OISHISOU! THE HISTORY AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF DELICIOUS JAPANESE GREEN TEA
Once forgotten for around 400 years, Green Tea was reintroduced to Japan in the 12th Century to be consumed as a medicine and used by nobles. Now, Japan export their Green Tea to be enjoyed by everyone worldwide, in fact, Singapore is the third highest export destination for Japanese Green Tea, following the USA and Germany.
We recently sat in at a presentation by the World Green Tea Association and learnt; how the popularity of Japanese Green Tea is increasing worldwide, how to prepare the most delicious brew of Japanese Green Tea, the health benefits of drinking Japanese Green Tea and some interesting history behind this popular Japanese beverage.
Mr Hiroshi Nishikawa, Manager of the World Green Tea Association is currently in Singapore as part of Oishii Japan 2014. Mr Hiroshi Nishikawa was happy to share with us some history and interesting facts relating to the green tea of Japan:-
- A Buddhist priest named Eisai brought tea seeds from China to Japan in the 12th Century, he may therefore be cited as the founder of the Japanese tea industry.
- It was only after Senno-Rikyuu accomplished the art of the ‘tea ceremony’ that the custom of drinking Japanese Green Tea expanded from the upper classes to the class of Samurai and then gradually to all.
- The long-established art of preparing tea leaves by hand is called Temomi, this involves the raw tea leaves being laid out on a table with a furnace placed underneath, called a ‘Hoiro’. The steamed tea leaves are then made into a long thin form by skillful hand rolling. The making process of Temomi takes 4 hours and consists of 9 different operations. Today, this long-established tradition is largely mechanized.
- Due to its sensitive nature, Japanese green tea must be stored correctly. The best way to preserve Japanese green tea for everyday consumption is in a refrigerator, for long term preserving tea should be kept in the freezer.
How to prepare delicious Japanese Green Tea:-
- Pour boiling water into your tea cup (this lowers the temperature of the water).
- Place the tea leaves in the tea pot (1 tea spoon per person).
- When one can hold the tea cup for 3 seconds, the water is cooled perfectly. Now pour the water from the tea cup onto the tea leaves in the tea pot.
- After infusing for the proper length of time (30 seconds) it is time to serve your Japanese Green Tea.
- Pour by inclining the tea pot 3 times, this ensures the flavour is equally distributed.
- Drink and enjoy!
Only natural spring water or purified drinking water is advised for use when preparing Japanese Green Tea.
Of course, Japanese Green Tea is high in certain components thus making it an enjoyable drink that is high in many health benefits too:-
- Vitamin C – for antioxidants, colds prevention, improve the complexion and anti-cataract agent.
- Vitamin B2 – antioxidants.
- Vitamin E – anti-diabetic agent, anti-cataract agent and anti-ageing.
- GABA – reduces blood pressure.
- Flavonoids – strengthen blood vessel walls, halitosis prevention.
- Fluoride – prevents tooth decay.
- Theanine – reduces blood pressure, regulates brain and nerve function
- Caffeine – prevents drowsiness, diuretic stimulates metabolism.
Oishii Japan is at Suntec Singapore on 16, 17 and 18 October 2014.
Oishii Japan 2014 is open to the public on 18October from 11.30am.
Those interested in all things food and drink from Japan can expect demonstrations, tastings and discovery of spotlight products brought in to Singapore from Japan.
For more information, please visit www.oishii-world.com