Tea-sing your senses
By MAJORIE CHIEW
Macrobiotic teas from Japan have a distinct flavour and aroma. They are finer, rich in nutrients and supposedly enhance health and relaxation.
SOME cultures believe that drinking tea promotes longevity. For the Japanese, drinking the brew made from tea leaves harvested on the 88th day after the first day of spring will result in perfect health and a longer life.
The new crop or “the first flush” of green tea is harvested around this time of the year. The crop, referred to as Shincha or Ichi-ban-cha, is appreciated more than the second or third crop for its less bitter and sweeter taste. By drinking this “new” tea, they are absorbing the “new and strong energy” into their bodies to promote health throughout the year.
Hachijyu Hachiya (which literally means 88 nights) is the day (on May 2; May 1 in a leap year) that marks the season of harvesting the first green tea of the year. Some Japanese regard it as good luck to drink green tea on this day. It is such a big part of Japanese culture and posters announcing Shincha can be seen in the windows of tea stores around this time. http://ow.ly/cMc3m