Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Japan

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Alex Zorach

(1411 reviews)
Picture of

"Ara Cha" Premium Japanese Green Tea from Takaokaya

Style: Aracha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 3rd, 2020

I purchased this at a Cantonese grocery store in Edison, NJ.

I really liked this. It is a high-end Japanese tea, but is unsorted, meaning that it also contains larger pieces of leaf and stem, something that is often missing from the higher-quality teas. As such I find it has a bolder flavor and more complex aroma.
...

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Gray

(39 reviews)
Picture of Shin-cha Super Premium (Tokujo-can) (2020)

Shin-cha Super Premium (Tokujo-can) (2020) from Maeda-en

Style: Shincha – Region: Japan

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
May. 29th, 2020

I was surprised, but also not, about this super premium shincha. You see, I know my tastes and I know that I've loved some "cheap" teas because even though they were inexpensive, they were great teas. I've also had some disappointing experiences with really expensive teas. So, I purchased this with that knowledge somew...

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Picture of GOLD GENMAI-CHA Brown Rice Tea

GOLD GENMAI-CHA Brown Rice Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

55 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
May. 14th, 2020

I really wasn't impressed with this. I was hopeful because the reviews I found elsewhere were good. But, this tea lacks taste and body. There's nothing to it. I even contacted Maeda-en because I thought there might be an issue with the product. It's not what I've come to expect from their brand. Their teas are usually ...

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Sen-cha Fukamushi Green Tea Select from Maeda-en

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 13th, 2020

This is a great, fresh fukamushi-cha. I really enjoyed it. I actually got three cups out of 2tsp of leaves, rather than just two cups (the typical amount for this kind of tea). It's very full-bodied, has the typical cloudiness and rich flavor of fukamushi (which is extra steamed).

I went with a lower temperature bec...

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Picture of Genmai-Cha (Loose-leaf)

Genmai-Cha (Loose-leaf) from Yamamotoyama

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

78 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
May. 7th, 2020

I really like this genmaicha. Aside from tea in Asian restaurants, this is the only genmaicha that I've ever tasted. The kind that I have (I'm not sure if they've changed the recipe or not) has sorghum in addition to rice. It has a great, nutty, roasted flavor. There isn't much caffeine to it. I'm amazed that this tea ...

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Mr Bamsen

(72 reviews)
Picture of Sencha KKH5 (Nr. 207)

Sencha KKH5 (Nr. 207) from Carstensens Tehandel

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 3rd, 2020

Half-litre pot at home. Pours clear pale straw with no sediment. Mild aroma of green tea leaves, with hints of pine. Clean, bitterish flavour of green tea, leaving a slightly rough and astringent palate. Refreshing, well-balanced and evoking memories from my short trip to Japan eight years ago. Not in the cheap end (50...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(266 reviews)
Picture of Organic Sencha Tea

Organic Sencha Tea from Trader Joe's

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

74 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 14th, 2020

Despite having a wide spectrum of experiences with TJ's teas (from excellent to revolting...but mostly good), I somehow thought this would be a cheap knockoff and not very high quality. Somewhat surprisingly, while not the best bagged green I've had (that would be an unbranded tea my daughter brought back from Japan)...

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pocketroid

(1 review)
Picture of Organic Decaf Sencha Green Tea Bag

Organic Decaf Sencha Green Tea Bag from Yamamotoyama

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

50 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 12th, 2020

Standard decaf green tea. I would not distinguish this as a special "sencha" one might look for. I was hoping Yamamotoyama's decaf sencha would taste like sencha, but it just tastes like standard chinese decaf bulk cheap teabag tea. The taste of every decaf green tea I have tried is the same. The process of de-caffeina...

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spaflam

(177 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Sencha (Sachets)

Japanese Sencha (Sachets) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

71 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 23rd, 2020

I had this tea at a local restaurant (in a bag) and got 2 cups out of 1 bag - even though the restaurant offered me a second bag. It had a slight grassy note but also a pleasant roasted flavor vaguely reminiscent of a barley or genmaicha. I really enjoyed this tea - hot - no lemon - no dairy - no sweetener.

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weezywitasneezy

(4 reviews)
Picture of Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

30 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Jan. 21st, 2020

Looks and smells like a proper gyokuro but completely misses on flavor. Very hard to steep, needs a low temp and short time to avoid turning it into an astringent bitter mess. Does not re-steep at all, one and done. Some of the vegetal taste of a gyokuro but like an artificial version, not balanced or rich.

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Trailesque

(82 reviews)
Picture of Organic Ho-ji Cha Kamakura

Organic Ho-ji Cha Kamakura from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Hojicha – Region: Kanagawa, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 30th, 2019

This is a very nice hojicha. It is pleasantly roasty, but there is some complexity (dashes of soy sauce and caramel) and the underlying bancha comes thru well. The aroma is woody and fresh.

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Picture of Ban Cha Green Tea

Ban Cha Green Tea from Hime

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan

65 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 24th, 2019

This came recommended by RT leader Alex as a good budget bancha. And the price was very reasonable, about as little as anyone could expect to pay for a decent tea. It has a pleasant, earthy aroma, but the flavor is a little insipid. I wasn't expecting perfection tho - this is a reliable everyday green tea.

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Brytta Sóþword

(318 reviews)

Matcha Green Tea Powder from Trader Joe's

Style: Matcha – Region: Japan

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 18th, 2019

This is pretty good matcha. Though I don’t normally like extra packing, the single serving sizes kept me from using excessive tea powder. The tea didn’t taste weak.

I am not particularly skilled at making matcha. I liked this one best with a little preheated milk and a little honey.

On the plus side, my two y...

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LA PROVANCE

(1 review)
Picture of Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Top Leaf™ Green Tea from Mellow Monk

Style: Sencha – Region: Kumamoto, Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 17th, 2019

A remarkably long finish for a tea
without astringency. very nice color fishy note flavor.
perfect cup for green tea lovers.

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Brytta Sóþword

(318 reviews)
Picture of Organic Sencha Tea

Organic Sencha Tea from Trader Joe's

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 11th, 2019

This tea is not bad but it isn’t overwhelming. I generally prefer loose leaf anyway, as a cup of bagged tea often isn’t as strong as I like. It’s fairly easy to avoid bitterness in this tea, but it’s still good not to brew the tea too hot or too long — as is generally true for green teas. Not bad as a potenti...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(266 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Matcha + Green Tea

Japanese Matcha + Green Tea from Matcha Love

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

76 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 3rd, 2019

The bold print on the box says "matcha + green tea". The smaller print—green tea blend with matcha—is more correct. Each of the triangular clear sachets (not "tea bags" as we know them in paper form) contains a reasonable amount of finely chopped green tea leaves and just a pinch of matcha powder. Don't forget t...

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Difflugia

(148 reviews)
Picture of Oi Ocha Koiaji Dark Green Tea

Oi Ocha Koiaji Dark Green Tea from ITO EN

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

76 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 21st, 2019

The dry tea is tiny, broken pieces, almost like fannings. I assume it's a lower grade, "everyday" tea. I use a metal tea ball with a tight mesh to brew loose tea and there's a ton of sediment at the bottom of my cup, which is distracting and a bit off-putting.

Brewing, the tea smells like seaweed with underripe appl...

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Brytta Sóþword

(318 reviews)
Picture of Green Tea Sushi Bar Style (Konacha) (20 ct.)

Green Tea Sushi Bar Style (Konacha) (20 ct.) from Yamamotoyama

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

59 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 24th, 2019

I picked up this tea at a grocery store on a whim. The tea bags appear filled with dust. There is much better tea out there, but this is drinkable if nothing else is available. I may have to bring this to work to share with folks who might like it more. :-)

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Difflugia

(148 reviews)
Picture of Oi Ocha Green Tea with Wakame Wakakuki

Oi Ocha Green Tea with Wakame Wakakuki from ITO EN

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

84 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 7th, 2019

I ended up overnight in the Detroit suburbs for work and found this tea in a Japanese grocery store.

The dry leaves are broken up into much smaller pieces than the Japanese senchas that I'm used to. It's very pungent, though, smelling of cut hay and alfalfa.

Adding the water releases just a ton of aroma. The colo...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(266 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Sencha (Sachets)

Japanese Sencha (Sachets) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 28th, 2019

A colleague left this on the "freebie" table at work, so naturally I indulged some. One of the best green teas I've had so far, this offering competes well with a couple of bagged generic (unbranded) green-tea specimens containing a little matcha powder that my daughter brought back from her honeymoon in Japan.

D...

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Difflugia

(148 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Green Tea

Japanese Green Tea from Kirkland Signature / Costco

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

65 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 9th, 2019

As the other reviewers mentioned, ignore the directions. I prepared the tea using 8 ounces of 175°F water for four minutes (which is a bit longer than is generally suggested for green teas, but I find I like it that way).

The tea in the square, nylon bag is chopped, but not as finely as most bagged tea and is mixed...

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Alex Zorach

(1411 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Matcha Gen-mai Cha Premium Organic

Japanese Matcha Gen-mai Cha Premium Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

76 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 13th, 2018

An enjoyable, but not super interesting tea that struck me as a little pricey. One of my favorite genmaichas yet. Thank you to Upton, for throwing this in as a free sample with my order!

Dry leaf looks a dusty bright yellow color, much more yellowish than most Matcha. Aroma is very mild, mostly of the toasted rice.
...

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Gray

(39 reviews)
Picture of Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

30 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

I'd really like to say something positive about this tea, but it's really just not good. I gave it several chances. I brewed it first using the method that worked reliably with the Maeda-en gyokuro, but it was bitter and made me extremely jittery. I tried converting the annoying, proprietary "perfect spoonful" measurem...

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Picture of Gyokuro Reserve Green Tea

Gyokuro Reserve Green Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

This and the Maeda-en Gyokuro Grower's Select go hand-in-hand. This is the sweet one of the two while the Select is more savory/umami. Both brew well very consistently (which is great, considering that gyokuro is an expensive tea and not something you'd want to waste).

I had good results with the following brewing m...

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Picture of Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea

Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

This and the Maeda-en Gyokuro Grower's Reserve go hand-in-hand, because one is more savory and the other is more sweet. One of my favorite things about both of these is that they brew well very consistently (which is great, considering that gyokuro is an expensive tea and not something you'd want to waste).

I had go...

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