Matcha: “Tea Time” in Japan

Matcha: Tea Time in Japan

Eri Minamimoto, Staff Writer

Have  you ever heard of  “matcha”? It is one of the famous spices of tea in Japan. Matcha is a type of green tea made by taking young tea leaves and grinding them into a bright green powder. The powder is then whisked with hot water. This is different from regular green tea, where the leaves are infused in water, then removed. I’m going to explain the history of tea in Japan. And also,  I want to talk about how tea affects our lifestyle in Japan.

First, let me talk about the history of tea. Tea is necessary  for Japanese people. In fact, Japanese people drink tea everyday. Tea was imported from China 2,700 years ago. At that time, tea was very expensive,so only rich people could drink it. The beginning of tea has its origins connected to the wind. One guy was drinking hot water outside. And, the leaf dropped in his cup. The water changed its color and flavor–and  that’s the story of starting tea. In Kamakura Era, Eisai, who went to China to learn different cultures, brought back seeds from China. That’s the reason tea can now be drunk  by everyone.

Second, let me explain how tea creates an effective lifestyle in Japan. Tea is good for your heart because it boosts your immune system, fights off inflammation, and even wards off cancer and heart disease. In Japan , matcha is a very popular flavor. As you can see, the matcha flavor is everywhere  in food shops. For example, it is in cakes, roll cakes, chocolate, and even ice cream. My favorite flavor is matcha  ice cream! Also, matcha is featured in a few famous tea recipes. Ochazuke is one of the very famous recipes in Japan. Ochazuke is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea  soup (dashi), or hot water, over cooked rice. It is eaten with various toppings, such as pickled vegetables, pickled plums, dried fish, and seaweed boiled in soy sauce. Chazuke is also very easy to make.

Tea is very easy to fix, and also we can add tea leaves to most any food. It can be a more healthy way to make food. Americans should try it!