In Japan, no idea is too out of the ordinary to work in the local market, with customers eager to purchase new products and try new experiences at any time of the year. And when it comes to Japanese green tea, which has been used in everything from drinks to sweets and even savoury items, one company is banking on this customer curiosity to help transform the way we consume the healthy ingredient.
Called “Nihoncha no Nama An” (Japanese Tea Fresh Bean Paste), the unusual new product has been developed by Shizuoka-based Cha2tei, a company that specialises in tea, known in Japan as ocha. As Japan’s largest producer of green tea, Shizuoka Prefecture is at the forefront of new ideas to help keep the ocha market stimulated, and Cha2tei’s “Delicious Nippon Tea Laboratory” has come up with the next new trend for gourmets: pure green tea paste.
The paste they’ve developed is unlike anything ever seen on the market before, as it’s made from nothing but whole green tea leaves, with the addition of nutritional yeast and vitamins to help enhance its health benefits. The special processing technology used to create the paste allows it to retain 100 percent of the nutritional components of the tea leaves, making it potentially more beneficial to consume the paste rather than the tea itself.
▼ Cha2tei says that only about 30 percent of the leave’s nutrients are consumed in a cup of tea. Most of the nutritional components remain in the tea leaves and are usually discarded.
When using the paste, you’re essentially consuming whole green tea leaves, which are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s also incredibly versatile, as it’s been designed to retain its vivid colour even when heated, and being soluble means it’s easy to mix it in with a variety of dishes when baking or cooking.
▼ Cha2tei says the paste is compatible with a wide number of recipes.
▼ They highly recommend mixing it with water and adding it to rice for a healthy pot of green goodness.
The paste is available in a number of tea varieties: Sencha (fresh green tea), Matcha(powdered green tea), Hojicha (roasted green tea), and Japanese Kocha (Western-style brown tea). Marketed respectively as “Balance“, due to its vitamin content, “Power“, due to its strength in holding up its depth of color when baking, “Care“, thanks to its low caffeine content, and “Reset“, for its polyphenols and anti-aging properties, all the pastes in the series are made with different blends of Shizuoka-grown tea.
They’re currently being sold in plain packaging for home use, or a fancier, patterned packaging for gift-giving.
There’s no end to the variety of possible uses for this new collection of natural tea pastes, and the company is helping customers out with ideas by publishing creative recipe ideas on their blog on a daily basis.
▼ Recipe suggestions include: sencha genovese pasta sauce, hojicha bruschetta, and banana matcha shakes.
The Nihoncha no Nama An tea pastes can be purchased from the Delicious Nippon Tea Laboratory’s online store, where they’re being sold in 100-gram packs for 1,000 yen. If you prefer a sweeter, less healthy tea-flavored paste, though, Japan has that too, with the matcha green tea cream spread for your toast and sandwiches.
Source, images: PR Times
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