Home reviews Ancient Wisdom in a Bottle: Sokenbicha Tea

Ancient Wisdom in a Bottle: Sokenbicha Tea

written by Head Health Nutter October 21, 2010

There just might be something to the Chinese Five Elements Theory we explored a few week’s ago in our Staying Healthy in Autumn post series. Introducing Sokenbicha, a “teavolution” based on ancient Japanese healing traditions for those who seek balance!

Do you typically make your own iced tea because you can’t stand the sugar-ladened alternatives sold in stores? If you’re like me, you’ll brew a healthy herbal or green tea from our own cupboard, maybe add some natural sweetener, let it cool and throw some ice in the glass to enjoy.

Although it’s healthy and tasty, what a pain! But now, (Americans, so far) have options.

This month Coca-Cola launched a bottled beverage made specifically for health nuts who love the earthy taste of a refreshing, natural and healthy glass of chilled tea. Imported from Japan and sold in Whole Food stores across America, Sokenbicha (“SO-can-BEE-cha”) is perfect for those open to alternative therapies and looking for convenient, natural substitutes.

From the brochure I received with my sample package (in exchange for an honest review):

The Five Elements Theory is a holistic philosophy and view of the universe handed down from ancient China.

The traditional Japanese Five Elements Theory inherited the essence of the Chinese Five Elements Theory and classifies relationships and changes in the natural world into five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each element is interrelated with the others. The Five Elements Theory reflects the complex correlations between the human body and the natural environment. Ancient Japanese believed that only the proper balance between all elements could result in health and well-being.

According to the Five Elements Theory, the blends of teas and botanicals in Sokenbicha are believed to balance the body by balancing the elements within.

The plot thickens even more when you find out about Kampo, the traditional herbal approach to health and wellness. It’s where the recipes for the 5 different botanical mixes of the Sokenbicha teas were created. Read more about Kampo here on the Sokenbicha site.

The 5 Sokenbicha Teas

Each Sokenbicha tea has it’s own unique flavour and while I enjoyed all of them for different reasons, what won me over was they tasted so natural compared to other iced teas on the market. Here they are:

  1. Revive: a crisp oolong tea blend infused with pomegranate and raspberry notes, black tea and rose hips
  2. Defend: a mild oolong tea blend with guava leaves and ginseng,
  3. Purify: an aromatic green tea blend with chamomile and aloe
  4. Shape: a bold barley tea blend with peach flower notes, pu’er and green teas
  5. Skin: a full-bodied barley tea blend with cinnamon and ginger

Sweet tea lovers will be drawn to Revive while traditional Chinese oolong tea fans will like Defend. Green tea drinkers will enjoy Purify and adventure seekers will likely appreciate the bold Japanese-style barley teas Shape and Skin.

About the U.S. Launch of Sokenbicha

Sokenbicha™, Japan’s leading blended tea brand, will debut in the U.S. on Whole Foods Market shelves nationwide October, 2010. The authentically brewed teas are unsweetened, contain zero calories and combine the refreshment of water with the flavor and goodness of tea blends and natural botanicals.

The beverages will make their first appearance in the U.S. this week as an official sponsor of the new exhibition Japan Fashion Now at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.  Fashion enthusiasts will preview the beverages at a reception celebrating the opening of the exhibition, weeks before the product hits shelves.

Sokenbicha’s™ brand heritage is inspired by the teachings of Kampo, a traditional Japanese herbal approach to health and wellness dating back more than 1500 years. The product is endorsed and formulated in partnership with Nihondo, Japan’s largest Kampo boutique.

The beverages will be introduced in 15.2 fluid ounce bottles made from PlantBottleTM packaging – a PET plastic that features up to 30 percent plant based material. 100 percent recyclable, the bottles are made through a process that turns sugar cane and molasses into PET plastic. Sokenbicha™ has zero grams of sugar and zero calories and includes no added preservatives or artificial flavors.

Hook up with Sokenbicha on Twitter and Facebook.

Sokenbicha is a spectacular product and I’m happy it’s made its way to America. I look forward to the day I can purchase it here in Canada (hint, hint, Coca-Cola)! Oh, and stay tuned for a Sokenbicha contest giveaway here on Live Lighter in a few weeks!

Do you think teas have the power to help us achieve a healthy balance? Do you think a commercial iced tea has the same potential?

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Grace Cherian November 11, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Hey Steph, this is fascinating. The Five Elements Theory reminds me of the ancient philosophy of feng shui.

Feng shui says that the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) must be balance in every room of your home to create productive cycles.

Head Health Nutter November 12, 2010 at 8:57 am

Hey Grace, I agree!

The Five Elements Theory IS fascinating and it’s used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, still practiced today by many natural health practitioners: http://livelighter.org/what-is-traditional-chinese-medicine/

And you’re comment is very timely, I’m planning several future posts, “What is Chi?” and “What is Feng Shui?”

Staying Healthy in Winter - Slim.Fast December 24, 2010 at 6:28 am

[…] For new readers, we’ve talked about this ancient Chinese medical theory before in previous posts. Catchup or remind yourself by reading Staying Healthy in Autumn and Ancient Wisdom in a Bottle: Sokenbicha Tea. […]

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Ra Ma March 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

It’s a great concept but they need to keep working on the taste. My healthy minded father and I, who’ve tried many natural formulas, powders and juices of one sort or another, couldn’t finish one bottle between the two of us. Try, try again.

Head Health Nutter March 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Ra Ma.


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