Tea for A Cold

      It happens to all of us. We get sick one way or another. Of course, some diseases are far more serious than others. I recently got a cold and suffered for a few days. You know the deal: runny nose, lethargy, coughing. No good.

      Fortunately or unfortunately, my tea drinking habit was unimpeded. I actually like to drink tea when I get a cold as a hot cup of tea can feel amazing after a nightly adventure of waking up to cough, sneeze, use the bathroom, etc. Sitting in silence by myself in the morning, have some tea, and going into prayer/meditation is a routine I hope nothing interrupts, especially not sickness.

      My morning tea didn’t change despite being sick. I usually go for a thick cup of shou/shu pu’erh. Shou pu’erh is a tea that is purposely fermented, resulting in an earth, dark cup that is slightly viscous. At Den’s Tea, we actually carry a Japanese fermented tea, something that I think is quite rare in the Japanese tea scene. It is called our Mori-machi Dark Tea.

Shou/Shu Pu’er, a fermented tea from Yunnan, China.
The Mori-machi Dark Tea, made in Mori-machi, Shizuoka

      The Mori-machi is fermented not only with water but with kuro koji bacteria. This is the same bacteria used to make sake. Note: this tea does not contain alcohol. It does, however, brew a Fall-colored cup and delivers a light scent of yeasty bread. It has a similar flavor to this as well, though I find it also has a slight salty taste that finishes slightly sour going to sweet. I find it can be pretty sooth on the stomach as well.

      Another favorite of mine to drink when I am sick is our line of fukamushi sencha. I have a penchant for the FS Chiran though the others can deliver a clean, refreshing cup as well.

Behold, the Fukamushi-sencha Chiran

Fukamushi sencha is interesting; it, as the name suggests, undergoes a longer steaming which makes the resulting leaves more coarse. When you make a cup of FS, you end up with something that is a bit cloudier and that has more umami than regular sencha. Also, because you are ingesting more leaf material you are also ingesting more catechins and vitamins from the tea plant which I think might be able to help us recover faster.

      All this being said, you might want to consult your health care professional before consuming tea as it does contain caffeine. I was just reflecting on the teas that I like to drink when I get a cold or something like this as I think it helps me but this really is just my opinion. Still, I hope it helps you in some way.

Be well,