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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1438 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Japan

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Page 1 2 3 of 3 pages with 64 results

Picture of Sencha Overture

Sencha Overture from Adagio Teas

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

57 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Aug. 27th, 2013

A very bold sencha that has a full body and pleasant aroma, but is easy to oversteep, and I find is a bit harsh no matter how I prepare it.

Dry leaf is very dark and smells strongly fruity, and has little of the vegetal or seaweedy tones I usually expect from sencha.

Brews a surprisingly bitter cup, but rather cl...

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Picture of Hoji-cha, Roasted Green Tea (Loose)

Hoji-cha, Roasted Green Tea (Loose) from Yamamotoyama

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 28th, 2013

This is a solid loose-leaf hojicha that would be my go-to brand for the dark roast stuff, if it weren't so hard to get my hands on it.

Pretty heavy roast for a hojicha. A good mix of stem and large leaves...brews a very dark color with a strongly roasty aroma...woody/twiggy but without being at all smoky. There's ...

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Picture of Emperor's Genmaicha

Emperor's Genmaicha from Octavia Tea

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Jun. 26th, 2013

Most genmaicha is more or less similar and I often find it hard to judge them. This was not true of this tea--it was completely different, and quickly became my favorite example of this style of tea.

Without a doubt the most aromatic genmaicha that I've ever tried. The base tea has a stronger presence, and more di...

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Picture of Lavender Sencha Green Tea

Lavender Sencha Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: Japan

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 12th, 2013

This one was a bit odd.

The combination of lavender and sencha, oddly produces a smell similar to fruit loops. It's also a smell I associate a bit with soap or shampoo.

I brewed briefly as recommended (1 minute), and the tea was a bit weak for my tastes. I tried steeping 3 minutes, because this brings out more ...

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Picture of Houjicha Green Tea

Houjicha Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 6th, 2013

A twiggy hojicha with a lot of large leaves and quite a lot of stem. Looks like roasted bancha with perhaps a bit of kukicha in the mix (more twig than typical for bancha). Looks very dark in color, but the aroma is not quite as overwhelmingly roasty as some of the dark-roast hojicha I've tried.

Brews a very dark ...

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Picture of Ureshino Tama Ryokucha

Ureshino Tama Ryokucha from Wegmans

Style: Tamaryokucha (Guricha) – Region: Saga, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 29th, 2013

A high-end Japanese green tea, which I found infuses fast and is tricky to steep more than once. The first cup is excellent, but I was a bit let down overall, especially with how tough this one is to brew multiple times.

This tea was so similar to Wegmans' Okumidori Sencha in color and smell (and was the same exact...

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Picture of Sencha/Matcha Green Tea

Sencha/Matcha Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 17th, 2013

A very pleasant and affordable green tea. Strangely potent, given how mild tasting it is.

I tend not to like these matcha-infused teas, preferring either to drink actual matcha or just plain green tea, but this one was better than some of them. I also found that more of the matcha character came out in this tea th...

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Picture of Bancha Green Tea

Bancha Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 11th, 2013

This was a surprisingly good tea, the best broken-leaf bancha I have ever tried. Finely broken leaf looks unimpressive, and has a mild grainy aroma, like porridge or grits.

I brewed considerably longer than Wegmans recommended--their 1-1.5 minute guide seemed on the short side. This produced a mild, smooth cup tha...

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Picture of Okumidori Sencha

Okumidori Sencha from Wegmans

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 15th, 2013

A good sencha that infuses very quickly. In my opinion, much better than Wegman's Tomo Sencha, although pricier.

The dry leaf has a very dark green color and fine texture, and is intensely aromatic: highly vegetal and suggestive of sweetness and umami.

Brews a surprisingly clear and pale cup, especially relative...

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Picture of Genmaimatcha Green Tea

Genmaimatcha Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 13th, 2013

A pleasant, perfectly drinkable tea that is dirt cheap. Although I didn't think it was great, it had few objectionable qualities and I actually think it is a pretty good buy. It seems to have much more toasted rice than tea leaf, and has a bitterness and sourness that I normally don't encounter in either genmaicha or...

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Picture of Matcha Infused Sencha

Matcha Infused Sencha from Aiya

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 12th, 2012

This is a totally different beast, in my opinion, from the matcha-infused Genmaicha from the same company, and was surprisingly different from their premium sencha as well.

Rich, nutty aroma, almost grainy or oatmeal-like. Somewhat dusty finish, but with a hint of floral tones like I have encountered in some pan-fi...

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Picture of Matcha Infused Genmaicha

Matcha Infused Genmaicha from Aiya

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 11th, 2012

The presence of the matcha is boldly evident looking at the dry leaf, but upon brewing, this tea seemed pretty similar to other genmaicha--perhaps a tiny bit more cloudy, but similar flavor and aroma.

Pleasingly nutty and toasty aroma, with a hint of vegetal tones. Flavor is smooth and overall character is mellow.
...

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Picture of Premium Gyokuro

Premium Gyokuro from Aiya

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 6th, 2012

I had the opportunity to sample this and Harney and Sons' Heavenly Gyokuro side-by-side. The two teas are comparable in price, and are both top-notch teas, yet they were remarkably different! It's hard for me to say which one I preferred.

The dry leaf of this tea has an aroma peculiarly reminiscent of an airplane ...

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Picture of Heavenly Gyokuro

Heavenly Gyokuro from Harney and Sons

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Kyoto, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 8th, 2012

I'm no expert on Gyokuro, but I will say that, at least to my tastes, this was a top-notch example of one.

I sampled this at World Tea East, but I found I liked it better when I brewed it myself. Harney recommends 155F and 3 minutes. For one teaspoon, I found I liked the results better with a little hotter water (...

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Picture of Organic Japan Classic Green Tea

Organic Japan Classic Green Tea from Ronnefeldt

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

1 / 100 Aroma: 1/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 3rd, 2011

I want to be diplomatic, but this was pretty terrible, undrinkable, and I poured it out.

Brews a golden cup. Heavily astringent, heavy flavor...like some of the worst Chinese green teas...really not recognizable as a steamed (Japanese) tea, although some toasty tones that resemble some of the lowest-quality bancha ...

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Picture of Premium Sencha

Premium Sencha from Aiya

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 22nd, 2011

This sencha struck me as very typical for the style, and very good.

Flavor is slightly sweet with noticable umami presence, aroma is nutty and somewhat grassy. Less of the seaweedy qualities common in sencha. Pleasing and easy to drink.

Very enjoyable. This is a pricey tea, however. Is it worth it? There are...

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Picture of Sencha

Sencha from Rishi Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 9th, 2011

Among the cloudiest / most opaque sencha's I've seen...bright green in color, even in the second infusion.

Aroma and flavor are actually very similar to kukicha...less of the seaweedy or ocean-like qualities, fairly grassy, and almost twiggy. Also somewhat matcha-like.

This was an interesting change of pace...qu...

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Picture of Genmai-Cha

Genmai-Cha from Takaokaya

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 17th, 2011

Very mild, mellow flavor, but without being bland. This was good quality for a tea bag, and given that the tea bag did not seem to have the most generous quantity of leaf.

The brew is cloudy, as expected for a blend containing matcha, and the aroma is mostly of popcorn. More popcorn-like and less toasty than other...

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Picture of Ban Cha Green Tea

Ban Cha Green Tea from Hime

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan

67 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 2nd, 2011

An inexpensive, fairly finely-broken Bancha that is of surprising quality for its price. I purchased 8 ounces for $4.39. The only downside is that it is a little tricky to brew well. Contains a lot of stem and broken pieces of large leaves.

Very rich aroma and flavor, but light and fresh. Strongly vegetal, but w...

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Picture of Organic Kukicha

Organic Kukicha from Divinitea

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 27th, 2011

Very creamy for this style. Compared to other roasted kukicha (kukicha+hojicha), this has a richer, more full-bodied character, but a milder roast. Aroma has tones of vanilla. Much more oolong-like than any other hojicha I have tried.

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Picture of Bancha

Bancha from McNulty's Tea & Coffee

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 11th, 2011

This tea takes on a very different character depending on how much leaf you use and how you brew it. If you break it more weakly, is light, simple, and eminently pleasing, with a fresh, slightly vegetal aroma, and clean taste. Brewing it stronger, it takes on considerable bitterness and a very astringent aftertaste.
...

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Picture of Tomo Sencha

Tomo Sencha from Wegmans

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 2nd, 2011

Even with a small quantity of leaf, this turned out nice and rich.

Aroma is typical for a sencha: grassy, and somewhat vegetal, with some mild toasty tones. The cup is a rich golden color. There's a fair amount of sweetness, and some pleasant bitterness and astringency. An above-average sencha with a classic char...

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Picture of Kukicha Green Tea

Kukicha Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Kukicha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 18th, 2011

I really love this style of tea, and I think it's hard to go wrong with it. This is not my favorite kukicha, but I like it very much. The dry leaf has a very large proportion of fine powder in it, and proportionately less stem. Accordingly, the cup brews an opaque green color, not bright like Matcha but darker and g...

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Picture of Kocha Japanese Black

Kocha Japanese Black from Far West Trading Company

Style: Black Tea – Region: Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 20th, 2010

There is something very muted and controlled about this tea. It reminds me of a high-grown Ceylon, from Nuwara Eliya, and I would probably believe it if someone labeled it as such. A faint malty aroma is barely present under a light, rice-like quality. Only a faint bitterness in the aftertaste, and very little astri...

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Picture of Sencha Superior

Sencha Superior from Rishi Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 3rd, 2010

Brews a clear golden color, less opaque than most Sencha. Aroma seaweedy and vegetal, and only slightly grassy. Relatively smooth flavor, with a little astringency and bitterness. Overall this is a very typical sencha. Nothing about it stands out.

Rishi's brewing instructions result in a cup that on the weak sid...

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