Japan: The importance of tea

August 10th, 2020

Japan borrowed many critical aspects of its civilization from the Chinese, including the drinking of tea,. Tea is not only a beverage in Japan, it is a symbol of the culture. First adapted by the ruling classes and those in religious life, the Japanese word for tea, O-cha, indicates its status. (The O is an honorific, indicating the cultural reverence for tea). The cultivation of Japanese tea is a merger of science and art. Gyokuro, a rare green tea grown in Uji, is planted in shade to increase the chlorophyll in the leaves, and is hand-picked. Takeshi shares this special tea while sitting with Marissa in a Kyoto tea house in Cherry Blossom Temple.

If your only experience with green tea is a generic brand from the grocery store, try venturing out a little. If there is an Asian store in your city, try sampling some sencha. If you live in an area where this is not s possibility, look around online. Make sure you follow the specific brewing instructions for the tea you buy. I find the flavor of most green teas very subtle and pleasing. And there’s a health bonus: green tea is loaded with anti-oxidants. A word of warning, though, if you are on medications, make sure green tea is not contraindicated before you sip.

You can also find information about the Japanese tea ceremony online. The ceremony  puts the Japanese reverence for tea on full display.


A link to Cherry Blossom Temple on Amazon:



Leave a Reply