History of green tea from Japan
The history of Japanese green tea starts with a Buddhist Monk who introduced tea to Japan in the 6th Century and by the year 1200 Japanese Zen priest Eisai, wrote the first book on tea (“Kissa Yojoki” or translated: “Book of Tea”).
He described the green tea plant, how you can grow the Camelia sinensis and how to process its leaves. He also stresses the important health benefits of green tea for vital organs such as the heart and the brain.
Nowadays, around 45% of green tea is produced in the Shizuoka prefecture, south of Tokyo. Other popular regions are Uji and Kagoshima.
There are various types of green tea originating from Japan such as Gyokuro green tea – grown under the shade – but otherwise similar to Sencha green tea.
With 3 to 4 harvest periods a year in Japan, the leaves plucked in the first round are of the highest quality. Sencha green tea is made from the tea leaves plucked in the first and second round, grown under full sun. Sencha is the most common green tea in Japan.
Another high-quality green tea from Japan is Matcha green tea powder. With Matcha green tea powder only the top leaves are used. They are dried in the shade and stone ground following special processing methods to maintain its quality. Since the Japanese grind the whole tea leaf, you ingest it completely, not just the brewed water.
Green tea has many benefits. It helps to prevent cancer, it helps to prevent acne, it boosts your metabolism helping you in the weight loss challenge, and it helps against diabetes.