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In the 15th century, in Uji, there were seven famous tea gardens. Only one still exists today, Okuno-yama, thanks to the efforts of the Horii family. In the beginning of the 1980s, the trees of this garden having grown too old, it became necessary to replace them. The Horii family therefore engaged on a very difficult task: to chose the best between about fifty varieties of teas that were growing in the garden. Twenty years later, one stood without a doubt far above the others, with twice as much of umami, the famous fifth taste, so much appreciated by gourmets. The Horii family named this new cultivar "Narino" and planted it in Okuno-yama as well as in the garden of Tonokawa. The Horii family has won several time the National Tea Competition, for example in 2010, when the "Narino" matcha has been elected Japan's best matcha.
"Narino" is therefore an exceptional matcha, rich in flavour and extremely soft. Only 150 tins of 'Narino" are produced in a year, but we managed this year to import some of them!
The exceptional quality of this tea makes it perfect both for a preparation in usucha and in koicha.
Tea and health
Recent books and studies seem to prove that green tea plays an essential role, not only in preventing, but also in treating cardiovascular dusease and some types of cancer. In his books, David Servan-Schreiber has stressed the presence in green tea of a catechin, the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This powerful antioxidant is capable of neutralizing the reactive oxygen species and the free radicals heavily involved in aging and in chronic degenerative diseases. Researches have shown that the EGCG may have beneficial effects against numerous illnesses, like atherosclerosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases or overweight. In Chinese traditional medicine, it is recommended for intellectual work, to reduce fatigue by stimulating the nervous system, to lower body temperature, enhance eyesight, reinforce the immune system, help digestion... It is important to underline that the green tea that is evoked here is of good quality and, of course, straight, plain green tea!
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