Shizen Tea Blog

July 14, 2014


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Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

Today, we would like to over the benefits of matcha green tea and other green tea powders as well. Currently the major Japanese green tea powders are matcha and sencha powder.

Difference of Matcha and Sencha Powder

Most of you may know already but just to review, sencha powder and matcha powder are totally different products. Matchas are made from green tea leaves that are grown under the shade before harvest, and senchas are green tea leaves that are grown 100% under the sun processed by the unique Japanese way by steaming the leaves. This sencha green tea leaves are normally called simply “Japanese green tea” in stores. I will say if it is sold by a legitimate Japanese tea company, so called “Japanese green tea” products are 100% sencha, if there are no other specific indication. Please remember SENCHA powder is NOT MATCHA powder. It is very unfortunate that I sometimes see that Chinese green tea powder named Matcha green tea powder, and worst case people are mislead to compare the price and product as if its the same product. (As for further info about the difference of Sencha and Matcha please check out our blog post about this issue)

Benefits of Green Tea Powder

1. Amazing Health Benefit

When you brew green tea, you are drinking only 30 percent of its nutrients and throwing away the rest. Our green tea powder is simply a fine ground powder of organic green tea leaf. This means that since you are consuming the whole leaf, all of its health benefits can be consumed with nothing left behind.

2. Outstanding Convenience

With our green tea powder, it can be brought anywhere and can be made anywhere: at your workplace, yoga studio, on your travel, etc. No special pot or utensils will be necessary, just powder and water.

3. Incredibly Versatile

Take your imagination to the limit of green tea’s versatility. Not only traditional green tea but can be used in numerous ways to spice up your desert, food, or beverage(Green tea latte, green tea ice cream, green tea cookies, etc.).

What are the Health Benefits of Powdered Green Tea?

a. Powerful Antioxidant And Vitamins Contained In Powdered Green Tea

Green tea (sencha) powder and Matcha powder are a convenient way to access the powerful antioxidant Catechin(EGCG) and vitamins. Espacially Vitamin C and Beta-Carotenes are considered especially abundant compared to other beverages and fruits.



b. Nothing Comparable To Brewed Green Tea

Green tea (sencha) powder and Matcha powder includes Vitamin C, E, B6, B2, and Beta Carotenes and will not be contained in brewed green tea.


*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.

 Which type of green tea contains the most antioxidant?

a. Catechin(EGCG) is contained the most in 2nd to 3rd Harvest Green Tea (Sencha) Leaf

Within the green tea variety,  the powerful antioxidant compound Catechin (EGCG) is contained the most in the green tea (sencha) leaf. Within the green tea (sencha) leaf, the 2nd and the 3rd harvest teas (summer harvested teas), are said to contain the most Catechins.  Our organic green tea (sencha) powder is from the second harvest that will provide you with the abundant antioxidants and umami(savory) at the same time.



b. Contains the most Catechins because it is harvested in summer

In green tea leaves there is an amino acid called “Theanine”, this unique amino acid is said to have the potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress. Also this substance is known for being the “Umami (Savory)” of the green tea.

This “Theanine” is decomposed and changed to the “Catechin” when the teas are exposed to the sunlight before the harvest. For that reason, teas such as Matcha and Gyokuro that covers the tea farms with shades that block the sunlight has high “Theanine” and low “Catechin.” On the other hand green tea (sencha) that are grown in full sunlight will contain high “Catechin” and low “Theanine”.



Green teas (sencha) that are 2nd and 3rd harvested, the summer harvest, are grown longer in the full sunlight, for that reason they are considered to have the most “Catechin” within the green teas.

*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.

Thank you for reading such long post. Hope you enjoyed!

June 28, 2014


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Make your own Organic Iced Tea

Today, we would like to go over how to make your own organic iced tea from organic loose leaf green tea. These iced teas will be great for you to enjoy this coming hot summer.

There are many ways to make your own iced tea, and today I would like to go over one of the simplest way you can make your own organic iced green tea.


Things to Prepare (One Serving)

  1. Teapot
    (preferably a Japanese Teapot Kyusu)
  2. Organic Green Tea Loose Leaf: 1 teapoon (5g)
    (ShiZen Organic Sencha Green Tea will work very well)
  3. Warm Water (Around 122-140 F/50-60 C): 120-150ml
  4. Ice
  5. Tea Cup

We will be using our Teapot Kyusu Mameshibori


Step 1: Prepare Warm Water

Once boil the water and leave the water for several minutes until it cools to approximately 122-140 F/50-60 C. While cooling the water, put approximate 1 teaspoon of organic green tea loose leaf.

This time using our Japanese Organic Green Tea.



Step 2: Add Water & Infuse for 1 1/2 min.

After adding the loose leaf tea to your teapot, add water and infuse for approximately 1 1/2 minute.  Usually with hot water we recommend 1 minute, but since the water temperature is low it will not get that bitter and actually you will get more umami (savory) substance by longer infusion with low temperature.



Step 3: Add it to a cup filled with ice

Fill your cup with ice while infusing your tea. After infusing, pour the warm green tea into the iced cup and enjoy!



The clear difference you will get comparing the instant tea and hand made iced tea are the scent/aroma and the refreshing taste. There are many other ways you can make your own organic iced tea. Next time, we would like to go over another way to make organic iced tea with organic green tea loose leaf.

Thank you!

June 16, 2014


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Notes on Japanese Teapot Kyusu – Hachijyu Hachiya -

Kyusu made from the Tokoname Yaki Style

This Japanese teapot is made by the traditional Tokoname Yaki pottery style that started out from the Tokoname region of Aichi prefecture (a little south west of Tokyo) from the 1100s. Tokoname yaki is said to be the ultimate art of clay and fire, and this clay material is said to give the tea a mellow and smooth taste.


Unique Built-in Clay Strainer

Usually kyusu will have a stainless steel strainer; however this kyusu is very unique that the strainer part is already made by the handmade holes that are near the spout as shown below. There are eighty eight holes in this strainer and eighty eight in Japanese is hachijyu hachi, a very similar name to the tea pot, right?


Where did the name “Hachijyu Hachiya” come from

Just to let you know, the name of this tea pot Hachijyu Hachiya means eighty eight nights in Japanese. In Japanese tea industry, it is said that the first pick/harvest teas starts from the eighty eighth night from Risshun (first day of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar which is around beginning of Feb). Teas that are harvested in hachijyu hachiya (eighty eighth night) are marked the highest price in the market and is said to be have luck. This tea pot kyusu is named after the lucky eighty eight nights and made holes the lucky eighty eight too.



Great with Organic Sencha Superior

This kyusu can only make 0.93 cups at once, and it is suitable for high-end loose leaf teas that are recommended to be taken in small amounts. Today, I have made organic sencha superior with this kyusu tea pot.


This is a highly recommended tea pot for single serving high-end teas. Also it is very easy to keep it clean since it does not have a steel strainer. No worries for the tea leaves to be clogged in the strainer.

If there are any questions please feel free to ask anytime.

Thank you.

June 08, 2014


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Tea Notes About Japanese Teapot Kyusu – Mameshibori -

About Japanese Teapot Kyusu- Mameshibori

Made by the traditional ARITA YAKI

This Mameshibori teapot is made by the traditional Japanese pottery style “Arita Yaki.” This Arita yaki has started from over 400 years ago and known as one of the most popular pottery style in Japan.

Design: Traditional Mameshibori style

The kyusu is called Mameshibori because it is designed as the same as the traditional Japanese Mameshibori fabric. This traditional fabric is mainly used in hand/facial towels or Yukata (light cotton kimono that are mainly wore in summer).


Great for Hojicha, Genmaicha, and Sencha (standard grade)

This Mameshibori kyusu holds more than 1.27 cups of water. It would hold the most amount of water compared to the other kyusu’s that we provide. Due to the water amount, it will be highly recommended for hojicha, genmaicha, and standard grade sencha. Also the filter is a separate type (non-built-in filter) that can be taken out and cleaned very easily.

This time I have made Organic Hojicha with this Mameshibori Kyusu.



It pours out very smoothly and it’s great for serving several cups (2-3 servings) at once or serving in one large mug cup. Also just to note we do also have a cup that matches this tea ware. It looks very nice as a set.

If there are any questions please feel free to ask anytime.

Thank you for reading.

June 03, 2014


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Tea Notes About HARIO Glass Tea Bottle – Japanese Iced Tea Maker -

HARIO Glass Tea Bottle

This is a great product that makes amazing Japanese iced teas from loose leaf/powder. The structure of this product is very simple. It is a beautiful glass bottle that has a built-in filter inside the rubber lid. It will make great iced teas especially from loose leaf teas, which is the uniqueness and specialty of this bottle. When made from this glass bottle it will provide a pleasant aroma and natural tea sweetness that is incomparable to any other instant iced teas or canned/bottled iced teas.


Simple Steps for Loose Leaf Iced Teas

Just follow the following steps:

  1. Add approximate 2 tea spoons (8g) of loose leaf
  2. Fill the bottle with water
  3. Put it in refrigerator for several hours

We recommend the organic sencha green tea for the loose leaf. I personally like the classic grade teas instead of the high end teas, such as organic sencha superior. The high end teas will be filled with strong umami and sometimes that is just too much for me to drink as iced tea. Of course, it is preference so please find out your favorite loose leaf tea by testing many kinds of loose leaf. It will also make great iced tea with organic hojicha too.

May 29, 2014


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Green Tea Smoothie – Fruity Smoothie

How to make Green Tea Smoothie

There are many ways to use the green tea powder. One way is to use it to make green tea smoothie. There are many ways you can make the green tea smoothie and today I would like to introduce one of my favorite way of making green tea smoothie.


  • 1 Kiwi
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Orange
  • 50g Spinach
  • 3-5g Organic Green Tea Powder / Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder (approx. 1 teaspoon)


Blend ingredients together in electric blender and pour into a tall glass. Please do not forget to take out the seeds for the orange. The seeds will make the taste very bitter, watch out!

Then you will get a green tea smoothie that is filled with nutrients and minerals. It will keep you energetic the whole day. Please give it  a  try! Enjoy!

We will be posting several more recipes of Green Tea Smoothie:) Hope you will come back again. Thank you!

May 28, 2014


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Green Tea Weight Loss

Today we would like to talk about the weight loss effect of green tea. We will go down into simple facts and go over experiments that are done in Japan. At last, we would like to mention about how you can brew or how you may choose your tea to take full advantage of the green tea health benefits.


What makes green tea effective for weight loss

Green tea contains a health substance called the catechin. This catechin is a type of poly-phenol that contains in green tea and is known for its powerful antioxidant affect. Within this catechin there are 4 types: EC, EGC, ECG, and EGCG. The EGCG is considered the most powerful antioxidant within the four types.

In the liver, there is an enzyme (beta-oxidation) that burns fat, which accelerates fat metabolism, and that enzyme is vitalized by the green tea substance, catechin. It is said that catechin increases the enzyme activity close to 40%. For that reason, catechin leads to accelerating the fat metabolism, which leads to weight loss.


What kind of Green Tea Studies are done

One of the famous experiments done in Japan is called the Kakegawa study. This experiment was conducted by Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture, which involved more than 1,500 males and females over 30 years old, consuming 1 green tea capsule per day (an equivalent of 600ml of brewed green) lowered the bad cholesterol level by an average of 9.02 mg/dL (0.50 mmol/L) and shrunk their waist size by an average of 1.86 cm (3/4 inch) during the study period. The reason why that the waist size shrunk is said to be the effect of the catechin boosting metabolism.

Also a study conducted by Kao Corporation of 240 people showed that people who consumed beverages rich in “catechin” saw their blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and visceral fat drop, compared with those who consume beverages containing little “catechin.”


What is the best way to take in the catechin (EGCg)

There are many ways to take in catechin right now: green tea capsules, instant tea powder, etc. Of course, we are a tea store that sells organic and additives/preservatives -free teas so we believe that taking in the catechin the natural way is the best (simply by brewing loose leaf or mixing pure powder). In that case, we recommend two of the following:

Brewing Sencha Green Tea

You will be able to take in the catechin the most by brewing 2-3rd pick/harvest teas. First harvest will be the best as in taste, but there will be more catechin in second pick/harvest.

  • Use Hot Water (90C/194F).

    Hotter the water temperature, it is said to liquate out catechin more than standard 176F (80C) water.

  • Infuse/drink it for 3 rounds.

    On the 3rd round it is said the most catechin are taken out from the tea leaves.

Please remember taste of catechin is very bitter, so if you brew it as mentioned above you will get a very bitter tea. However, it will sure keep you healthy. It is said that you will be able to get more than 1.2 to 1.5 times the catechin compared to the standard recommended way.


Sencha Powder Green Tea

Powdered green tea that is additives-free is basically simply ground tea leaf (please remember instant tea and powdered green tea are different!). If you consume it by powder you will be able to take in the full tea leaf, and this will be the best way to consume the health benefits compared to any other type of teas. Within the powdered teas, sencha powder (2-3rd pick) will be the best for health wise, it will contain the most catechin compared to other powdered teas such as matcha. Matcha is abundant in Theanine, the umami substance, but it contains less catechin compared to Sencha.

So the very best to take in the health substance of green tea for weight loss it will definitely be sencha powder. However, if you are into loose leaf also 2-3rd pick sencha brewing with hot water will definitely work too.

Hope you enjoyed and if there are any questions please feel free to ask anytime.

Thank you.