Now, plenty of better-educated people have written about the Japanese tea ceremony—which I know nothing about apart from a FOUR-hour long documentary I was forced to watch while in Japan. (All I remember was watching a delicate stream of water delicately delicate itself into a ceramic cup.)
But one thing I've been told by many inn chieftesses is that one is to drink the bitter matcha tea (not the sweet Starbucks version) as one eats the little mochi—the sweet balancing the bitterness.
I get the elegance of the gesture but my way is to down the matcha the moment I'm left alone, and then leave my palate free to dedicate itself to the mochi's sugar. These are one of my favorite treats in the world.