Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Japan

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Brytta Sóþword

(315 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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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

(217 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

(128 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

(315 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

(128 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

(217 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

(128 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

(1400 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

(13 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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Difflugia

(128 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Green Tea

Japanese Green Tea from Wei-Chuan

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

35 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 7th, 2018

Wei-Chuan has several different tiers of tea and this one is on the low end.

The tea bag smells very faintly of hay. Adding the water doesn't really bring out any extra aroma. The flavor's almost as weak as the tea smells. While hot, the flavor is practically nonexistent. When it cools down, a little flavor appears ...

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Alex

(45 reviews)
Picture of Matcha Green Tea Traditional

Matcha Green Tea Traditional from ITO EN

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

84 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 12th, 2018

This is my sushi tea. It complements the flavor of nori well, and it's quick to brew and clean up because it's a teabag. Despite the name, this mostly tastes like sencha. It has a creamy, seaweedy, umami flavor. There is a very slight bitterness, which sencha always seems to have and I actually like in the same way tha...

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Picture of Seikoen Tea Factory Aged Yukimuro Sencha

Seikoen Tea Factory Aged Yukimuro Sencha from Yunomi

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 22nd, 2018

I don't have a lot of experience with brewing Japanese green tea, so I probably didn't brew this as well as it deserved. I brewed it in my gaiwan, figuring that shouldn't be too much different from brewing it in a shiboridashi. I ended up with a lot of small pieces of tea in my cup because I didn't have any kind of fil...

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Picture of Japanese Sencha (Sachets)

Japanese Sencha (Sachets) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

75 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 30th, 2018

Surprisingly good for a tea bag. I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately (which reminds me that I have a couple reviews to add), but with all the terrible tea bags out there, it's still a surprise when a bagged tea taste much like the loose leaf version.

I'm not going to describe this in detail for two reaso...

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Teuvo

(63 reviews)
Picture of Kokeicha (g)

Kokeicha (g) from De Theefabriek

Style: Kokeicha – Region: Japan

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 3rd, 2018

I have no idea if I'm doing this right; I may update my review if there are any developments.

The loose tea is visually very interesting. Small dark green "sprinkles" that I believe I'm supposed to put directly into the cup and add hot water. They partly dissolve, making the liquid a lovely murky swamp green.
I am ...

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Alex Zorach

(1400 reviews)
Picture of Green Tea (Ato-bi process)

Green Tea (Ato-bi process) from ITO EN

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

79 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
May. 23rd, 2018

This was quite a discovery. I purchased this at a Chinese market in Edison, NJ. I was surprised to see a Japanese tea for sale, but I grabbed it because I saw D. Gray had reviewed it and was eager to try it. I wasn't disappointed!

The dry leaf is a rich, yellow-green color, and pleasantly aromatic, smelling sweet an...

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Alex

(45 reviews)
Picture of Matcha iri Genmaicha

Matcha iri Genmaicha from Harney and Sons

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

78 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 14th, 2018

I should really stop posting first impressions. I often end up rewriting the whole review. This tea took some time to get used to. I disliked the toasted rice at first and wished it was just bancha and matcha, but then I realized that it's the combination of everything that makes this tea work: the bancha provides a ni...

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Infra

(6 reviews)
Picture of Sencha Scent of Mountains

Sencha Scent of Mountains from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

75 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
May. 14th, 2018

Sencha Scent of Mountains is a very aptly named tea. It has the most wonderful aroma of any tea I've ever had (beyond Lapsang Souchong) and it truly is an amazing sencha.

The scent can be described as vaguely forest-y with the rich buttery background of a proper sencha. It's quite difficult to describe, but it is tr...

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Trailesque

(62 reviews)
Picture of Gen-mai Cha

Gen-mai Cha from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

65 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 16th, 2018

It is sencha with toasted brown rice - I wonder who thought that up? This provides a little heft and cracker-like flavor to this green tea. I'm rating it in 2018, but I liked it a little more in some prior years.

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Picture of Bancha First Grade Organic

Bancha First Grade Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan

65 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 13th, 2018

I have purchased this a number of times, and the quality varies from year to year. This 2018 batch is not the best, but it is still a pleasant green tea, with a light vegetal flavor. The price has steadily increased over the years.

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Alex Zorach

(1400 reviews)
Picture of Hojicha

Hojicha from Harney and Sons

Style: Hojicha – Region: Kyoto, Japan

89 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 26th, 2018

An excellent roasted twig tea, crisp flavor and complex aroma! Probably my favorite roasted twig tea (i.e. not roasted leaf tea) that I have ever had.

I tend to always like hojicha, but this was one of the more interesting batches I've tried in a while.

This one is a roasted kukicha (twig tea) and the roast look...

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水 ShuǐTea 水

(1 review)
Picture of Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea

Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea from Teavana

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 4th, 2018

Very vegetal, high caffeine/theanine concentration, good to wake-up or get focused and concentrate. One of my favorite!

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sjs

(4 reviews)
Picture of Gen-mai Cha

Gen-mai Cha from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 1st, 2018

A good example of this style of tea. Dry leaf’s aroma is a little weaker than the brewed tea, but it has good, toasty flavor and a round, smooth mouthfeel. Does tend to become a little astringent if brewed for too long — I set my timer for 2:45 so I can be sure I get my infuser out before three minutes.

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