Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Japanese school kids get free green tea

Students at an elementary school in Japan now can drink all the natural, unsweetened, freshly brewed green tea they want, thanks to a new cold-tea dispenser officially unveiled on January 23.


Installed at Tsuruta Elementary School No. 1 in Tsuruta City, Shizuoka Prefecture, the dispenser brews a fresh, hot infusion each morning from locally grown tea. The tea is then chilled and stored in a 50-gallon tank. The tea is dispensed through an ordinary faucet, so all the kids have to do is turn the handle to get a cup of fresh, healthy green tea.


Safety concerns are, I assume, what compelled school administrators to opt for chilled tea instead of the piping-hot variety. However, since the tea is brewed fresh on site every morning, it's rich in EGCG and other catechins, which begin to break down within hours of brewing.


This model of tea brewer/chiller/dispenser was first installed in Uji City, in Kyoto, but this marks the first purchase by a local government.


(The original article, published in Japanese at Shizuokaonline.com, is no longer available online, although the photo below still is. [Whoops, make that was. It's gone as of 2/12.])



Elementary students line up for fresh, cold, free green tea.


—Mellow Monk


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