September 3rd, 2018
Green tea has been one of the Japanese traditional beverages. With its bitterness and astringency, green tea makes Japanese food even tastier.
Now green tea is popular not only in Japan but all over the world but how much do we know about green tea? We have an impression that green tea is healthy and traditional, but how precise is that impression? Let’s find out.
・What is Green Tea made of?
・Ingredients of Green Tea and their Effect
・History of Green Tea
・Washoku and Green Tea
Green tea is made of tree called “Camellia sinensis”.
Surprisingly, Woo long tea and black tea are also made of the same tree, “Camelia sinensis”.
They taste different not because they are form different trees, but because they have different level of fermentation.
The color of tea gets red as the leaves ferment, as it can be told from the color of green tea, woo long tea and black tea.
Green tea has 3 different ingredients; astringency, bitterness and “Umami”.
The astringency comes from “catechin”, which has benefits to lower the cholesterol and fat, prevent a cancer, anti-bacteria and more.
Although cholesterol is necessary for our body, too much of it can do harm for us. High cholesterol can harden the arteries and lead to heart attack. Catechin can control the amount of cholesterol and lower them if there are excessive amount of cholesterol.
Second feature of green tea is its bitterness, which comes from caffeine.
Caffeine has an effect to help you refresh and wake you up. It is also effective when you are suffering hangover.
“Umami” is from theanine which can protect nerve cell and make you relax by its alpha-wave.
Other than 3 ingredients above, green tea has vitamin C and B2, which keeps your skin healthy, and vitamin E which has antioxidant effect.
We already know that green tea is healthy, so where or when is it invented?
What kind of journey did green tea come through?
It is hard to spot the exact time when green tea was discovered, but it is said that green tea was discovered in China about 2700 BC. Japan wanted to import developed Chinese culture and imported tea around AD 710〜1192. In this time period, tea was used as one of the medication rather than a luxury purpose. However, it was extremely rare and expensive that only limited high-class people could have an access that died out instantly.
Although it died out once, it was imported from China again around 1185〜1333. This time green tea has prevailed as a luxury tool to socialize among high-class people. High-class people enjoyed playing “Tou Cha (闘茶)” which is a game to guess the brand of tea and compete who has more knowledge on tea. In this time-period, green tea was famous as a “Matcha”, which is different from green tea right now.
Edo Era is when green tea become affordable for normal citizen, which is slightly different from “Matcha”. Japanese citizen enjoyed green tea as “Sen Cha”, which is close to green tea these days. In 1738, Souen Nagatani invented a method of manufacturing green tea. and this green tea is the standard of green tea in these days.
Since green tea has been one of the most beloved beverages in Japan, we tend to think that green tea is the best match for Japanese food.
However, is it just based on experience, or is there any scientific reason that shows washoku and green tea is the best match?
Based on a research conducted by Itoen, one of the biggest Japanese Green Tea company, it is scientifically true that green tea makes Japanese cuisine taste better. Green tea is effective especially with a food with “Katsuo-dashi” a soup base made of fish called “Katsuo”.
The match of green tea and Japanese cuisine is not just a myth but is a scientific fact based on a study.
Green tea is not just a beverage but has a descent history and scientific background.
SAMURICE provide green tea brand “AYATAKA”, which is approved as a healthier choice brand by Singapore government. “Healthier choice” is a project of Singapore government that help consumers to make a healthier choice so that they can enjoy a healthy life.
Healthier choice beverage has no extra fat or sugar added, which is important to live a healthy life.
▲Healthier Choice Symbol
SAMURICE has a delivery service so that you can enjoy Japanese food anytime, anywhere.
Enjoy Japanese Onigiri or Bento with AYATAKA!