Gyokuro: Shade-Grown Japanese Green Tea

Bright jade colored tea

The tea I’m going to be reviewing today is called Gyokuro (pronounced Gee-yo-ku-row), a green tea grown in Japan. The name means jade dew in Japanese which refers to the color of the tea after brewing. Most of the tea produced in Japan is green tea. There are three main types of Japanese green tea: Sencha, Gyokuro, and Matcha. They differ not in the variety of tea plant they’re grown from, but in the method of growing and post-production.

Sencha

Sencha is grown like most other green teas and is exposed to the sun up to the point of harvest. The first harvest of Sencha is called Shincha. During the winter, the tea plant stores it’s nutrients in the plant and this first harvest contains these concentrated nutrients. These young leaves result in a tea low in caffeine and catechins, and high in amino acids. Low grade Sencha leaves that are the last to be picked off the plant are called Bancha. This variety is a good daily tea that doesn’t break the bank.

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Best Teas for Anxiety and Stress Relief: Herbal Teas Backed by Science

Steam from tea brewing

Anxiety sucks. It makes you feel like the world is moving too fast and you just want everything to stop. I get it from time to time, but it’s better than it used to be. In the past I tried SSRI anti-anxiety drugs, and I have several family members that still use them, but in my case they don’t do a whole lot and they aren’t worth the side effects. For some people they work great, and if that’s you, keep using them.

What works best for me is a balanced lifestyle. So before I dive into the article, let me mention that tea cannot replace proper sleeping habits, a consistent exercise routine, and good nutrition. Tea is good for relieving mild anxiety and helping you de-stress after a chaotic day at work. However, if you are suffering from consistent acute anxiety or panic attacks, please consult your doctor.

Ok, now onto the tea. There are basically two routes you can go with this: traditional caffeinated tea, or herbal teas. Avoid the caffeinated tea if it’s late at night or if you’re sensitive to caffeine. However, some herbal teas, such as a number of the sleepy time blends contain natural sedatives that may not be desirable during the day.

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Why I Made Tea a Part of My Daily Routine

I started drinking tea because I was sick. Both physically and mentally. Not the kind of sick that comes from a cold or a cough. The kind of sick that comes from a chronic disease.

One thing you learn about being alive is that nobody is responsible for helping you calm down. If you get yourself into a shitshow nobody is responsible for getting you out. Most of the time nobody even notices.

For me, this shitshow happened during high school. I was not the most responsible student in the world. Often times I would stay up until 3 am the night before finishing homework. Despite all this, I felt a strong pressure to succeed. I took all the hardest classes and my grades were always decent.

However, these grades came at the cost of my health. Staying up late every night, eating shit food, and being stressed all day manifested itself in both lower immunity and mental health problems. At the peak of this I was getting sick every few weeks with whatever bug was going around school and was constantly anxious and moderately depressed.

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