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September 22, 2013

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Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

In ancient Japan, green tea was considered a medicine due to its known health benefits at the time. It was also something Buddhism monks used during their meditation for its calming effects. Modern science has confirmed these Japanese beliefs in green tea. Many scholars around the world have studied the health benefits of green tea and found the following:

Health Substance Inside of Green Tea

Green tea has many amazing nutrients and substances and the following will be some of the major substances/compounds:

1. Catechin. This substance is type of polyphenol that is said to have powerful antioxidant effect. It has four type of Catechin: EC, EGC, ECG, and EGCG. The EGCGs are considered the most powerful antioxidant within the four types.

2. Vitamins. Green tea is especially abundant in Vitamin C. If you take the green tea in powder type, three servings will be equivalent to one apple. Also the organic compound beta-carotene (vitamin A precursor) is also abundant close to one serving of orange juice.

3. Theanine. It is an unique amino acid that is said to have potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress and provides a calm alertness.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

There are many scholars around the world who are experimenting the health benefits of green tea. Some of these benefits are still being debated, so if you plan to use for medical purpose please consult your physician.

1. Prevents Cancer. The powerful antioxidant substance, the EGCGs, are said to prevent the development of cancer cells. There are many experiment that shows that the people who takes green tea has a low possibility of getting cancer.

2. Lowers Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol. There is an enzyme that triggers the high blood pressure called the enzyme renin. Catechin has the effect to prevent this enzyme renin to raise the blood pressure. It will also lower bad cholesterol, which makes the ratio of good and bad cholesterol more favorable for the health.

3. Boosts Metabolism. Catechin also is said to have the effect to boost metabolism and reduce the absorption of fat.

4. Relaxation. The combination of theanine and caffeine has the effect to give alert calmness.

5. Natural Deodorizer. The Catechin is said to provide antibacterial effect and eliminates odor. In Japan, used tea leaves are recommended to use as a natural air refresher. 

6. Aids Fight for Dementia. Catechin protects from nerves system which leads to aids for dementia.

7. Tooth Decay. The antibacterial effect will protects from cavities and other dental issues.

8. Skin Care. The antioxidant effect from Catechin and vitamin C will protect you from aging skin. In Japan, some beauty magazines recommend to drink green tea for its skin care benefits and health benefits.

 

Health Experiment Done with Green Tea

We put together a chart that sums up the major experiment that was done.

Green Tea Health Benefits

>>See Green Tea Powder Products 

>>See Green Tea Loose Leaf Products

>>See Japanese Tea Pot Kyusu

 

 *DISCLAIMER. We are not recommending green tea as a cure or remedy for any health ailments. Please consult your physician for any medical problems you may be experiencing. We seek to source current and accurate information for your general knowledge. If you know of any additional informative resources, please contact us.


Understanding when the teas are harvested

For Japanese green tea, when it is harvested is very important. Taste, Price, and Nutrients all differs depending on when it is harvested. Of course, how it is processed also decides upon the quality and the price but the biggest factor is when it is harvested. Japanese green tea gets harvested four times per year. The first harvest is in Spring, second in June, third time in July to August, and the final last pick in September to October. 

 

First Harvest
First spring harvest teas in Japan are called Shin-cha. “Shin” meaning new and “Cha” meaning tea in Japanese.
These Shin-cha are marked most expensively in the Japanese tea market within the four harvest period. High-end teas are usually the Shin-cha’s. Also the taste is much different compared to the later harvested ones. Shin-cha has stronger aroma and deeper flavor. However, since the tea is very rich and strong I personally think one cup will be enough. Really nice teas are not for drinking quantity but to enjoy the quality. 
Our ShiZen’s Sakura Komachi, the Matcha blended with Cherry Blossom Leaf, are using the 1st harvest Matcha.

 

Second Harvest
2nd Harvest are the ones that are harvested in June. 2nd harvest are priced lower than the 1st harvest Shin-cha. It still has the tasteful aroma but the taste is a little more lighter compared to Shin-cha. However, the good part of this is it has can be drank many times since it is lighter. Also it is said to have the most Catechins (EgCG), the healthiest,  compared to the teas that are harvested in different periods.
ShiZen’s organic green tea powder, organic matcha, pesticide-free green tea powder and organic genmaicha powder are using the second harvest teas, which being the most healthiest teas that you can get within this four harvest period.

 

Third and Fourth Harvest
3rd and 4th harvest teas are harvested after July, being the most cheapest teas in the market. Usually the low price tea bags and the bottled teas are using these 3rd and 4th harvest. These teas are called the Bancha in Japan, “Ban” meaning late and “cha” meaning tea. These low grade teas are usually processed into Genmaicha*, by mixing it with roasted brown rice, or simply roast it into Houjicha. In ancient times, since Bancha wasn’t the best tasting tea out there, people tried many ways to enjoy this Bancha, which led them to come up with Genmaicha and Houjicha. Genmaicha are usually cheaper than the other high grade teas because it is using 3rd and 4th harvest teas. Also Houjicha is usually cheaper due to the same reason. Most teas that were drank at home in Japan where these Bancha, Genmaicha, and Houjicha.*Our Genmaicha powder is using the second harvest teas due its taste and abundant nutrients.

 

Usually when it is not 1st harvest, there are no remarks of when it is harvested. If you really want to know what you are getting, it may be good to always ask when it is harvested.

Thank you for reading


Yosuke Aso
Yosuke Aso

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