Japan: Paradise of Tea
Jul 07 2015
Japanese love tea. At convenience stores, super markets, you will find a wall of bottled tea. Some stock more than 20 kinds! How can I make a quick decision here?
The first one is "Green Tea." When we say tea in Japan, it often means green tea. The tea is said to contain more vitamin c than its counterparts: good for health and beauty!
If you are to enjoy the tea with wagashi, Japanese-style confection, it's best served hot. But if you are to buy a bottle from a convenience store, I'd definitely recommend it cold for the clean finish.
Next: roasted green tea, "Houji Cha." Green tea is like "a stylish dress" to welcome your guest while Houji Cha is "a sweatshirt" for you to get cosy in. The tea is roasted until the leaf tints to reddish-brown and toasty aroma arises. The flavour is not as bitter as green tea: light and mild.
On the rignt is "Mugi Cha," barley tea. It's caffeine-free and therefore preferred for children.
Mugi Cha is generally regarded as a cooling beverage for summer. If you are sightseeing in Tokyo on a blistering hot day of August, please try a bottle of Mugi Cha to quench your thirst.
Coming up next are "Oolong Tea" and "Jasmine Tea." I hear some of you say "They are not Japanese!" but let me say drinking these cold and bottled is a Japanese style because in China, at their home, tea is served hot in a tea pot.
Oolong Tea is said to break down fat: great choice when you have rich, oily food. While the taste of Oolong Tea varies widely depending on the production, bottled ones sold in Japan generally have good body and woody aroma: a favourite choice for adults.
Jasmine Tea is scented with sweet aroma from jasmine blossoms, and very popular among women. Isn't the package lovely?
The last one is English (Red) Tea. Ladies and gentlemen in England may frown disapprovingly, but Japanese enjoy red tea in a pet bottle. Straight tea, milk tea, lemon tea, herb tea, sugar-free, sweetened... there are so many variation of bottled red tea I can't choose one...
I bought all the bottles on this page from a convenience store nearby. There are many more for you to choose from. What will be your next choice?