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Umami Taste

 We often say that green tea has umami aftertaste, but what does that mean?

 


Umami was discovered more than 110 years ago by a scientist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda in Japan. 


It was identified as the 5th flavor after sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Unlike other tastes, it lasts longer, spreads all over the tongue and provides a mouthwatering sensation. Umami taste is attributed to glutamat. 


We can found it not only in Japanese cuisine, but in our everyday products: broccoli, green tea, tomato, onion, cheese, green asparagus, salmon etc
Umami compounds are typically found in high-protein foods, providing filling aftertaste, and may aid weight loss by curbing our appetite.


Green tea is a highly healthy beverage, containing 220–670 mg of glutamate per 100 grams, which is why it has a unique sweet, bitter, and umami taste. It’s also high in theanine — which has a similar structure to glutamate and can raise its umami compound levels, while green tea bitterness comes from catechins and tannins.

 

Strength of umami differs from tea to tea.

Superior Gyokuro Green tea contains the highest amount of both theanine and glutamate, like: 2.5g of theanine and 0.45g of glutamate for every 100g. Roasted Hojicha Green tea contains 0.02g of glutamate and theanine per every 100g. 

Both these tea sorts are considered with the highest level of amino acids among all Green teas that makes the flavor sweet, bit astringent, depending on the blend.

Studies suggest that umami not only influences flavor and aroma but also  improves metabolism and quality of the diet, by reducing the feeling of hunger.