When to drink Japanese green tea

There are types of green tea which match well with any occasion, with types good for sending as presents, those good for putting out for guests, those for relaxing, and even those for enjoying with food. When choosing tea, you can gain an even deeper appreciation for tea if you picture the time and place for drinking the tea, the feeling it will bring, and choose teas which match what you have in mind. I’ll be introducing you to a method of choosing tea which matches the tea with the time, place, and occasion for drinking, and which also takes into account the manners of hospitality, and the effect the elements in the tea have on the body.

Tea to Fit Your Lifestyle  

If you choose tea to match your lifestyle, you can get more out of the time you spend drinking tea, bringing more to the relaxation you derive from your cup of tea.

For Waking up in the Morning

In the morning, Sencha will help you to wake up refreshed. With a bright fragrance, Sencha is caffeinated and it will help to lift your spirits in the morning. Beyond that, did you know that your mouth has a lot of bacteria in it first thing in the morning? Sencha contains Catechin, which has antibacterial properties, and can help to clear your mouth, and prevent bad breath in the morning.

For Work or Study

If you’re looking for something to refresh you during a break from work or study, highly caffeinated green tea can be a great choice. Caffeine can work to wake up the brain and increase concentration, and it’s ideal for taking away feelings of sleepiness. Green tea, and especially Gyokuro, is known for its high level of caffeine, even compared to coffee. However, green tea contains vastly more elements than coffee, and they block some of the stimulant affect of the caffeine, meaning that it isn’t as strong a shock to the system as coffee, and even those with weak stomachs can feel safe drinking it. Gyokuro contains both Theanine, which contains the element Theanine, a promoter of relaxation, and also caffeine to stimulate the body, which makes it a great choice for an afternoon when you want to give another push.

When You Want to Relax

When you’re looking to relax, Hojicha or Genmaicha can be great choices. Their unique scents are great for producing an aroma, and they are low in caffeine, making them great choices for relaxing. If you take Gyokuro and slowly brew it in lukewarm water, the levels of caffeine will go down, and you can enjoy the relaxing effects of the Theanine it contains. When You Want to Clear Your Mouth After a Meal
After you’ve eaten something oily, and you want to clear the inside of your mouth, I would recommend a reasonably priced level of Sencha rich in Catechin. Catechin is said to be effective in preventing cavities and bad breath, so if you drink it after eating sweets you can look forward to this effect. 

Before Sleeping

For drinking before bed, you’ll want a tea such as a Bancha or a Hojicha which is low in caffeine, so that you won’t disturb your sleep. In addition to its stimulant affects, caffeine also acts as a diuretic, so drinking large amounts of tea high in caffeine before bed can lead to unwelcome trips to the bathroom late at night or in the early morning. If you would still like to drink this tea, you should try brewing it in lukewarm water, or brewing it weaker than you normally would.

Tea for Guests  

In Japan, it is said that when hosting visitors, manners dictate that Sencha (green tea) is the proper choice. While some may choose to drink Bancha, Hojicha, or Genmaicha in their own everyday lives, it is still preferable to serve Sencha to guests. This is because Hojicha and Genmaicha typically use tea from the Nibancha harvests or later, meaning that they aren’t classified as premium teas. Instead, it would be better for you to view these as easily enjoyed teas for use in the home. Even among Sencha for serving to guests, there are many different brands available. Tea for serving to guests is an expression of omotenashi hospitality, so it’s best to consider how close you are with the guest, and their relative status when choosing tea.

Tea for Sending as a Present  

For presents, selecting a premium tea such as Gyokuro, Matcha, or Sencha is best. There are those who have the tea they normally drink packaged into a can for gifting, and there are also those who choose to gift tea of a higher rank than that which they usually drink. I would also recommend giving a set which includes some sort of sweet such as a castella cake alongside the tea.

Both the taste and the price of tea change depending on where and how it was produced. Of course your own taste in flavor and fragrance are important when choosing tea, but tea is also unique for it’s ability to match with different situations as I’ve detailed here. I hope you’ll j the time you spend drinking tea, and that you’ll consider your mood while drinking, the people you’ll be serving tea to, and the situation for drinking as you bring tea further into your daily life.

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