The Way of Tea: Sac State students gather for traditional Japanese ceremony

The Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden serves as a tranquil area and a classroom


Elizabeth Meza

(L-R) Jessica Rosenberg, Gabriella Einaga, MaryAnne Goodman, Yumi Kitade and Christy Bartlett from the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco inside the Sacramento State Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room located inside the University Library on Thursday, Sept.29, 2022. Tea gatherings are held throughout the semester and provide students the opportunity to learn about Urasenke Tradition Tea.

Elizabeth Meza

Walk through the outdoor Japanese Tea Garden at the bottom floor of the University Library and you’ll discover a tranquil area to study or rest between classes.

What you might not realize, however, is that the room next to it inside the library is connected. The Sokiku Tea Room and Garden, while a peaceful study place, is also a space used for lectures, hands-on tea classes and special events.

On Thursday, the tea room served as a classroom to 25 first-year students who learned The Way of Tea at a gathering hosted by the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco.

The foundation sponsors hands on tea classes throughout the semester for students, faculty and community members.

“These are programs that are geared towards sharing information about Japanese culture and its practice of the Way of Tea,” Christy Bartlett, the director of the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco said. “We have been offering [the programs] since 2005.”

The Japanese tea gathering presentation consisted of an oral lecture by Jessica Rosenberg of the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco, followed by a demonstration of the tea ceremony. At the end of the presentation, students were given the opportunity to drink matcha tea out of Japanese tea bowls accompanied by sweets.

Maria Ramirez, the event coordinator and communications strategist for the Sac State University library, said the library is trying to accommodate the increased demand for ethnic studies courses by providing these tea gathering presentations.

Jennifer Tovar, a first year liberal studies major, said she was pleased by the presentation.

“My favorite part was watching the step-by-step process, watching her make the tea and seeing how everything flows together. It was very neat. I loved it,” Tovar said.

Urasenke Foundation of San Francisco contact: [email protected]

To make reservations or learn more about upcoming tea gatherings contact: Maria Ramirez  (916)-278-5954 [email protected]

Upcoming tea gatherings