Sunday, November 18, 2012

Green Tea

Green tea is frequently associated with Asia back home. At some point you’re your life you have probably heard about its amazing powers as an antioxidant, how it’s great for weight loss, and how it is attributed in part to the longevity of the Japanese people. So how much green tea to Japanese people really drink?
Bucket loads!

I probably drink about 6 cups of green tea a day, and will probably drink more now that it is really cold. Every vending machine has a variety of green teas to choose from, including both hot and cold selections. My biggest school has 50 teachers, and during a typical work day the office goes through about 3 pots of coffee, and about 15 pots of green tea. You will rarely see a teacher at their desk without a cup of green tea.

Before coming to Japan, I didn’t like green tea. I thought it smelled like grass, and had no flavor. I still think it smells like grass, and has very little flavor, but for some reason I like it now. I know that it has helped my health, because it has replaced many much less healthy alternatives. In the states I use to drink a tall cup of juice at breakfast, I would drink water throughout the day, and then at dinner I would usually have a glass of lemonade in the evening. I was doing pretty well beverage-wise by American standards, but when you break it down, that is a lot of sugar. All American drinks have sugar in them, and it seems like the average break down is about 110 calories per 8 oz  (240 mL) serving. On a normal day I will usually only drink water and green tea, which means that I have cut out at least 300 (nearly empty) calories. So green tea has helped me lose weight in that respect.

I don’t miss juice or lemonade, when I was in the states for the summer; I bought what used to be my favorite lemonade, and hated it. I couldn’t stand how sweet it was. My tastes have changed here.

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