Japanese green tea has a characteristic and beautiful green color, a unique aroma, and a distinct flavor. The flavor is particularly rich and this richness is composed of a delicate balance of umami, sweetness, astringency, and bitterness. These defining characteristics of Japanese green tea derive from the tea tree growing, harvesting, and processing methods it goes through, all of which originated in Japan and which differ from the methods used in other countries. Green tea is, in fact, comes from the same evergreen plant, Camellia sinensis, as other teas such as Indian tea and Chinese tea. The key factor that determines the difference is the level of oxidation – green tea bears only minimal amount of oxidation, but on the other hand black tea is fully oxidised. Green tea is said that it has six times the antioxidant capability of black fermented teas and its unique traditional processing is partly responsible for its extraordinary healing properties.
Japanese tea produced through time-tested techniques rooted in a long history of tradition is a nutritional super drink, containing an abundance of beneficial active components, such as polyphenol, for people today who suffer from lifestyle related diseases and stress. A number of benefits have been reported by scientists, including: antioxidative effect, antibacterial effect, inhibitory activity against high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol values, and raised blood glucose levels, amongst others. Regular consumption is thought to help lower the risk of certain types of cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes.
The origins of Japanese green tea date back to 1000 years ago when monks brought tea from China. 500 years later, a cultivation technique in which tea plants were covered before harvesting, giving them shade from the sun, was developed in order to produce tea with a more vivid green color and richer umami. This also resulted in the development of matcha green tea, perhaps the most highly renowned of all Japanese green teas.
From the late 15th century to the late 16th century, tea masters such as Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591) developed a new tea ceremony, referred to as wabicha. This style of tea ceremony gained a strong following among the samurai and wealthy classes, and is the origin of the tea ceremony practiced today. Japanese green tea is integral to the culture of Japan and the tea ceremony is a refined expression of Japan’s tradition and spirit of hospitality. When the host serves tea, they cherish the encounter with each of their guests; to demonstrate this, the tea is brewed with the greatest of care and according to strict rules of etiquette, in order that guests might enjoy the finest tea in an atmosphere of serene relaxation.
In recent years, Japanese green tea has become extremely popular internationally, throughout Asia and beyond to Europe and America. Both the delicious taste and the myriad health benefits of Japanese tea have contributed to this rapid increase in consumption overseas. It is now becoming firmly established as a healthy alternative to coffee and black tea. Mitoku is contributing to this rise in popularity by offering the wonderful authentic taste of the finest Japanese tea, made in selected tea fields by traditional tea makers, available to the discerning international market.