for boiling the water that is used to make the tea/matcha. there is even scented incense in the heating element so to heighten the 'smell' sensory... it was something like fragrant cedar. The tea master uses a special bamboo ladle out the heated water into one guest's bow, then uses an 80 bristle bamboo whisk to blend the matcha powder and create a thick foam or crema. When ready, it's served to the guest... then back to making the next bowl for the next guest... one at a time. Definitely makes you feel like a special guest.