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.