|Kanji in this term|
- tea, usually green tea
- Ocha wa ikaga desu ka.
- How about some tea? (Would you like some tea?)
- tea ceremony
- snack with tea or coffee
- the act of having tea
- Using お茶 is considered neutral (i.e., neither polite nor impolite), while the bare 茶 is markedly impolite to refer to tea. The prefix お (o-) was originally an honorific, but is now part of the word in modern Japanese.
- (colloquial) go out for tea
お茶 generally refers to a cup of hot green tea. In general, black tea is referred to as 紅茶 (kōcha), though it can be implicitly included within the term お茶, which literally just means "tea."
The honorific お (o-) in お茶 is normally written in hiragana, though you will see it from time to time in more formal or official writing as 御 (as in 御茶). Also, お茶 is one of the unusual cases of the honorific お (or 御 (o-)) that can be used to refer to anyone, including the speaker. See the usage note at 御-.
茶する without the honorific お is rarely used.