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Thursday, 15th October 2015
In General Japan News,

Japan's premium green tea now comes in bottles

If there is one nation that is more obsessed with tea than the Brits, it's the Japanese, but in contrast to the builder's brews of the UK, it is green tea that is popular throughout Japan.

Part of the enjoyment of a cup of this beverage has long been the ritual of the tea ceremony that goes along with drinking it.

In recent years, modern Japanese have wanted a more convenient way to consume green tea and it has become available in bottles.

These can be found at convenience stores and in vending machines throughout the country, but the best green tea has remained only available in its traditional form.

That is until now. Ito En has long been recognised as producing the finest green tea in Japan and packets of its leaves are available in many places.

For the first time, the company has produced its super-premium offering in bottles, but such convenience will come at a price, reports Japan Today.

Packets of Ito En's Oi Ocha tea leaves usually retail at around 150 yen (81p), but the product the company is bottling is to be entirely different.

Ito En is offering gyokuro tea, which is made from leaves that have been cultivated in the shade for the last 20 days before picking, giving them a more intense flavour.

This premium tea is being sold in bottles for 1,000 yen, moving it from a convenience drink to a highly sophisticated product that could be given as a gift.

Such a custom of giving quality food and drink to friends and relatives is widespread and supporters have said it is no different to offering a bottle of wine.

Visitors to Japan who are keen to witness the ancient tradition of the tea ceremony can still do so, with various hotels in Tokyo and cafes in Kyoto accommodating guests.