Mugicha – The Best Japanese Beverage for Hot Days

It was extremely hot this summer in Japan.

This year, I rediscovered how wonderful mugicha – Japanese barley tea – is to keep good health and survive a torrid summer.

While most people buy iced tea or sodas in pet bottles at convenience stores and from vending machines, some bring their favorite drink in their own bottles.

My husband and I have been the latter since we decided to improve our physical conditions. We reviewed our eating and drinking habits.

I decide to eat and drink like the time when I was small – when our diet was not yet fully westernized. I had tried lots of different methods like macrobiotics and caloric restriction, but they didn’t last. I gradually come to think “back-to-basics” should be more important.

One of the simplest efforts was switching from consuming trendy, convenient drink to classic mugicha. It’s sugar & caffeine free, easy to make, and extremely cheap – less than 200 – 300 yen (approx. $1.5 – 2.5) for one package which contain around 30 tea bags. Moreover, it tastes great – mild and aromatic and can be taken any time.

mugicha pot

Simply soak one tea bag in cold water and keep it in a fridge for a while. At home I microwave it for 1.5 min, as I’m trying to avoid cold drink as much as possible.

mugicha

When  I go out, I always bring it in my favorite Tiger’s “Mujuryoku” bottle, which helps me keep away from the temptation of Starbucks. By the way this bottle is super light and practical! If you are seeking for any good gift / souvenir in Japan, it’s definitely one of my recommendations.

tiger

Since we started changing our diet, both my husband and I succeeded in reducing weights, and I came to think that mugicha might be one of the factors that supported it.

I never imagined this common and non-trendy tea has so many effects and was amazed to learn it. According to the mugicha industry’s website, it helps protect the inner wall of the stomach and prevent diabetes-related disease, includes p−coumaric acid, improves blood circulation and has antioxidative effect.

Looking into the Japanese history, it has been consumed before green tea. It is said that “mugiyu” (original mugicha) already existed in the Heian Period (794-1185). It had been a drink for high-class people before the Edo period (1603-1867) when young girls become to selling mugiyu on the streets. These mugiyu shops were very popular until the Meiji period (1868-1912).

Nowadays, mugicha is rarely served in the restaurants but still very popular as summer drink in the households. You can buy the tea bags and pet bottled products are available in the super markets.

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