Iimage1-3finally got around to building a tenchaban, so that I can do tea in a seated position. I got extra motivated when one of my students hurt his knees. The only way he could continue learning tea was if he could sit on a stool. The first few weeks we used a stool and table from IKEA. This worked surprisingly good, though the lack of tables for the guest provided us with a few challenges. Where does the guest put the sweet tray? On the floor feels odd when your sitting on a stool, even though you would place it on the floor when in tatami. Also the guest etiquette got messy when there was no where to place the chawan.

I found some measurements for a tenchaban in Chanoyu Quarterly #39. I did deviate a bit from them, but only by 1-3 cm. My table is 90cm x 90cm, and it is 60cm underneath the table top. This allow the host to slide their knees underneath if they want to sit a bit closer.

The guest tables are 90cm x 45cm, so one fourth of a tatami.

My tables are constructed using simple modern techniques, with out any significant joinery. Not nearly as nice as the ones you can buy, but 1/30th of the cost 🙂

I have used the table for many different temae already, and I’m very happy with it. The guest tables are a bit wobbly, but I think that I will be able to fix that with minimal work. Other than that it has worked out perfectly. Though I still need to make a smal shelf for the kensui.


I painted the table black with the most glossy paint at the store. I can’t say that it became very glossy, but still it looks nice. The black paint highlights any spilled matcha or water drops. Especially the tea is hard to clean of the surface. Therefore I’m considering lacquering it with a clear lacquer.

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