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Mohei Tea

Mar 25, 2024

Refreshing & Warming Up Teas

The Art of Seasonal Green Tea

Introduction

Combining a wide variety of flavors, each green tea has its own unique flavor, aroma, and taste, and furthermore, it has characteristics that vary with temperature. These differences are not simply a matter of personal sensitivity, but are attributed to the chemical composition of the tea leaves, the manufacturing and processing methods, and even the properties of the raw leaves before processing.

In this article, we will explore how different types of green tea warm the body during the cold season and how other types of green tea cool the body on hot sunny days. We will delve into these different ways of enjoying Japanese tea depending on the season, both from the scientific aspect and the technique of the tea maker, and introduce three green teas that are best suited for warming the body and three green teas that are best suited for cooling the body.

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Table of Content

  • Refreshing Green Teas
  • Warming Up Green Teas
  • Conclusion

Refreshing Green Teas

Characterized by their fresh, vegetal, and sometimes sweet flavor profiles, the following teas are distinguished as refreshing choices.

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Sencha Green Tea

Sencha, one of Japan's most popular green teas, is a perfect harmony of sweetness, bitterness, and umami, with a refreshing aftertaste.

The bright green color is preserved by drying the steamed leaves at a temperature that maintains human skin temperature (around 36°C), and its grassy aroma and subtle astringent taste give it a refreshing and cool feeling.

🌱  Why it is refreshing: Sencha's clean taste and balanced caffeine content invigorate the body and mind, making it ideal for rehydration and refreshment during the warm season.

🌱  Best time to drink: Hot afternoons or when you need a change of pace.

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Mizudashi Sencha

By brewing the tea leaves with water instead of hot water, mizudashi sencha emphasizes a refreshing sweetness and reduces bitterness, making it ideal for summer rehydration.

🌱  Why it is refreshing: Extracting with water inhibits the extraction of caffeine, making it easier to feel and enjoy theanine. Epigallocatechin (EGC), which is extracted at the same time, improves the decrease in phagocytic activity of macrophages in the intestines and increases their biological defense capacity. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which also has antimicrobial effects, inhibits the effects of EGC, and therefore, sencha brewed with water, which can inhibit EGCG extraction, is recommended for those who wish to gain stress tolerance.

🌱  Best time to drink: Especially good for summer rehydration.

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Kabusecha

Kabusecha is made from fresh leaves grown under cover like gyokuro, but with the scientific benefits of sencha grown in the open because of its short shading period. With its rich umami flavor and light body, it has a deep yet refreshing taste.

🌱  Why it is refreshing: The modern cultivation method of Kabusecha produces a tea with the sweetness and richness of amino acids and the refreshing astringency of catechins. Shade cultivation increases the content of L-theanine, which has a calming and cooling effect, making it ideal for relaxing on warm days.

🌱  Best time to drink: when you want to refresh, but also when you want to taste authentic Japanese tea.

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Warming Up Green Teas

In contrast to the teas listed above, the following teas are traditionally valued for their warming properties.

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Hojicha Tea

The roasting process unique to hojicha not only reduces the caffeine content, but also transforms its flavor into a savory, caramel-like taste through a Maillard reaction.

🌱  Why it warms: Hojicha is one of the most popular warming teas. Its pleasant flavor naturally evokes a sense of warmth. This tells us that the tea's manufacturing process and sensory experience play as important a role in its warming properties as its caffeine content.

🌱  Best time to drink: Ideal for evening relaxation (relatively low caffeine content has less impact on sleep).

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Genmaicha Tea

This distinctive tea blends the light, grassy aroma of green tea with the savory flavor of roasted brown rice grain. This combination brings a pleasant earthy aroma and is especially warming during the cold season.

🌱  Why it warms: The mild caffeine of green tea combined with the aroma of roasted rice-derived grains plays a sensory role in the perception of temperature when drinking Genmaicha. The sensation of fullness also contributes to this tea perceived as warming. 

🌱  Best time to drink: For a peaceful awakening in the morning or on a cold day.

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Gyokuro Tea

Gyokuro, made only from sprouts grown under the longest shade, is characterized by its rich umami taste. The luxurious flavor and enhanced amino acids in Gyokuro inspire a gentle warmth that emphasizes richness and depth of flavor over caffeine content.

🌱  Why it warms: The light-shielding treatment increases chlorophyll alpha and inhibits the attenuation of L-theanine content, making this tea darker green and more flavorful than sencha. The tea has a deep sweetness and richness, and its unique aroma, called " Ooika" (covered aroma), especially when brewed with boiling water, gives it an outstandingly satisfying taste.

🌱  Best time to drink: In the morning or late afternoon when it is cold. When enjoyed with boiling water, it is even more satisfying when accompanied by cheese.

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Conclusion

Based on the chemical content of these teas and the physiological phenomenon of the human senses that perceives their aroma, we have introduced the types of teas that warm the body and those that cool the body and refresh the senses, as well as the methods of brewing them. We hope that knowing the classification of these teas will not only tell you about the traditional ways to enjoy them as they are, but also help you to incorporate the art of drinking tea into your daily life to adjust your body, change your physical temperature, and enjoy the richness of time with the changing seasons.

The components of green tea, which vary depending on the cultivation and production methods, such as roasting, steaming, pan-firing, and shading, play an important role in determining the warming and refreshing effects of green tea on the body.

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Knowing the functionality of each tea's heat-retaining and refreshing effects will enrich the tea drinking experience and allow Japanese tea lovers to choose tea types and brewing methods based not only on their flavor preferences, but also on the sensations of warmth and coolness they seek in their daily lives. The comforting warmth of hojicha on a chilly evening or the refreshing coolness of mizudashi sencha on a hot afternoon. In this way, the diverse world of green tea, adapted to the season and mood, makes life a happier time.

ブログより

Warming Up & Refreshing Teas

体を温めるお茶と冷涼感を楽しむお茶

お茶と温度感覚の関係の背後にある科学と製法技術を詳しく見てみましょう。

Tea Master Honda Mohei walking, Portable Tea infuser full of Japanese Green Tea (Sencha), walking at the Nippon Daira Hotel, in front of Mt Fuji, covered in clouds.

日本茶の産地について

5 つのお茶の産地を通じて、お茶の伝統が織り成す豊かなタペストリーを一緒に探索しましょう。

Our tea master Honda Mohei, smelling its fresh Sencha, in his traditional tea ceremony kimono.

お茶の保存方法について

新鮮な茶葉を長く美味しく保存するためのガイドラインです。

Warming Up & Refreshing Teas

体を温めるお茶と冷涼感を楽しむお茶

お茶と温度感覚の関係の背後にある科学と製法技術を詳しく見てみましょう。

Tea Master Honda Mohei walking, Portable Tea infuser full of Japanese Green Tea (Sencha), walking at the Nippon Daira Hotel, in front of Mt Fuji, covered in clouds.

日本茶の産地について

5 つのお茶の産地を通じて、お茶の伝統が織り成す豊かなタペストリーを一緒に探索しましょう。

Our tea master Honda Mohei, smelling its fresh Sencha, in his traditional tea ceremony kimono.

お茶の保存方法について

新鮮な茶葉を長く美味しく保存するためのガイドラインです。