Import Of Radioactive Japanese Tea
On 17 June 2011, at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France, radioactivecesium of 1,038 becquerels per kilogram was measured in tea leaves imported from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on 11 March, which was more than twice the restricted amount in the European Union of 500 becquerels per kilogram. The government of France announced that they rejected the leaves, which totaled 162 kilograms .
In response, the governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, Heita Kawakatsu, stated: “there is absolutely no problem when they drink them because it will be diluted to about 10 becquerels per kilogram when they steep them even if the leaves have 1,000 becquerels per kilogram ” a statement backed by tests done in Shizuoka. Japanese Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety Renh stated on 3 June 2011 that “there are cases in which aracha are sold as furikake and so on and they are eaten as they are, therefore we think that it is important to inspect tea leaves including aracha from the viewpoint of consumers’ safety.”
In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration updated its import status on Japanese products deemed to be contaminated by radionuclides, indicating that tea from the Ibaraki prefecture had been removed from the list by the Government of Japan in 2015.
Final Thoughts: Japanese Genmaicha
Japanese Genmaicha is the perfect toasty tea to have with your morning piece of toast. It has just the right amount of caffeine to give you that boost of energy needed first thing in the morning. If youre not a fan of stronger teas, this organic genmaicha tea has a light flavor that pops in your mouth.
When making this type of tea, make sure you use water that has reached 176F to get the best flavor. If you use water that is hotter than that, it could burn the tea leaves and ruin the beautiful flavor of the loose leaf genmaicha. While this tea was originally discovered as a big mistake, it ended up being one of the best drinks our mugs have ever seen. Get your kettles ready because this is one toasty treat you wont want to miss out on.
Japanese Tea And A Brief History
Tea was first introduced to Japan from China in the 700s. During the Nara Period , tea was a luxury product only available in small amounts to priests and noblemen as a medicinal beverage.
Around the beginning of the Kamakura Period , Eisai, the founder of Japanese Zen Buddhism, brought back from China the custom of making tea from powdered leaves. Subsequently, the cultivation of tea spread across Japan, notably at Kozanji Temple in Takao and in Uji.
During the Muromachi Period , tea gained popularity among people of all social classes. People gathered in big tea drinking parties and played a guessing game, whereby participants, after drinking from cups of tea being passed along, guessed the names of tea and where they came from. Collecting and showing off prized tea utensils was also popular among the affluent.
At about the same time, a more refined version of tea parties developed with Zen-inspired simplicity and a greater emphasis on etiquette and spirituality. These gatherings were attended by only a few people in a small room where the host served the guests tea, allowing greater intimacy. It is from these gatherings that the tea ceremony has its origins.
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Japanese Green Tea Varieties
The different types of Japanese green teas are determined from a number of factors, including:
- Pre-harvest tending
- Part of the plant used
- Season of harvest
The following teas are the main kinds of Japanese green teas. There are a few more that arent covered here, but these are the vast majority of what is produced in Japan.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is the oldest type of tea in Japan and was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks from China in the late 12th century. The tradition of powdered tea by and large died out in China shortly after, however it grew ground in Japan, eventually leading to the creation of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.Matcha is made from leaves that have been shaded for 2 to 3 weeks prior to the first harvest, then are steamed, deveined, destemmed, and dried without rolling before being ground into a fine powder.
There are two main categories of matcha, ceremonial grade and culinary grade:
- Ceremonial Matcha refers to the higher grades of matcha which are harvested earlier in the year. The earlier the harvest and better the flavor, the higher the grade of matcha.
- Ceremonial matcha should always be vibrant green and will have a sweeter, more umami flavor than culinary matcha since its the highest in L-theanine.
- Its also ground into a much finer powder than culinary grade matcha is, which makes it smooth and suitable for drinking on its own.
Matcha Vs Regular Green Tea
Loose-leaf green tea is rich in nutrients and health benefits. How does regular green tea stack up to matcha? Made from the entire leaf, matcha green tea’s health benefits far outweigh those of traditional loose-leaf green tea.
You will have to drink 10 cups of loose-leaf green tea to get the antioxidants, L-theanine, vitamin C, carotene, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and overall nutritional value you get in one cup of matcha.
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Select The Right Teaware
Although any teapot will do, sencha is typically best brewed with a kyusu teapot and served in yunomi or small Japanese cups which hold 3 to 5 ounces of liquid. Kyusu are designed for the comfortable brewing of green tea, bringing out the rich, complex flavors of the tea leaves.
The smaller yunomi cups allow for better sipping of the tea so you can compare the varying tasting notes from each steep.
Benifuki Allergy Relief Japanese Green Tea
This tea is good for relieving allergies such as seasonal allergies, cedar allergies, hay fever.
The study has also shown that benifuki is good for MCAD .
Benifuuki contains high levels of Methylated Catechins. Methylated Catechins inhibits the mast cell response, which leads to preventing allergies and hay fever.
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Bonus: Organic Wakoucha Black Tea
While not a green tea, Wakoucha is a rare black tea also produced in Japan. It is a mild tea with a medium body, notes of honey and spice, and a smooth finish with just a hint of astringency. While Japan is best known for its green teas, it has produced a few specialty black teas for over a hundred years. Because Japanese black teas are made from unique tea cultivars rarely used to produce black tea, they are often different in character than Chinese or Indian black teas, with a bright, delicate flavor and a hint of natural sweetness.
Brief History Of How Green Tea Came From China To Japan
The history of green tea in Japan originated in 805 when Buddhist monks Saicho and Kukai returned back to Japan from traveling in China with young tea trees. In the 12th century, tea seeds were again brought to Kyoto by the famous Zen priest Eisai. Eisai penned one of the oldest books on specialty tea in 1211, a two-volume book inspired by his last visit to China. He describes the positive health effects tea can have on both the mind and body, focusing primarily on teas medicinal qualities in improving brain function, vitalizing the heart, and eliminating indigestion. He also goes in depth describing the shapes of tea plants, the different tea flowers and leaves of each plant, and how to process the tea leaves for drinking. As an influential figure, Eisai helped introduce tea consumption into the warrior class during the Heian Period. As the warrior class gained political prominence, the custom of tea drinking became widespread around Japan. It even made its way to Edo, the former name of the city of Tokyo. Soon green tea became a staple beverage among the cultured people of Japan. Although it was primarily enjoyed by only privileged individuals, by the end of the 16th century, green tea increased in production, and was available to all people of Japan.
Picture of Kukai Kukai brought back green tea from China in 805
Picture of Eisai – Eisai penned one of the oldest books on specialty tea in 1211
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Health Benefits: Japanese Green Tea Has More Antioxidants
One of the primary health benefits attributed to green tea is its high concentration of immune-enhancing antioxidants. Japanese green tea contains more antioxidants than Chinese green tea, with 60% antioxidants compared with Chinese green tea’s 12-16 percent. Sources: “Japanese vs. Chinese Green Tea” by Stephanie Lee. Livestrong.com. “What’s Really In Green Tea Supplements, Brewable Teas, and Bottled Drinks?” ConsumerLabs, December 2012.
EGCG is antioxidants or substances that combat free radicals, which can damage DNA and alter or even kill cells in the body.
Green Tea Helps Protect Heart Health
Drinking green tea regularly over a long period of time is said to help prevent many risk factors for heart-related diseases. A study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found participants consuming five or more cups of green tea every day were less likely to develop hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
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How To Make Green Tea At Home
The Japanese tea ceremony is a complex ritual that needs years of study and learning. But you dont need a tea ceremony to enjoy delicious Japanese green tea. It can be easily prepared at home just with water, both hot and cold water depending on how the person prefers.
And now that you know everything you need to know about green tea, lets check my list of the best Japanese green teas!
Which Tea To Choose
Shaded teas: kabusecha, gyokuro, tencha, matcha
Nutty flavor: hojicha, kamairicha, bancha, genmaicha, muhicha
The most intense flavor: gyokuro, matcha, fukamushi sencha, konacha
The least caffeine: kukicha, hojicha, genmaicha
kukicha, kokeicha, konacha, mecha
Fresh flavor: kabusecha, sencha, kokeicha
Sweet flavor: gyokuro, tencha, matcha
Umami flavor: gyokuro, high grade sencha, konbucha
For the most catechins: gyokuro, middle grade sencha, matcha
Powdered tea: hojicha, sencha, matcha
Roasted tea: hojicha, some bancha, mugicha, genmaicha
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Its not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.
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Choosing The Best Japanese Tea
When choosing Japanese tea its good to know what kind of flavor you prefer. Japanese teas are often described by:
The highest quality teas will often have less astringency and more umami and sweetness.
Umami is the fifth taste, along with sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Although umami is very specific, its still difficult to describe. Its somewhere between savory and salty, brothy, rich and unique. The unique taste mostly comes from the amino acid glutamate. Its the most pronounced in gyokuro, and best extracted with cooler water . If brewed with boiling water, gyokuro will have a very bitter taste without umami.
Astringency is different from regular bitterness, that is mostly unwelcomed in green tea and is mostly caused by catechins, while the bitterness comes from caffeine.
Sweetness comes from natural sugars found in tea. Other amino acids also contribute to some sweetness, such as -theanine.
Organic Genmaicha Matcha Green Tea
Genmaicha Matcha blends Genmaicha green tea with Japanese matcha for a tasty hybrid cup with a warm and earthy flavor. Genmaicha is a green tea blended with toasted rice, while matcha is a powder produced from finely ground whole tea leaves. While both Genmaicha and matcha can be enjoyed separately, we find that this combination brings out the unique flavors of both teas! Genmaicha Matcha brews up a bright green color, and has a rich flavor with a lingering sweetness.
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Matcha’s Antioxidant Level Vs Other Foods
Many foods have been given the label of super over time, but how many have truly earned it? Many of these so-called superfoods do contain nutrients that are good for you Nuts, dark-chocolate, berries, fruits, and vegetables all provide health benefits. All part of a healthy diet, but in this case matcha tea truly earns the title of superfood when it comes to antioxidants.
Each food has been measured for their antioxidant capacities, in a unit called ORAC Goji berries, for example, contain 253 ORAC units per gram. Dark chocolate contains 227. Pecans have 180 walnuts, 135. Pomegranates have 105, and wild berries, acai berries, broccoli and spinach all have less than 100. Where does matcha stand? Matcha green tea has a whopping 1,348 ORAC units per cup.
Matcha is not just a feel-good tea, Its thus a real superfood that boosts your physical health, improves concentration, and delivers health benefits you don’t get from other foods or beverages.
Packaging And Value For Money
Each tea bag is individually packed in plastic wraps to keep them fresh and to avoid the matcha powder from leaking all over. The tea bags are made of food-grade nylon, which allows faster infusion you only need to steep the tea for about 30 seconds.
This might not be the cheapest green tea around but the box contains 100 premium quality tea bags. I think its definitely worth the price.
So if you have not yet tried it, I can warmly recommend the Kirkland Signature Ito En Matcha Blend. to order it from Amazon.
Enjoy your healthy Japanese green tea!
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How To Prepare Japanese Tea
Preparation for these teas varies depending on the type of tea in question. In general, Japanese green teas are steeped at low temperatures for short intervals in order to prevent the tea from becoming bitter. Traditionally, tea is prepared in Japan using cast iron pots called tetsubin or ceramic side-handle pots called kyusu. Matcha is traditionally prepared in a small bowl using a variety of specialized implements. Unlike other Indian and Chinese black teas, Japanese black teas tend to be brewed using cooler water and infused for a shorter period of time.
Bancha Hojicha Whats The Difference
You will have probably heard hojicha mentioned alongside bancha.
So, what is hojicha and what does it have to do with bancha?
Hojicha is a roasted version of bancha.
It is actually growing in popularity in the Western world.
Although it is a green tea, the roasting process ensures that it is far smokier and sweeter.
As such, it tends to be more palatable.
Bear in mind that the higher quality hojicha blends are made from tencha and sencha.
As you can see, bancha tea definitely deserves more recognition. Numerous Japanese are able to appreciate the distinctive flavor that this tea has to offer.
And, although it may not be as high in healthful ingredients as other types of green tea, it certainly serves a purpose.
At the very least, it may be a tastier option for you.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out page. It has plenty of other posts on green tea and more!
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Antioxidants In Green Tea Boost The Immune System
Drinking green tea might fend of the sniffles this winter. In a randomized controlled trial, 32% fewer participants taking green tea extract developed cold or flu symptoms compared to a placebo control group . The exact mechanisms behind this effect are unknown, but they could be related to the vitamin C content in green tea.
What Is Bancha Tea Unlocking Types Of Japanese Green Tea
OK, first things first what is bancha tea?
Well, in short, bancha is a lower grade of sencha tea.
The leaves are often coarser and larger. They may even be found on lower points of tea bush.
These leaves are typically picked later in the season and, as such, are more mature.
Bancha leaves may be picked during the third or fourth flush of the season.
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Tea Type Based On Part Of Tea Plant
Based on which part of the tea leaf is used, there are many different names for tea. Most of the tea types, ie: sencha, matcha, gyokuro etc., use the leaf portion of the tea while other parts which are used are referred to by different names.
- Mecha : Me-cha tea, which is translated as bud tea, is a type of green tea that is made from the early leaf buds of the green tea plant, which are separated during gyokuro and sencha processing. This allows me-cha tea to be of the same quality as both gyokuro and sencha teas at a fraction of the price. Another benefit of me-cha tea is that it can be re-steeped multiple times while still retaining its full flavor. Me-cha tea is a popular after-dinner drink as it works especially well to cleanse the palate due to its strong, bitter aftertaste.Steeping Suggestion: 2 teaspoon – 90°C – 40 sec. – 365 ml Back To Top
Japanese Sencha Green Tea: Benefits
In Japan, sencha green tea is a daily staple in many homes. Green teas like genmaicha, hojicha, gyokuro, and matcha all have numerous studies that support a healthier, longer life expectancy and improved life quality. To reap the most benefits from consuming green tea, focus your attention on the method of brewing. The health benefits associated with sencha green tea are:
- Anti-cancer properties
- Prevention of tooth decay
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