Enjoy the green tea

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Origin of Japanese tea

Japanese green tea became popular with Buddhist monks and aristocrats as a medicine 1200 years ago. At that time, they used Yagen to crush the tea leaves into small pieces, then extract them and drink them. Yagen is a crushing tool used in phytotherapy in Japan, and it uses a wheel which is rolled back and forth to crush ingredients. It took at least 30 minutes before drinking a cup of tea. The Buddhist monks who gathered at Ozenji temple must have used Yagen to drink green tea.

Tea ceremony style

The ancient tea master Sen no Rikyu established the tea ceremony style 500 years ago. The tea ceremony in a small tea room of less than 10 square meters was ideal for calming down spirits and also even secret talks between warlords. In fact, many warlords enjoyed the tea ceremony and traditional ceramic cups.

The modern style

ZENJIRO personally likes to enjoy green tea as a cold drink. Each sealed tea bag is convenient because you can carry it with you when you go out. If you have mineral soft water and a cup, you can always enjoy the taste of Japanese green tea. If you want a hot drink, just warm it up in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. The carry thermos  is also convenient. 
ZENJIRO likes walking and he enjoys it about one hour every morning. In summer or when long walk, cold green tea with carry-type thermos is necessary for avoiding heat shock. The green tea has a fatigue recovery effect. There are some researches that this is a combined psychological, physiological, and immune effect of theanine, caffeine, polyphenols and vitamin C. The samurais in the Edo period traveled on foot 492km between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto (old capital) in two weeks. It is 35km per day. They took  breaks by drinking green tea at resting places or inns in towns. The past people naturally knew about the fatigue recovery and health benefits of green tea.

Difference from Chinese tea and black tea

Chinese tea and black tea are fermented teas. Oxidase converts polyphenols to polyquinones to form volatile scent components. There is no need to worry about oxidation. Therefore, you may have seen the scenery stored in a tea box or tea can on the wall. The process of wilting tea leaves by hands is done to reduce excess moisture and control the oxidation rate. There is no need to worry about the water used for tea, either hard or soft water. Extract the tea leaves so that they dance with boiling water. You can also enjoy adding artificial flavors later.

We like Chinese tea and black tea. But remember the distinct differences.

Advantages of Japanese green tea

Japanese tea is classified as non-fermented tea. Fermentation is stopped by heating such as steaming after harvesting the tea leaves. Japanese tea is not style that originally seeks fragrance, but for enjoy extracted components. The componebts that can be extracted from Japanese tea leaves vary depending on the temperature. Therefore, even if you purchase expensive Japanese green tea, if you do not follow this rule, the value will be halved.
The important thing is to use soft water. 

Please pay close attention to when you are using Japanese tea or cooking Japanese traditional cuisine. Japanese tea and Japanese soup stock is used with soft water. Conversely, hard water is better for stewing meat dishes when you want to keep the umami intra the meat.

Because Japanese tea is non-fermented tea, it is preserved by preventing oxidation. What is interesting is that even Japanese tea can be ripening. In anoxic ripening, polyphenols do not turn into tannins but change into fragrant substances. In this case, you can enjoy the aroma of fruits or chestnuts. The best before date is required to be displayed uniformly for the Japanese tea category. However, tea bags that are individually sealed with an air-blocked envelope instead of paper-type can be expected the bebefit of anoxic ripening.

"Mottainai (What a waste!)" Japanese tea leaves are useful even after consumption. As one of the ingredients, it is also suitable for rice balls, peperoncino and hamburgers. (These examples might be introduced in the blog in the future.) Also, it can be used as a deodorant for refrigerators and kitchen knives with catechin ingredients, and it can also be used to cleanse acne and whitening, including vitamin C.

In this way, enjoying various componets is a privilege of Japanese green tea lovers.

Sencha is prepared by infusing the processed whole tea leaves in  water. The colour of the sencha beverage is a greenish golden colour. Depending upon the temperature of the water in which it is decocted, the flavour will be different, adding to the appeal of sencha. 

Hojicha is made from varieties tea leaves like sencha or bancha (tea from the last harvest of the season). Hojicha is less astringent due to losing catechins during the high-temperature roasting process. The roasted flavors dominate this tea and replaces the vegetative tones with a toasty, slightly caramel-like flavor. The roasting process makes Hōjicha lowers the amount of caffeine in the tea.Therefore, it is a popular tea to serve during the evening meal or after, before going to sleep, and even preferred for children and the elderly.