Green tea has been for many centuries the preferred choice of the health guru or for an addition to weight loss. It beats the standard tea bag hands down for antioxidant levels and is 137 times more effective. It is has been found to be a good additional medicine if you have a cold and need some extra immune boost without the pills, adding much needed energy when you have none.
This leaf tea comes from the renowned Nishio region of Japan, one of the best plantations from Uji. It is the finest Japanese green tea leaves that are ground into fine powder in a traditional stone mill since the 13th century. This tea is a lovely bright jade green in colour and has a very distinctive and individual flavour and exquisite aroma. It retains all of its beneficial qualities as the whole of the leaf is powdered because of its particular way of refinement.
The leaves are grown in shaded tea gardens covered by raffia nets that protect the leaves from direct sunlight. Being covered the leaves are almost steamed in the high humidity of the mountains. This tea contains higher levels of caffeine than found in other teas. Being covered and shaded in this way from very early in the plants life cycle creates a darker leaf which changes the chemical composition of the leaves creating amino acids.
A ceremonial drink of the Buddhist monks and royalty, this special powdered green tea has been used in traditional tea ceremonies since the 9th century. Also called "the way of the tea" this Japanese cultural activity is about the way the tea is brewed in calm and harmony for the soul. The tea is brewed two different ways depending on the season and the climate. This is changes the tea ceremony with each month.
November to April are colder months and is called the "sunken hearth season". This is the thick tea ceremony is called the "Koicha". The green tea is wrapped in Koicha leaves and put into an urn with hot water using three times as much tea to the equivalent amount used for thin tea. The thick tea is then kneaded with a whisk to mix and brew it because of the large amount used. This is a very strong blend which is drunk out of thick cups and shared among guests.
The brazier season is during the warmer months May to October. Each season sees different preparations and even utensils used and rooms arranged. This tea ceremony is called "Usuch" and this tea is thin and drunk out of thin cups. This type of thin tea is served individually to everyone, and next after thick tea.