Shizuoka is the largest producer of this national beverage. You too can become a tea expert, as you learn about Tea.
Green tea could be called the “national beverage” of Japan. So you’ve come to the right place to try this delicious and healthful drink; Shizuoka prefecture produces half of all the tea grown in Japan. Clean air and plentiful water supply aid the careful cultivation necessary to produce the high quality teas of Shizuoka which are renowned for their taste and aroma. Pleasantly stimulating, delicious hot or cold – try it – you’ll love it!
Not everyone knows that all tea come from the same plant. It is the different processes and factors like the time of year the tea is picked, the part of the bush tea it is picked from, drying times and temperatures that produce the different varieties. ( The enzymes in freshly picked tea leaves that have been immediately inactivated so the chlorophyll is not broken down gives us green tea. The fermentation process, amount of tannin, as well as added scents distinguish the flavors of black tea.)
Tea was introduced to Japan as a medicinal beverage by monks when they returned from studies at the great monasteries of 12th century China. In the 13th century, the first Japanese book on tea stressed the importance of tea in maintaining health and vigor. First used only among the upper classes, it wasn’t until the 16th century that drinking tea was refined into a ceremony of austere elegance; it was then that the Samurai class began to drink it. Gradually, the common people began to drink it until it reached the status it has today — the most popular drink in Japan!
There are three periods for tea harvesting: the first crop (called “new tea”) is picked from late April to mid May; the second crop in late June, and the third from late July to early August. Tea is plucked by hand, hand-shear or with a power plucker.
Kinds of Japanese Green Tea
Tea is usually classified into three groups according to the difference of processing; fermented tea (black tea), non-fermented tea (green tea), and semi-fermented tea (oolong tea). Among these three types, almost all teas are made into green tea in Japan. And also, green tea is classified into several different kinds according to the part of the leaf used, plucking time, cultivation methods, manufacturing methods, etc. Almost all of these tea are produced from steamed leaves to remove the enzyme activity.
Four basic principles underlie the practical rules of the tea ceremony and represent its highest ideals: Harmony, respect, purity, tranquillity. Regarded as an aesthetic and artistic entertainment, learning the rules of the tea ceremony is still widely regarded as a sign of refinement and accomplishment.
Green tea is now receiving world-wide attention for its acknowledged health benefits. In the Japanese home, green tea is served throughout the day to accompany meals as well as a morning and afternoon pickup. Green tea is satisfying as an invigorating and thirst quenching drink. It contains Vitamin C and is acknowledged as effective against diabetes.
Minerals, chlorophyll and manganese contained in green tea are all recognized as essential to good metabolism. The tannin in the tea improves digestion and helps the cure of stomach disorders while the fluorine in green tea is effective in the prevention of tooth decay.
Recent research into the health and green tea drinking habits of residents of Shizuoka have proven they have an all over lower rate of mortality from stomach, lung and liver cancer. It is estimated they drink as much as ten cups of green tea daily, and amount that would give them 1g of “catechins” (the main component in green tea). Catechins has been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol fighting carcinogenic bacteria and acting as an antioxidant, and more.
Buying and Preparing:
Tea should be purchased at tea shops, a small amount at a time because it must be stored under good conditions. It is best to keep it in an air-tight container in a cool place. To brew tea properly, follow the instructions that are included with the tea and use a ceramic tea pot.
ShizuokaTea.com was established in May 2000. We provide excellent Japanese green tea from the Shizuoka region under the brand name of Fuji Green Tea. Ship directly to our customers worldwide from our distribution locations in Mountain Home, Arkansas USA and Shizuoka, Japan.
Fuji Green Tea Website: http://shizuokatea.com/
National Green O-CHA (Tea) Festival:
This is a time you can drink, eat, and even wear green tea – a host of events and activities will usher in this year’s national festival in Shizuoka. There will be a marathon race through the tea fields, and a Japanese Drum Festival. The 4th “World O-CHA (Tea) Festival 2010 was held in Shizuoka Prefecture in October 2010, with 28 countries and regions (including Japan) participating. The “World O-CHA (Tea) Festival” has advanced domestic and overseas exchanges through tea, and every time it is held there is a further increase in excitement and scale.
Tea has come to people’s attention since the airing in January 2011 of a TV program explaining the benefits of tea. In view of this, there has been renewed awareness of the importance of continuously communicating the charm of tea and continuing to make tea-related proposals. Therefore, together with holding the 5th “World O-CHA (Tea) Festival” in this prefecture in 2013 and providing the newest information about tea, it will also propose new ways of enjoying tea.
5th World O-CHA (Tea) Festival 2013 Date:
Spring: May 2 (Thu) to 5 (Sun), 2013 at Various places within the prefecture Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport, tea culture facilities, etc.
Fall: November 7 (Thu) to 10 (Sun), 2013 at Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center “Granship” and other locations.
The International Conference on O-CHA(Tea) Culture and Science (ICOS)
The International Conference on O-CHA(Tea) Culture and Science (lCOS) has been held is one of the main events of the World O-CHA(Tea) Festival The following are the reports which were presented in the past. World Green Tee Internation Conference Page: http://www.o-cha.net/english/conference2/index.html
World O-CHA (Tea) Festival Executive Committee Shizuoka O-CHA Plaza, 3rd floor Mizunomori Building, 14-1 Minami-cho, Suruga Ward (Suruga-ku), Shizuoka Prefecture (Shizuoka-ken) 422-8067 Tel: +81-54-202-1488
World Green Tea Association
By the government of Shizuoka Prefecture Address: Shizuoka O-CHA Plaza, 14-1 Minamicho, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka City,Shizuoka Prefecture 422-8067 Japan Tel: +81-54-654-3700 Fax: +81-54-202-1460