Drax wrote:Sorry, this one just caught my eye, mostly because I hadn't heard of "mecha tea" before, but I was familiar with the "mecha" phrase. "Mecha" means "absurd" or "ridiculous" and there's also "mechamecha" and "mechakucha" which more or less mean similar.
I don't mean to re-fan the flame, but it did make me wonder which came first -- the term, or the tea. Something tells me the tea term came first, and spawned the other usage... (and yes, the "cha" is the same character as tea).
Muchakucha is another variation on this, with the kanji being 無茶苦茶, in which they all may have origins. i will say, they are all listed in the dictionary as Ateji, meaning the characters are not chosen for meaning but chosen for phonetic representation. There are a lot of stories about this, including explanations about how it is bad to not have any tea (無茶） or serve bitter tea (苦茶） for your guests, indeed as well as those linking it to the mecha of the title. However, these things very well (probably are) could be post-hoc explanations. Other kanji used to represent these things are 滅茶 which is fairly ominious but then you have the very bland and common reading of 目茶. Either way, mecha of the title, if you never saw the kanji, is simply 芽茶、meaning it is bud tea. The cha in mechakucha is probably cha because it is the most familiar way to read cha. In fact, I struggle to think of any other kanji read as cha. There is omocha of course, but that cha isn't typically read as cha and instead people would read it as gu (think 道具、具合). Thus, to my mind, the cha is more coincidental than anything and is there by necessity.
I know this is a bump from a few years ago, but hey... Perhaps we can re-jump a discussion on mecha. It is always sencha, gyokuro, shincha, or matcha around here. Personally, I drink a lot of bancha, kukicha, houjicha, konacha, genmaicha, etc. I am doing my part to raise awareness of what many may call "by-product" teas, depending on how you frame the production. Please drink more of these teas.