Kokeicha is a specialty Japanese tea prepared from the fine green tea powder used in tea ceremonies. A special process whereby water is added to the tea powder, kneaded, extruded through a machine (similar to making fresh pasta) and finally dried to result in a “pine needle” like form. Thus Kokeicha translated from Japanese means “formed tea”. Tea has played and continues to play an important roll in Japanese culture and the traditional tea ceremony is still maintained as a ritual to this day. For more than 400 years the tea ceremony or ‘cha no yu’ has been performed following the same 37 steps that govern every move from the arrival of the guests to the washing of the cups. In some phases of the ceremony, the guests may compliment the hostess for the food or in some cases the guest may apologize to the others for taking the first cup of tea. Purists however insist that the only sounds during the ceremony should be those of the utensils touching each other as the tea is prepared and served..