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Jim Breen's edict translates 大さじ simply as (American) tablespoon, but I'm reading directions on a green tea package that says 一人大さじ一杯 and it seems like a lot of tea for a single 湯のみ. I know there are special utensils used to measure tea for the tea ceremony, but this is normal green tea and not matcha. Might 大さじ have a different meaning in the context of tea? Teaspoon sounds more reasonable.

For example, weblio.jp gives the following definition for 大さじ:


which I translate as:

A 15 mL measuring spoon. Or, a fairly large spoon (匙) such as a teaspoon.

Now that second definition is nerve-wracking. Does common sense dictate that when measuring tea, you reach for a teaspoon as your 大さじ?

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This question is more related to culture rather than language. Normally used measures are as following:

  • 茶さじ according to various sources varies from 2.5 cc to 6cc so it is quite unreliable measure.
  • 小さじ is 5cc
  • 大さじ is 15cc which equals to about 6 grams of tea.
  • カップ is 200cc

Regarding the amount used for this particular tea I would guess this is not green tea but kind of 麦茶 or, possibly, ほうじ茶 for which using larger amounts is common. "normal" green tea will be too saturated if used in such amounts.

Some reference found on internet: measures and weights

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Here's a page that recommends one 大さじ per person even for 煎茶: nishide-kyokushoen.co.jp/043_OchaIrekata.html It refers to an even bigger 茶さじ (two for one pot / a total of three people). – user2844240 Aug 19 '14 at 2:15
The page recommends 3 grams which is about half of the normal 大さじ. – Rilakkuma Aug 19 '14 at 2:17

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