How to culture paramecia: a very simple method using KIRIN Namacha(キリン生茶)

We previously described a method of paramecium culture that we use in our lab: “Calcium Imaging of Neuronal Activity in Free-Swimming Larval Zebrafish” (in Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1451:333-41. Springer).

(Authors’ manuscript in PDF)


Recently, I have heard about a much simpler method using a commercially available beverage, KIRIN Namacha (green tea), in Japan. Green tea is a non-fermented tea. What is unique about KIRIN Namacha is that, according to the KIRIN website, this product contains pulverized tea leaf micro-powders, which gives the name Nama (“raw”)-cha (tea).


Protocol for paramecium culture described in a blog


  1. 「KIRIN生茶」の三倍溶液を作ります。水はカルキ抜きした水を使用。Dilute KIRIN Namacha to 1/3 concentration in dechlorinated tap water.
  2. この溶液の中に「種ゾウリムシ」をペットボトルのキャップ1杯程度入れます。Put one cap of  “seed” paramecium culture into the diluted Namacha.
  3. キャップは乗せるだけでいいです、閉めこまない様にして下さい・・・注:後は毎日ペットボトルを振るだけでいいです。Put the cap on the bottle (do not close). Shake the bottle every day.
  4. 置き場ですが20℃くらいが一番増える様です。Keep the bottle at 20 degree Celsius.
  5. 4~5日でゾウリムシがペットボトル一杯になります The paramecium will grow to full in the PET bottle in 4 to 5 days.

Use of KIRIN Namacha in paramecium culture seems to be recognized in Japan. I found another report by high-school students. In this study, they compared Namacha (Japanese green tea) with others: Mugicha (Japanese barley tea), Oolong tea, black tea, coffee, NaCl solution, sucrose solution, and distilled water. Namacha was found to be the best for both growth rate and the maximal number reached.