Monday, September 20, 2021

Green Tea and Michiyo Tsujimura

Why is green tea bitter? What healthful substances are in it? Here's how we know:

Google Doodle, Friday, September 17, 2021: 
Celebrating Michiyo Tsujimura (1888-1969).

Did you ever hear of Michiyo Tsujimura? Lately, as you've probably observed, the google doodle has been introducing a variety of obscure but interesting and even important people. Michiyo Tsujimura, the subject on Friday, was a Japanese research chemist who studied the components of green tea, particularly discovering why green tea becomes bitter when steeped for a long time. I found this especially interesting. 

From Google's write-up about her:

"Michiyo Tsujimura was born on this day [September 17] in 1888 in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. She spent her early career teaching science. In 1920, she chased her dream of becoming a scientific researcher at Hokkaido Imperial University where she began to analyze the nutritional properties of Japanese silkworms.

"A few years later, Tsujimura transferred to Tokyo Imperial University and began researching the biochemistry of green tea alongside Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, famed for his discovery of vitamin B1. Their joint research revealed that green tea contained significant amounts of vitamin C—the first of many yet unknown molecular compounds in green tea that awaited under the microscope. In 1929, she isolated catechin—a bitter ingredient of tea. Then, the next year she isolated tannin, an even more bitter compound. These findings formed the foundation for her doctoral thesis, 'On the Chemical Components of Green Tea' when she graduated as Japan’s first woman doctor of agriculture in 1932.

"Outside of her research, Dr. Tsujimura also made history as an educator when she became the first Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at Tokyo Women’s Higher Normal School in 1950. Today, a stone memorial in honor of Dr.Tsujimura’s achievements can be found in her birthplace of Okegawa City." (source)

Green tea is made from the plant, Camellia sinensis, the same as black tea and oolong tea, but green tea is not subject to the same processing as the others. Powdered green tea, or matcha, is used in the Japanese tea ceremony and also is a popular flavoring for a variety of foods. The tea ceremony in Japan originated in China, and was introduced in the ninth through thirteenth centuries, so green tea was well known long before the scientific analysis of its components!

I'm dedicating this post to the bloggers who celebrate each Tuesday (starting on Monday afternoon), honoring all beverages, especially tea. Blogger Elizabeth is the organizer of this virtual tea party: her blog is Altered Book Lover. And this post is by mae sander, © 2021.


Valerie-Jael said...

I love the google doodles they've been making lately. Te is not my fave, whatever colour it has! Happy T Day, Valerie

Anne in the kitchen said...

Interesting info about green tea! I always learn so much from your posts!

Kate Yetter said...

My green tea is not bitter. I always leave the boiling water to sit for 10 minutes before steeping my tea. If the water is too hot, that is when the tannins are released and the tea becomes bitter. I learned the hard way.
Happy Tea Day,

Halle said...

Your post today reminds me how much I used to enjoy green tea and never drink it anymore...hmmm...maybe I need to again.
Happy T day

DVArtist said...

Ohhh a very nice post. Lots of good information. Loved reading it.

DVArtist said...

Hi Mae, to answer your question about potatoes. Yes, potatoes do last a long time in a root cellar. Sadly, I don't have one and I rent so I can't go digging. LOL canning them works best for me. Thanks so much for stopping by.

My name is Erika. said...

I saw this header but never read about it, so I'm really glad you shared this. It's really interesting. And perfect for T. Have a super T day mae. Hugs-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I remember reading and learning about the tannins in green tea before I used green tea bags to rust some fabric. It works great for rusting, but I'm not a big fan of green tea. Maybe because I don't know how to make it. I was not aware of Google doodles. Really clever idea.

I always love your very unique take on T day, dear Mae. Thanks for another one this week, dear.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

I didn't know green tea contains Vitamin C. I usually drink a couple of mugs a week, depending on my mood.

Iris Flavia said...

Interesting, also Kate´s comment, I´ll sure remember that next time!

nwilliams6 said...

She was very smart to have discovered all this and I am sure she had to overcome much to do it as women were not supported much back then - educationally or otherwise. Very interesting story and I appreciate you sharing it, Mae. Happy T-day!!!

J said...

Mae that was an interesting read, I love tea but can’t get to like green tea, I only drink breakfast tea with milk, boring I know .
Happy T Day
Jan S

Let's Art Journal said...

Fabulous post! Loved reading about the tea and Gunpowder Green tea is my favourite 😀. Wishing you a Happy T Day! Hugs Jo x

Divers and Sundry said...

The google doodles are fun, aren't they :) I have green tea in my tea basket but never pick it for some reason. It'd be a good addition to my healthy eating plan, though.

Happy T Tuesday!

kathyinozarks said...

Stopping by to visit and say hello from the T party.
I enjoy a cup of green tea with lemon
Happy T

CJ Kennedy said...

The Google doodles are always fun. This was a very interesting post. Happy T Day

Sharon Madson said...

Am I the only one that doesn't know what Google Doodle is? Very interesting, especially the information on green tea. I am not a fan, but I guess for health reasons I should be. I love black tea, strong, like Earl Grey, Lady Grey, etc. LOL Happy T Day!

Lisca said...

I love green tea, so I found it very interesting to learn more about it. I don't like the tannin, it 'burns' my throat. But I make my great tea very gently and fairly weak.
And what an interesting lady! I love to read about women scientists. When I was at uni (studying Earth Science)I was one of very few. I think we were three women in a group of 50 odd men.
I'm sorry to be late again, but as I've mentioned before, we are not home on a Tuesday and I can't get to my computer.
Happy belated T-Day,

Carola Bartz said...

I have never been a friend of green tea. I sometimes drank it while living in Taiwan, but prefered Oolong. All in all I don't drink much tea (except in the British Isles) as I don't fancy the taste. However, your post is interesting.