Green tea is consumed all over the world for its unique flavor but also for its numerous virtues. It has its origins in the four corners of Asia but has spread widely across the planet to become a ritual in many civilizations. Where does this famous beverage come from that we like to drink so much, hot or cold?
Chinese green tea, from age-old origins
The green tea is the first variety of tea to have been manufactured. There are many legends about its origins, but the most famous one dates back almost 5000 years. In 2700 BC, the emperor Shennong, a great botanist and creator of traditional Chinese medicine, is said to have been the first to have had the idea of this famous drink. Following a nap in the shelter of a wild tea tree, a leaf fell into his cup and created by pure chance a brand new beverage. Convinced by this new aroma and its benefits, he included tea in many treatments. Little by little, green tea became a luxury product and a real tradition, which then crossed the borders of China and Asia.
How to prepare Chinese green tea?
The Chinese version is prepared according to tradition in a cast iron teapot. The temperature of the water and the infusion time are very important criteria. They must be respected to obtain a quality tea. These parameters vary according to the tea chosen. For example, chun mee green tea, which has a mild taste with a slight bitterness, should be brewed for 2 to 3 minutes in water of 75 to 80°C. Ideally, to reduce the bitterness, it is recommended to make a first infusion of 30 seconds and to throw away the water. The Chinese green tea gunpowder, used to concoct the famous mint tea, generally infuses longer, from 3 to 4 minutes, at a temperature of 80°C. Purists will prefer it plain but it is very pleasant to taste with a little sugar.
Japanese green tea, another legend
Japan is also a surprisingly rich source of tea varieties. Consumed for 1500 years, matcha is the most popular Japanese tea. It is actually a very fine powder obtained by grinding green tea between two stones. Legend has it that the tea was brought to Japan by an Indian Buddhist monk. At that time, it was traditionally consumed boiled in milk and flavored with salt and spices. It was in 1191 that matcha tea made its appearance in Japan and became an extremely popular drink. The tea ceremony is a very important ritual in the Japanese culture.
How to prepare Japanese green tea?
Japanese tea comes in a multitude of varieties. Each one has its own specificities of preparation. Among the most consumed, we find the Japanese green tea sencha, which represents 80% of the tea produced in Japan. Characterized by its yellow color, it offers a light aroma and a taste both bitter and sweet. Japanese bancha green tea is also at the top of the list and is distinguished by its high iron content. Both beverages are prepared in the same way: they are brewed for 2 minutes at a temperature of 70°C.