History of Green Tea in Japan

Topics: Green tea, Tea, Matcha Pages: 6 (2266 words) Published: May 23, 2013
Introduction of Green Tea in Japan
Originally, green tea came from China. China is the birth place of green tea, to Japan in the 9th century. Nowadays, green tea has been extensively planted in Japan. Green tea came from Japan by Japanese Buddhist monks who studied in from China. Japanese Buddhist monks learned new cultures and knowledge that contributed to ancient Japanese society. They learned about Chinese society and discovered green tea. So they bought it back to Japan. At the time, green tea mainly drunk as medicine and was only available to the upper class such as monks and aristocrats. In 1191, the famous Zen monk Eisai brought back tea seeds to Kyoto. Eisai started to introduce green tea in Japan. He popularized the idea the idea of drinking tea for good health. Around the same time, the Japanese farmers began growing green tea in Uji, Kyoto. Besides that, Eisai also wrote a book about how to stay health by drinking tea in 1211. He professed “A medicine is for one disease only but green tea is a kind of panacea that can prevent and treat all sorts of aliments. Because the effort of Eisai, green tea was introduced to the public and samurai warriors and common people began to enjoy the new drink. In the early 9th century, Chinese author Lu Yu wrote the Cha jing which was a treatise on tea focusing on its cultivation and preparation. Lu Yu’s ideas would have a strong influence in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony. Around the end of the 12th century, the style of tea preparation called "tencha", in which powdered tea was placed in a bowl, hot water poured into the bowl, and the tea and hot water whipped together was introduced by Eisai. He also brought tea seeds back with him, which eventually produced tea that was of the most superb quality in all of Japan. This powdered green tea was first used in religious rituals in Buddhist monasteries. By the 13th century, Samurai warriors had begun preparing and drinking matcha as they adopted Zen Buddhism, and the foundations of the tea ceremony were laid. There are 6 main type of green tea which is Matcha, Sencha, Houjicha, Genmaicha, Gyokuro and Bancha. • Matcha green tea is another highly prized green tea made from finely ground Gyokuro tea. This is the tea used in the famous Japanese green tea ceremony known as chanoyu. The powder can also be used in a variety of recipes including the making of green tea lattes, green tea ice cream, and even green tea cookies. Its versatility and unique flavor make have earned it a loyal following. • Sencha tea is the loose leaf tea for everyday use. This needle-shaped tea has a floral fragrance which is relaxing and energetic at the same time. It’s an energy boost to hold you through the day. • Houjicha is another variation of Bancha green tea that's been lightly roasted giving it a nutty flavor. It tends to be brown in color with smoky undertones that pairs nicely with a variety of Japanese foods, particularly those flavored with soy sauce. It tends to be quite reasonable in price and is lower in caffeine than other green teas. • Genmaicha is a tea with a smoky, nutty flavor made from Bancha mixed with toasted brown rice and popped corn. Although it's not considered a high quality tea, its distinctive nut flavor is appealing and enhances a variety of Japanese dishes. Like Bancha, this tea is widely available and is reasonable in price. • Gyokuro tea, rare, expensive, considered the finest Japanese Green Tea. Higher chlorophyll content gives it a sweeter taste and less caffeine content. This comes from the fact that it is grown in the shade.

• Bencha is one of the lower quality green teas to come out of Japan. It's more of an every day type tea rather than one used for special occasions due to its rather dark appearance and faintly astringent taste. It's made from lower quality parts of the Camellia sinensis plant including the twigs and stems. The advantage of...
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