This tea comes from a tradition that makes it famous for its shape, which is different from most Japanese green teas. Tamaryokucha (also called Guricha rolled tea) has dark green, round, curled leaves, which are different from the usual straight, tapering tea leaves. It gives the infusion a light, smooth and umami-rich flavour, with a slight astringency. Shows a yellow hue in the teacup. Tamaryokucha is a fine and rare, refreshing tea. It gives notes ranging from hazelnuts and almonds to legumes, sometimes with mineral hints especially in the green tea version.
Tamaryokucha green tea: properties and benefits
Drinking green tea means getting an excellent amount of nutrients. Many experts believe that steaming preserves the tea's vitamins and antioxidants. When tea leaves are steamed (as in tamaryokucha), baked, or pan-fried (as in tamaryokucha kamairicha), oxidation does not develop and the leaves remain green. Green tea has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its high content of polyphenols, especially epipigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
These substances have proven to be useful for the well-being of our body, for the immune system and weight control. Tamaryokucha green tea is one of the Japanese green teas rich in antioxidants, natural flavonoids and other ingredients useful for counteracting aging. Antioxidants maintain skin elasticity, combining in green tea with vitamin C to strengthen capillaries. The caffeine or theine content is also an element that can give benefits to the body, in terms of energy.
It is balanced by another substance: the amino acid L-theanine, with a relaxing but not sedative effect. This balance of green tea gives calmness and alertness simultaneously, and helps maintain concentration, without the stress of excess caffeine as in coffee. Theanine can interact with caffeine, allowing even in low doses an effect such as increased concentration and attention.
Caffeine also helps stimulate fat metabolism. Drinking green tea and exercising helps burn body fat, while also promoting diuresis to eliminate excess fluids. Catechin and fluoride also help the well-being of the oral cavity and freshen breath after meals. An green tea like tamaryokucha also promotes proper digestion, maintains the body's alkalinity, and counteracts irritation. The catechins in green tea have an effect on harmful bacteria, while not affecting the good ones that help intestinal function.
Origins and History of cultivation
This green tea is grown in Japan, particularly in the area of Kyushu, the southwestern island that houses the prefectures of Saga, Nagasaki and Kumamoto. It is a more recent Japanese tea, compared to the traditional ones, because the Kyushu farmers developed this process in the 1950s. While farmers produced a similar version in the 1930s in Shizuoka Prefecture, Kyushu began growing it primarily for export to Russia, where it was highly prized. It is grown similarly to Sencha, except for the last stage. The tea leaves, instead of being rolled and straightened, are placed in a rotating drum and dried using hot air.
Actually, there are two types of tamaryokucha: the first is steamed like most part of Japanese green teas; while the second type of tamaryokucha is fried in a pan according to the Chinese procedure – in this case it is called kamairi tamaryokucha. Tamaryokucha usually refers to steamed leaves, and is also referred to as mushiguri or guricha.
Among the different types of Japanese green tea, Tamaryokucha is not a very common type of tea and represents only 3% of all Japanese production. Tamaryokucha was exported to the Soviet Union and the Middle East to compete with Chinese teas. The Russian market preferred pan-cooked tea (a practice prohibited in Japan), so some farmers created this Tamaryokucha tea with the look and taste of Chinese teas, even when steamed. It was also successful in the Middle Eastern market. Today Japanese tea farmers do not produce Tamaryokucha for export but only for connoisseurs, who know this exclusive, rather rare tea. Especially the Tamaryokucha tea.
Plant and flowers
Camellia sinensis is the plant of the Theaceae family that gives tea leaves. The evergreen woody shrubs give oval and pointed leaves, shiny and dark green. The flowers are white, perfumed, with five petals, while the fruit is a capsule containing the seeds. Although the leaves all come from the same plant, the flavor varies by harvesting specific leaves and processing them in different ways, such as Tamaryokucha green tea. During the growing season, the young tea leaves are harvested often, even every 10 days.
A large plant can produce many leaves, and to facilitate harvesting the plant is often pruned – the small shrub is kept at about 1 meter, when it could grow up to 9 meters in its natural state. Camellia sinensis is grown as a cash crop in many parts of the world, although it is native to China. It grows well in high-altitude forests, in well-drained soils, up to about 2,200 meters in height.
Nutritional values of Tamaryokucha green tea
Green tea has beneficial soluble components such as antioxidant catechins, tannins, flavonoids. Gives the body caffeine, as a stimulant of the central nervous system, and Theanine. It makes different vitamins available; in particular the antioxidant vitamin C and stimulant of the immune system. Other useful substances are saponin and some minerals (fluorine, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium).
How to prepare Tamaryokucha green tea
The infusion is obtained by placing in a cup (250 ml), about 3-5 grams of this green tea. Water at a temperature of 80 °C. Leave to infuse for 2 to 3 minutes, before drinking the Tamaryokucha green tea infusion. Cooking can make it more "dusty" so a fine sieve is recommended.
Side effects and contraindications
The consumption of this green tea is safe for most people, if taken in small quantities. Consuming large quantities can cause side effects due to the caffeine content. Sensitive subjects may experience symptoms such as headache, irregular heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, agitation, diarrhea, hypertension. Furthermore, excessive doses can affect the digestive system through intestinal irritation, due to tannins and caffeine (especially on an empty stomach). It should be taken with caution by those suffering from anemia, high blood pressure and pathological heart conditions. Caution is advised when taking green tea during pregnancy and breastfeeding.