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Producers near Tokyo giving green tea powder to schools, day cares in bid to curb virus

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mainichi– An association of green tea producers and sellers in this city northwest of Tokyo has created green tea powder and is giving it to schools, day-care centers and other facilities in a bid to curb the coronavirus.

In the belief that catechin, a substance contained in green tea, curbs viruses, the group made half a million packs of powdered Sayama tea. Each pack contains 4 grams and can be mixed with water to be drunk or gargled with.

As the production and sale of green tea in the city have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the association started the initiative in a bid to promote Sayama tea and expand its consumption. Five companies used leaves provided by 14 producers to make the tea powder.

The group has provided a total of 24,750 sets of tea powder — each containing 10 packs — to facilities such as elementary schools, junior high schools, day-care centers and museums in the city. It also plans to distribute the product to high schools, kindergartens and clubs for older adults in the city.

Fujisawa Daini Hoikusho day-care center was provided with the tea packs in December last year and nearly 80 children aged 3 and over mix it with warm water to gargle with after coming into the building from outside. Some children commented, “It smells like matcha tea” and “It tasted bitter, but it gave me energy.”

(Japanese original by Takashi Seido, Tokorozawa Local Bureau)