Having difficulty deciding what Japanese tea to choose?

Wanting to stay healthy? The good news is; ALL our green tea varieties are a very healthy alternative!!

Umami

Glutamate, being an amino acid, is naturally present in green tea. L-theanine, another amino acid, intensifies the umami taste besides adding sweetness to tea. Therefore, teas with high L-theanine content are rich in umami taste, such as gyokuro or high-grade sencha.

Bancha and houjicha have very little L-theanine and glutamate content, so you won’t find much umami taste there.

Astringent

Astringent taste results from the combination of Air and Earth and is dry, cooling, and heavy by nature. It is the least common of all the 6 Tastes and can be found in legumes (such as beans and lentils), fruits (including cranberries, pomegranates, pears, and dried fruit), vegetables (such as, broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke, asparagus and turnip), grains (such as rye, buckwheat, and quinoa), spices and herbs (including turmeric and marjoram), coffee, and tea. Astringent taste is not as cold as bitter taste but has a greater cooling effect on the body than sweet taste.

Astringent taste is classified more in relation to its effect on the tongue than its actual taste. It creates a puckering sensation in the mouth (such as cranberries) or a dry, chalky feeling (such as many beans). Foods like broccoli or cauliflower have a mildly astringent taste that is less detectable. Dry foods such as crackers and chips, most raw vegetables, and the skins of fruits also have astringent qualities.

Sweet

Sweet taste results from the combination of Water and Earth and is heavy, moist, and cooling by nature. In the West, sugary foods are most commonly associated with this taste. Sweet taste is also found in milk and milk products (like butter, ghee, and cream), most grains (especially wheat, rice, and barley), many legumes (like beans and lentils), sweet fruits (such as bananas and mangos), and certain cooked vegetables (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets).

Sweet taste naturally increases bulk, moisture, and weight in the body. For this reason, it is excellent for building the body’s seven vital tissues (called dhatus) of plasma, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow, and reproductive fluids. Sweet taste also increases saliva, soothes mucous membranes and burning sensations, relieves thirst, and has beneficial effects on the skin, hair, and voice.

Salty

Salty taste is composed of fire and water and is hot, heavy, and moist by nature. It is found in any salt (such as sea salt and rock salt), sea vegetables (like seaweed and kelp), and foods to which large amounts of salt are added (like nuts, chips, and pickles). Due to its drying quality in the mouth, it may seem counterintuitive to think of salty taste as moistening. The element of water in its composition, however, relates to its water retaining quality. Salty taste falls somewhere between sweet and sour tastes with regard to its heavy and moist qualities. While sweet taste stimulates the greatest water retention and weight gain in the body, salty taste will have similar effects when used in excess.

In moderation, salty taste improves the flavour of food, improves digestion, lubricates tissues, liquefies mucous, maintains mineral balance, aids in the elimination of wastes, and calms the nerves. Due to its tendency to attract water, it also improves the radiance of the skin and promotes overall growth in the body.