The special gesture was Abe's way of showing affection to the visiting leader, keeping in with the Japanese tradition 'Chanoyu' prevalent since the 16th century.
Modi sat on the floor with knees bent as is the tradition in Japan and drank tea from a special cup. Abe sat next to him to share the moment.
The two also had tea cakes along with the Japanese green tea.
Abe then told Modi about tea made in 1950 during the visit of his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi to India as the Prime Minister.
The traditional Japanese tea is powdered green and the utensils are called Wamono (Japanese things).
The 'Chai pe Charcha' preceded the official substantive talks between Modi and Abe.
During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Modi amply highlighted that he used to be a tea seller in his childhood.
Since becoming the Prime Minister, he has been saying that it extraordinary that a 'chaiwala' has reached such a top post.