Green teas are best for summer.
According to Chinese medicine, green teas are in the “cold foods” category. This is not to say that they are cold in actual temperature, but rather cold in temperament, meaning that they reduce the body’s inner heat. Consequently they are not a great drink in winter time, but a good “cooling” drink in the summer.
You may not believe this theory but at Plantation we like to tie our teas in with elements that work well in the season according to ancient wisdom. Which is why we have decided to focus on cooling green teas this month, and in particular Japanese green teas because their origin and differences are so interesting to explore. The Japanese have basically taken one single tea category - green - and worked it into the ground to produce a wide variety of vastly different teas, taking everything from stem to leaf, and cutting it down from leaf to powder. It is also through this understanding of Japanese tea culture that we start to appreciate the frugal nature of the Japanese, not wasting any part of the tea plant and putting everything to good use through upcycling techniques!
Japanese greens are also interesting to explore because there is so much myth shrouded around them, especially with matcha. Did you know, for example, that matcha did not come from Japanese but in fact originated from China more than 1000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty? It was only much later transported to Japan in 1191 when a monk brought back tea tree seeds and planted them in a monastery in Kyoto. Did you also know that, although matcha is super high in caffeine content, its effects will be different to that of coffee due to the calming nature of the chemical Theanine present in tea leaves?
Let these stories and good vibes take us away from the grueling summer heat in Hong Kong and transport us into a realm of relative calm and clarity. Enjoy!