Updated: June 08, 2018
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All About Japanese Black Bean Tea (Kuromamecha)!

Here is everything you need to know about Japanese black soybean tea, from its many health benefits, to where to buy it, and where to actually try it in Japan!

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Japanese Black Bean Tea

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Black bean tea, called kuromamecha 黒豆茶 in Japan, has been drunk in the land of the rising sun for ages. The beans used for making it are actually a black type of soybeans. Their black skin is what gives them their health benefits!

Anti Aging Anthocyanin

Anthocyanin is a natural polyphenol pigment that gives found in the skin of the bean. It's actually the same pigment that is found in many blueish-purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, red cabbage, and red onions for instance.

Anthocyanin is a strong antioxidant which gives it a plethora of health benefits. It improves blood flow and decreases blood pressure, is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancerogenic, is great for keeping good eye health too. It also prevents collagen lost thanks to its effects on capillary blood flow. For all of these reasons, it's considered a potent anti-ageing molecule!
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What makes Japanese black bean tea particularly good is that the anthocyanin it contains is easily transferred to the water, giving a dark purple colour to the water when you simply put a hand full of beans in a cup. It's also heat resistant so it doesn't lose its benefits in the hot water!

On top of that, the beans release a good amount of potassium calcium and iron in the water too. So you drink a highly nutritious cup of tea with few calories.

Taste

The beans give out a natural sweetness to the tea that is really easy to drink. You can drink it hot, or chill it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two days. It makes a nice, cool summer drink too.

Where To Buy It

If you are in Japan, you can easily find it at a local supermarket (ask for "kuromamecha"). If you are outside of Japan, the easiest way is to purchase it from internet retailers. You can find for instance some Ito En 伊藤園 "health tea black bean tea tea bag" packages.
14328 ext 01 0 https://www.itoen.co.jp/
Ito En is a reputable Japanese tea company known for its good product quality, so their products are probably reliably good. They use soybeans from Hokkaido.

Where To Have It In Japan?

Black soybeans in Japan are not used just for tea. They are famously used cooked as part of a New Year's period meal. They are also used as traditional desserts toppings. So if you want some black beans, your best bet is to head to a traditional cafe such as the one below.

Kuromamesaan Kitao 黒豆茶庵

Kuromameryu (literally means black beans dragon) is a famous cafe in Kyoto that serves some amazing traditional foods, plenty of which are made with black soybeans. You can, of course, order the black beans tea, but if you ever have the chance to go there, you should try traditional set meals and desserts such as kakigori (shaved ice)!

Lastly...

Hope you enjoyed learning about the Japanese black bean tea. If you are interested in healthy foods from Japan, check out the link below about seaweed!
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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