. The huge equipment was used to make fifty times the normal amount of matcha tea, breaking the record for the most matcha teas made in one go.
The inspiration came from an 800-year-old Japanese tradition, the Ouchamori festival, during which monks at the Saidaiji temple in Nara make tea for visitors in cups of about 40 cms in diameter, which they offer to the Buddha. Visitors pass the teas around and help each other drink from the giant-sized cups, symbolically becoming one before the Buddha.
A chawan is a wide-mouthed ceramic vessel into which the sifted powdered green tea leaves, or matcha, are placed. Water at 80 degrees Celsius is poured over it, and then, it is whisked and blended to a lump-free consistency using a bamboo stirrer called a chasen. The head of the chasen is split into 80/100/120 strands to perfectly blend the tiny grains.
From the outside, it may seem almost impossible to hold the small cup without ears in your hand after it has been steeped in boiling water before brewing, but they cleverly hide a thick frame at the base, the temperature of which does not change. In addition to tea making, Japan has a long tradition of tea desserts. It is almost compulsory to have a few bites before a tea drinking session to literally sweeten the tea drinking experience.
The taste of anmitsu, or bean paste-based sweets, is both sweet and neutral, a perfect complement to tea drinking. The paste itself is not aesthetically pleasing to look at, so it is topped with beautiful decorations that vary in color, texture and flavor with the seasons. Classic toppings include dango balls, agar agar jelly cubes and, for new wave tea desserts, fruit and various wafers, the press release concludes.
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