Have you ever attended a tea ceremony? It is the experience offered by the Alsatian company Les Jardins de Gaïa, a specialist in organic and fair trade teas, within its own Maison du Thé located in Wittisheim (in the Plaine of Alsace). Tea ceremonies happen several Saturdays of the month, upon booking. Depending on these dates, it is possible to choose a Chinese or Japanese tea ceremony. I attended a Japanese tea ceremony, led by a tea master from Hiroshima.
The ceremony was led in a very tiny room with subdued light. We crouched on a small wooden seat. Our Tea Master, wearing the traditional outfit, then tried to explain to us a few points. It is not easy to understand, because she only speaks Japanese and German. Then, the ceremony begins: the motions are slow and precise and you will quickly understand that each gesture, each object matters. Aesthetics is always first, even before efficiency. A feeling of peace slowly took over me… Our Tea Master actually explains to us that the practice of the ceremony is done when there is a need for harmony. The only negative point is that the room is not very well soundproofed and you can hear the sounds of the other tea room next door. That’s a shame for such a place!
We tasted 3 different green teas, with each its own tasting ritual. We started with a Gyokuro, then a Sencha and finally a Matcha. Each tea comes with a small Japanese pastry. The whole ceremony lasts about 1h15, which may seem long, but actually goes by very quickly, except for your legs, not used to stay a long time in this position Nevertheless, it is a great, unique and very exotic experience!
- True Japanese Tea Master
- Exotic, interesting and appeasing experience
- Shop of Jardins de Gaïa, with an incredible number of teas
I liked a little less
- The room was not well soundproofed: such a shame for a peaceful place like this!
- The fact that the Tea Master only speaks German: it’s difficult to share, even though I had a lot of questions.
My pictures of the Tea ceremony in the Jardins de Gaïa
The tea ceremony cost 24€ per person.
You will find here the dates and times of the tea ceremonies at the Jardins de Gaïa.
The address is as follows: 6 Rue de l’Écluse, 67820 Wittisheim. It is located about:
- 40 km from Colmar (about 45 minutes drive)
- 47 km from Strasbourg (about 50 minutes drive)
- 81 km from Mulhouse (about 1h drive)
By public transport
It is not easy, but you can have a look on Vialsace.