The Japanese tea ceremony (known as sadō/chadō (茶道, "The Way of Tea") or chanoyu (茶の湯)) is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (抹茶), powdered green tea, the procedure of which is called temae (点前). While in the West it is known as "tea ceremony", it is seldom ceremonial in practice. Most often tea is served to family, friends, and associates; religious and ceremonial connotations are overstated in western spaces.
Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the culture of Japanese tea. Much less commonly, Japanese tea practice uses leaf tea, primarily sencha, a practice known as senchadō (煎茶道, "the way of sencha").
Tea gatherings are classified as either an informal tea gathering (chakai (茶会, "tea gathering")) or a formal tea gathering (chaji (茶事, "tea event")). A chakai is a relatively simple course of hospitality that includes confections, thin tea, and perhaps a light meal. A chaji is a much more formal gathering, usually including a full-course kaiseki meal followed by confections, thick tea, and thin tea. A chaji may last up to four hours.