We may not understood a word of Japanese but we do enjoy sipping green tea, don’t we? It’s the next best healthy beverage over other sweetened beverages such as Pepsi, Coke, Sprite and Ice Lemon Tea. You know that sugar is bad for you, right?
Knowing about the immense health benefits of green tea, many health-conscious individuals like myself wouldn’t mind sipping green tea everyday while consciously thinking about how the natural Catechin tea anti-oxidants would help with decreasing our blood cholesterol and burn fats.
Freshly brewed or ready-to-drink green teas? For those who have been living by the ‘eat clean’ philosophy would have probably choose to shun away from ready-to-drink green teas. They are the ones who would go on and on about how ‘unhealthy’ ready-to-drink beverages are with the added sugar and preservatives. I’m guilty of it too.
But you see, times have already changed. The demand in consuming healthier food has led to a growth in healthy or organic food products in the market. Green tea brands are offering sugarless options for those who couldn’t stop rattling about the bad effects of sugar. Some brands are even claiming that their teas are all natural with no preservatives added. And that’s how ITO EN Oi Ocha comes into the picture.
ITO EN, a leading Japanese multi-beverage company, is well-known in Japan for its Oi Ocha Green tea bottled-drink that has a natural authentic Japanese green tea taste. It contains no sugar, flavorings or colourings and has zero calories. This is probably the closest drink to a cup of freshly-brewed green tea except that it is kept to room temperature.
On its ingredient label, it states that the beverage contains water, brewed green tea, ascorbic acid and sodium bicarbonate. Both Ascorbic acid (or Vitamin C) and Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking soda) are used as preservatives in this drink. But once the bottle is opening, it needs to be consumed immediately to enjoy its freshness. When made in comparison with other brands of green tea, this is one of the ‘healthier’ ready-to-drink beverages that contains fewer preservatives.
The Japanese phrase, Oi Ocha means ‘it’s tea time’!
What is essentially different about ITO EN Oi Ocha in comparison with other green tea brands is its distinctive authentic Japanese Green tea taste. Even after the tea was packaged into bottles, the strong taste of freshly-brewed tea still remains.
The ITO EN Oi Ocha range includes Oi Ocha Green Tea and Oi Ocha Hojicha which is a dark roasted green tea. The taste of Hojicha is darker, with a more distinct bitter after-taste. It’s great for those who prefer a more aromatic taste of green tea. Personally, I prefer Oi Ocha green tea for it’s clear and light taste. The Oi Ocha Hojicha is a little too overpowering for me.
So, are ready-to-drink green tea healthy? Well, it all depends on its ingredient label. It’s hard to ascertain something which is really healthy or not because it all depends what your definition of healthy is.But there are healthier options of ready-to-drink green tea out there such as ITO EN Oi Ocha green tea. In time to come, there will be even more healthier options made available to all!
I noticed a growing trend in companies trying to create the most purest and natural beverages, using minimal or natural preservatives. Who knows, maybe one day we might be able to enjoy green tea from a bottle using all natural ingredients obtained from nature! And to me, that is definitely healthy! As for now, I prefer soaking green tea bags in hot water and drinking it hot from my favourite mug. Nothing beats a hot freshly-brewed cup of green tea.
Though it’s always best to drink freshly brewed tea from the cup using high quality green tea leaves but it you can’t carry tea bags or hot water around with you, you might just want to settle for a bottle of ITO EN Oi Ocha green tea instead.