What kind of sweets are used for the tea ceremony?

There are two kinds of sweets used in the tea ceremony: dry sweets called higashi and moist sweets called omogashi. Each type of these sweets dramatically change based on seasons in terms of texture, color and taste mostly reflecting the flowers the flowers of the season.

Dry sweets (higashi).

tea ceremony dry sweets higashi tea ceremony dry sweets higashi

They are made out of sweet rice powder pressed in the wooden molds that are made out of the cherry tree. Higashi sweets always change by season particularly in the spring (sakura flavors) and the fall (maple-leave shaped sweets). These kinds of sweets are only used in chakai informal gatherings.

Moist sweets (omogashi)

tea ceremony moist sweets omogashi tea ceremony moist sweets omogashi


These sweets tend to have a mixture of flour and rice powder on the outside and the red bean paste inside. The most common type is called nerikiri which is very colorful. Like higashi, the seasons are always reflected in the omogashi sweets. These sweets are used at the end of the formal tea ceremony meetings and also in informal gatherings.