Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO Teatis Tea
Wellness

A Medicinal Tea from the Sea

Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO, founder, and blender at Japan-based Teatis Tea is exploring, with his team of food scientists and doctors, tea formulations to assist diabetics and pre-diabetics control their blood-sugar levels.


Tea has an ancient history of medicinal applications, many of which have been validated by scientific research. The same is true of seaweed which contains antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E) as well as trace minerals and protective pigments. Joining us from Tokyo for this week’s podcast is Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO, founder, and blender at Japan-based Teatis Tea. Takatoh is exploring, with his team of food scientists and doctors, tea formulations to assist diabetics and pre-diabetics control their blood-sugar levels.

Listen to the interview

Teatis Tea Founder and CEO Hiroshi Takatoh explains the health benefits of blending tea with brown seaweed

Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO Teatis Tea
Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO Teatis Tea

Matcha and Powdered Seaweed Tea Aids Diabetics

After acting as caretaker during his ex-wife’s battle with cancer, tech industry veteran Hiroshi Takatoh recognized the need for easy-to-make, nutritious foods that were suitable for the dietary requirements of medically fragile consumers. He then consulted with a wide array of doctors and food scientists for innovation within the condition-specific food and beverage space and discovered that diabetes was a challenge he could tackle in his latest business venture. The company has received $1 million in seed capital.

Dan Bolton: Your two new powdered teas “CALM” and “AWAKE” are condition-specific blends formulated for diabetics and pre-diabetics with high blood sugar levels. Why did you focus on diabetes?

Hiroshi Takatoh: There’s a huge population to diagnose in diabetes, and many who suffer lack the time to manage their diet. So we wanted to provide a fast way for them to control blood sugar levels.

There are more than 400 million people with diabetes globally with 122 million people in the US diagnosed with diabetes and pre-diabetes. That is a very huge problem. Many lack the time and cooking skills to effectively manage their health. I think consumers with Type 2 Diabetes lose an average of two and a half hours a day. We want to solve this problem by providing the fastest way to manage nutrition without any cooking skills.

Seaweed is harvested in large quantities in Japan for use in food and for its medicinal properties.

To further support consumers with diabetes, every Teatis purchase contributes to our “Diabetes Advocate Tax,” which is donated to Insulin for Life USA, a non-profit that provides disease management supplies free of charge to diabetic patients worldwide.

Dan: The “Calm” blend is a mix of traditional herbals, such as turmeric and ginger. “Awake” contains matcha and powdered peppermint. Tell us a little bit more about the health benefits of brown algae (Eisenia bicyclis) and the interaction of tea and turmeric with the seaweed.

Hiroshi: Both Teatis powdered teas utilize the power of seaweed extract (Arame) that is proven to suppress the absorption of sugar from the intestinal tract and moderates blood sugar levels. Seaweed polyphenols show clinical evidence of inhibiting digestive enzymes from digesting food into glucose. Through a proprietary manufacturing process, Teatis is able to harness those nutritional benefits of seaweed, without passing along the flavor or aroma, and blend the seaweed seamlessly into matcha and turmeric powders.

The two flavors are both good either hot or cold in the summertime. I love this kind of taste and definitely recommend it. The best way to use these is to put our tea in some skim or plant-based milk. Use one teaspoon per cup. That is the simple way to use our product. Some customers using our turmeric blend add it to their soup, others use Teatis to make green smoothies. So maybe this way is more fit for the matcha flavor.

Dan: You’re making the point that its convenience and versatility encourage people to drink these tea blends in soups or smoothies or in a warm plant-milk-based latte.

Hiroshi: The most important thing is that it is easy to drink. I want customers to enjoy their wonderful tea time and take just a tiny step toward prevention. So please enjoy.

Many people like to add milk or milk alternatives to create a special at-home latte. Some add the matcha-flavored powder to smoothies and include the ginger-turmeric blend in soups. The powdered teas are accessible to cooks at any skill level and versatile, allowing diabetics and low-sugar dieters to be creative and craft beverages to their preference while managing their health.

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Editor | Publisher | Podcaster | Consultant | Journalist Dan is the founder of Tea Journey Magazine, the Tea Biz Podcast and Blog, and a contributing editor at STiR coffee and tea. He is the former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine, former editor and publisher of World Tea News, and former editor-in-chief at Specialty Coffee Retailer, then headquartered in San Francisco. Dan has traveled the tea lands, speaking on retail beverage trends in Canada and the United States and at conferences in Europe, China, India, Australia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa.