Traditional Japanese Teas for Any Occasion

Traditional Japanese Teas for Any Occasion 2560 1988 Chloe

Growing up in the Bay Area I loved going out to sushi and Japanese restaurants, getting a nice bento box and warm cup of miso soup. My family also enjoyed the hot traditional teas served at these restaurants. These warm, soothing teas and chamomile store-bought tea bags were my first introduction to teas at a young age, and throughout the years I have learned to enjoy them more and drink them more often. 

Health Benefits of Tea

According to Arbor Teas, only beverages derived from the Camellia sinensis plant are teas and the others should be referred to as herbal tea or herbal infusions. White, green, black and oolong teas serve as the four richest sources of L-Theanine. 

  • L-Theanine is an amino acid that is not produced by humans, but by some plants. 
  • L-Theanine helps caffeine slowly enter your bloodstream over 4+ hours, so your energy does not rapidly spike and crash. 
  • Ingesting tea can reduce “jitters” that people get from energy drinks or coffee that are high in caffeine, and the afternoon slump that follows. 

Green tea is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, offering multiple health benefits. Teas also include antioxidants to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body, without causing any drowsiness (For Wellness). Finally, it is also believed to improve cognitive function and strengthen the immune system. Teas that include both L-Theanine and caffeine are the most effective when it comes to improving focus and mood.

Types of Teas

Just like how apples, bananas, potatoes and avocados brown when exposed to air, the process of drying and curing tea leaves similarly changes their color, flavor, aroma and strength. (Artful Tea). Leaves are exposed to air so they can dry and darken in this process. 

  • Tea leaves that are not oxidized will remain green
  • Oolong Tea is partially oxidized 
  • Black Tea is fully oxidized

Remember, all teas are not created equal! Ito En is the premier green tea company in Japan and has mastered their process for over 50 years – since 1966! Ito En Tea uses real rose and jasmine petals when drying their leaves, and they never use powder or artificial flavors in their products. 

One of my favorite parts about Ito En Teas is how filtered and smooth they are, compared to other Ready to Drink teas in the market. They are not bitter, but are clean and sediment-free. Teas’ Tea, another brand under Ito En, is always organic and unsweetened. Teas’ Tea’s clean sip and mild flavor can be a good introduction to new tea drinkers.

A lot of manufacturers, distributors and consumers are moving away from plastic and towards glass and aluminum that can be easier to recycle. If sustainability is important to you, you may wonder why these organic teas have chosen to go the plastic route. It is because plastic is lighter in weight, and Ito En teas can be imported from Asian countries such as Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. 

Weight is important when shipping to the other side of the globe, so costs are cut with lighter plastic bottles. Though they are still using plastic, Ito En has even lowered the industry standard of 24 grams per bottle and cap to a lighter bottle and smaller plastic lid at 18.7 grams to help decrease their carbon footprint. They are also moving towards using aluminum cans, starting with 3 flavors of their Traditional Japanese Teas: Oi Ocha, Jasmine, and Golden Oolong.

If you are interested in carrying any of these at your restaurant, market or establishment, you can purchase 12-bottle and 12-can cases from Blue Dog Beverage, your local Northern California Beverage Distributor. Contact us today to inquire about pricing or become a new customer!