One week has passed since I started my morning tea experiment outlined in this post. Each morning I have been getting up about 20 minutes earlier. Instead of rushing off to catch the train for work I have been heading down to the basement for Hakobi Usucha, and only after that rushing off 😉
I have measured the time I use every morning for preparation, temae and cleaning. The temae times are very stable. The quickest was 12 minutes and the longest was 13 minute and 15 seconds from entering the room with the mizusashi until I brought it back out again. I’m very happy that the temae times are stable. That means that even if I rush the preparation and cleaning, I’m not rushing the temae. Which is the way it should be. That is the twelve minute of relaxation in the morning.
As can be seen from the figure below preparation time varied a lot. Day #2, #3, and #4 I used almost half the time of the other days. There are similar differences in the cleaning up part, but a bit less extreme. Apparently I have over the week become more efficient in doing the cleaning, but less efficient in preparation.
This has been a very good week, and I’m planning on continue doing teamae in the morning. Not sure I will be able to do absolutely every day, but I should be able every day I’m at home. One thing I have noticed over the week is that I’m up in the morning like clock work. Before it on occasion happened that I would snooze or even decide to sleep an extra hour. This has not happened this week, lets hope it continues.
I also did Tea a few of the evenings this week. In the habit of measuring the time I did it for those too. I discovered that preparation and cleaning for hakobi usucha and koicha takes about the same time. While the actual temae takes four minutes longer when haiken is skipped for both. Kinindate koicha with haiken takes about 20 minutes. I’m playing with the idea of doing different temaes in the morning, but until my new supply of tea arrives I have to stick to usucha to not use up the little I have left too soon.
In bed one night trying hard to fall asleep, and failing at that, I got an idea. Doing temae in the morning would be a great way to start a day. After giving it some thought I have decided I will try it try for a week. That is to start everyday with hakobi usucha, workday and weekend alike.
First thing I need to to is figure out how much extra time I need in the morning to do hakobi usucha before I head to the office.
Since the idea is to figure out the amount of extra time I need I will time everything that I must do different in my new morning routine. Starting when I go down into the basement. The water boiler should be my time goal for the preparation. I can’t really start the temae without hot water, and there isn’t much I can do to speed the boiler up either. From the top of the stair until the first water was boiling took about five and a half minute. However, at that time I was not entirely ready to start the temae. I had changed from regular clothing to kimono, and had started preparing the utensils, but not finished it. At 6 minute 50 seconds I was ready, sitting in front of the sadoguchi with the mizusashi. In my estimation I should with some extra practice be able to reduce the preparation time to match the water boilers five and a half minute.
Doing Hakobi Usucha at my regular speed it took me about ten and a half minutes without haiken. After that it was time to wrap it up and clean the utensils. Four minutes later I was back on top of the stairway, the kimono left behind and business attire put on. The entire process had taken 21 minute and 30 second. About half of that was the temae.
So what did I not do?
I only boiled 1.5 liters of water. My kettle holds somewhere between 3 and four litres. Doing temae with only a half filled kettle was a bit strange, so I might try to get an additional boiler.
When I came down there was enough water in the mizugame from the day before. This will probably be the case three out of four days. I did not empty out the water bucket under the sink in mizuya. I guess that I need to do this maybe every six or seventh time.
This time I did not make a proper mound inside the natsume. The reason begin that I only had about two scoops worth of mattcha. I probably saved a bit of time not doing the mound. Beside that I think I did most of what I usually done both in preparation and cleaning.
So now that I have a clear picture of how much extra time I need in the morning I’m almost ready to start my week of morning tea. There is just one very important piece missing, and that is the Tea. For the first time in many many years I’m all out of tea, and impatiently awaiting a delivery from Japan. I’ll update the blog when I start to let you know how it worked out.