The history of Japanese tea began when it was first introduced by a Buddhist Monk to Japan in early 6’th century. By 1200, the famous Japanese priest Eisai, wrote a detailed book on this tea (Kissa Yojoki), meaning a “Book of the Tea”.
Aside from telling all about the plant from which this tea originates, he further explained ways to process its leaves. He also informed about its various health benefits for various body organs such as the brain and the heart.
Today, around 56 percent of Japanese green tea is produced in world famous Shizuoka prefecture, situated south of Tokyo. Other regions where this tea is grown are Kagoshima and Uji.
Types of Japanese tea
Various types of Japanese green tea originates from Japan, such as Sehcha green tea, and Gyokuro green tea which is grown in shade. With 4-5 harvest periods in a year, the tea leaves that are pluck in the first round have the highest quality. Sencha is the most common type of Japanese green tea and its leaves are plucked in the first and second round.
Sencha is prepared by first steaming it for preserving its aroma, color and taste. Its leaves are dried using hot air and are then rolled tightly into a long needle like leaves. Once they dry, they are fried to increase their shelf life and also to add some flavor to the leaves.
It has a fresh grassy, and refreshing aroma. Aside from taste, it is loaded with vitamins and can be easily recognized due to its needle like shiny leaves that have strong fragrance and aroma.
Another high quality Japanese green tea is Matcha, which has many medicinal properties as well. Although other teas are produced around the world, Matcha is unique to the Japan where it is grown by local farmers using traditional farming processes. This tea is primarily used in tea ceremonies. These days this tea is also used for flavoring and dying foods.
Japanese green tea has several benefits due to its high antioxidant levels. It helps in preventing acne, cancer, boosts your metabolism rate helping you in reducing weight, also lowers your blood pressure, and reduces kidney stones, helps in fighting depression, constipation. It also helps in increasing fertility, reduces risk of alcohol and smoking and helps people suffering due to the diabetes.