There’s nothing like a good cup of tea. From the moment its warmth hits your lips and soothes its way down to your belly — or from the very second you hear the ice clink and feel its coolness flow through your body — it is creating goodness on many different levels. It doesn’t hurt that the health benefits of green tea are receiving more recognition than ever before.
TEA IS THE PERFECT COMFORT FOOD
Green tea, in particular, is known for its astounding health benefits, as well as its crisp yet sweet flavor. People of India, China, Japan, and Thailand have been enjoying green tea and its medicinal qualities throughout the ages.
Green tea was believed to be first introduced to Japan in 805 BC, when young green tea trees were brought back by Buddhist monks studying in China.
Only a few centuries later, and Buddhist monks were drinking Japanese green tea to promote good health. In 1214, Japan’s first book about tea was written by Myoan Eisai, founder of Zen Buddhism’s Rinzai sect. In How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea, or Kissa Yojoki, Eisai praises tea for its myriad health benefits — including its potential to work as “medicine” to quench thirst, reduce fatigue, cure indigestion, stimulate the body, buffer the effects of alcohol, and improve brain and urinary function.1
After being enjoyed as a cultural staple and health elixir in the East for more than 5,000 years, green tea made its way to the West when European traders visited East Asia in the 16th century. Today, some of the more modern forms of green tea, like matcha powder, can trace their roots back to the same origins. Matcha is different from regular green tea since it is made from powderized tea leaves to yield a 100 percent nutritional value. And while it’s highly concentrated and antioxidant-rich, matcha still comes from the plant used to make Japanese green tea — the same Japanese green tea used in traditional tea ceremonies.