Reviews of Green Tea from Japan

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E. Alex Gerster

(66 reviews)
Picture of Kyobancha

Kyobancha from Obubu Tea

Style: Kyobancha – Region: Kyoto, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 9th, 2013

Roasting the bancha leaves produces a tea that combines the best of hojicha and bancha together in one brew. The light grassy flavors are enhanced by the light smokiness, and the astringency is cut to a minimum. The sample I had of this was used up quickly as I tried brewing it both hot and cold the same day, and both ...

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Picture of Bancha Suruga

Bancha Suruga from Den's Tea

Style: Bancha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 9th, 2013

This is truly an "upgraded" Bancha, picked just after first flush from the larger, thicker base of the leaves. More astringent than sencha, but well balanced in flavor and aroma. I love the grassy flavor and feel it leaves in your mouth.

Den's Bancha Suruga is wonderfully refreshing when brewed as per their instruct...

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Alex Zorach

(1412 reviews)
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 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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Kelsey

(142 reviews)
Picture of Ureshino Tama Ryokucha

Ureshino Tama Ryokucha from Wegmans

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

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
May. 25th, 2013

I haven't had much Guricha so I can't compare this tea -- overall I thought it was good.

I liked this tea warm -- it was smooth and had a subtle flavor.

My only qualm was that it tasted a little burnt and strong when it got cold -- blech! I wouldn't recommend this for an iced tea.

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Alex Zorach

(1412 reviews)
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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GDG

(5 reviews)
Picture of Houjicha Green Tea

Houjicha Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

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

I've never had Houjicha before, so I don't have a baseline to compare to. But, I really enjoyed this tea. A mild, smokey sweet flavor unlike any other style of green tea.

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Alex Zorach

(1412 reviews)
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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Kelsey

(142 reviews)
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: 4/5
Apr. 10th, 2013

I was craving coffee the day that I had it and felt like it was a suitable replacement! It smelled and tasted roasted, and I felt like it was a little thicker than your average tea - especially surprising for a green. Overall I really enjoyed this tea and would have it again, especially if coffee is not in sight!

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Sylvia

(214 reviews)
Picture of Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.)

Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.) from Yamamotoyama

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 26th, 2013

This tea is good. I'm surprised, because I usually feel indifferent about hojicha, but this tea tastes less green than usual, and it has a rich, crisp flavor. I added cream and sugar.

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Alex Zorach

(1412 reviews)
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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Emily

(10 reviews)
Picture of Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.)

Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.) from Yamamotoyama

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 14th, 2013

This was my first time trying roasted green tea. It is definitely a unique aroma and flavor. It is smokey and rich, crisp and savory. It reminded me a bit of coffee.

This is the kind of tea I would like to come home to on a cold winter day. I will be back for more!

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homais

(21 reviews)
Picture of Liquid Jade Matcha

Liquid Jade Matcha from The Tao of Tea

Style: Matcha – Region: Kyoto, Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 6th, 2013

I'm not amazingly experienced with Matcha, but I usually find them to have some combination of sweet, bitter, buttery, and seaweed flavors. The best matchas I've had have kept these taste characteristics in balance, though I have a fondness for when the bitter and the butter tastes pop out a bit more strongly than 'bal...

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Sylvia

(214 reviews)
Picture of Houjicha Roasted Green Tea

Houjicha Roasted Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 6th, 2013

This tea is pretty good. I don't usually like this kind of tea a lot, but it has an interesting, somewhat pleasant flavor. I added cream and sugar.

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homais

(21 reviews)
Picture of Premium Gyokuro

Premium Gyokuro from Aiya

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 10th, 2013

As a matter of preference, I should say that my 'ideal' Gyokuro tastes strongly umami, a bit sweet, and grassy/vegetal on the finish. I was able to get Aiya's Gyukuro to display something like this flavor profile - along with a pleasantly sharp, matcha-like aroma - when I brewed a relatively heaping teaspoon of it for ...

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Picture of Matcha Infused Sencha

Matcha Infused Sencha from Aiya

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 8th, 2013

I played around with the brewing times on this one a bit, and find that I like it best a little 'overbrewed'. The website says to steep it at 176F for about a minute and a half, but that made it come out a little bland by my standards. Doubling the time to three minutes produced a bracing, umami type flavor I really li...

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Sylvia

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

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

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 8th, 2013

This tea is pretty good. It has a nice roasty flavor. I added cream and sugar.

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Procrasthenese

(12 reviews)
Picture of Organic Japanese Sencha

Organic Japanese Sencha from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

40 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 20th, 2012

This is by far the oddest sencha I have tried. It completely lacked the fresh, herbal, almost "oceany" seaweed taste of an authentic sencha. It contained a stale off note that is hard to describe yet ruined the experience completely.

I cannot help wondering if something awful happened to this tea on its way to th...

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Alex Zorach

(1412 reviews)
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 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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ogunshe

(2 reviews)
Picture of Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea

Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea from Teavana

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

93 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 24th, 2012

one of the best teas Teavana offers. Healthy for its high chlorophyll and antioxidants. Delicious and stands up to multiple steepings with great flavor. Brews a light yellow green at 140 for 45 seconds to 1 minute

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Andreas

(6 reviews)
Picture of Matcha Japanese Green Tea (Imperial Grade Matcha)

Matcha Japanese Green Tea (Imperial Grade Matcha) from Teavana

Style: Matcha – Region: Japan

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 27th, 2012

my first matcha, used metal whisk after sifting into nice big and wide teacup, whisked vigorously. matcha is very bright green. thick. lots of chi, wife says i'm running my mouth. enjoyed drink and ceremony.

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Amanda

(338 reviews)
Picture of Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.)

Roasted Tea Hoji-cha (16 ct.) from Yamamotoyama

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 23rd, 2012

The aroma of the tea vaguely reminds me of a lower grade Oolong and is very pleasant. It is not an overpowering aroma and has a tendency to fade pretty quickly.

The taste is great, Hoji-cha might be my favorite tea from Yamamotoyama Teas. The subtle smokiness with the rich taste of green is an excellent blend of fla...

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tcspears

(3 reviews)
Picture of Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea

Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea from Teavana

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 18th, 2012

This is one of my favorite teas, it's good any time of year. Gyokura Imperial (to me) epitomizes what you want from a Japanese green tea; it's dark, complex, has a hint of seaweed, but somehow manages to be light and airy at the same time. As the other reviewer mentioned, the aroma is fresh cut grass mixed with a hin...

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