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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1284 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Japan

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Page 1 2 3 of 3 pages with 58 results

Picture of Bancha

Bancha from Harney and Sons

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 29th, 2017

This may be the best bancha I've ever tried. It's better than a number of lower-end sencha's I've bought in the U.S.

The dry leaf is green for bancha and has the most delightful aroma, the best yet of any bancha I've tried. It smells a lot like coffee cake, a sort of sweet, baked good smell with hints of cinnamon,...

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Picture of Kagoshima (Kagoshima Sencha)

Kagoshima (Kagoshima Sencha) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

I usually think of tea as being more about the aroma than the flavor, but this tea was intensely flavorful, and I thought its flavor was what made it most interesting and enjoyable.

This tea was very similar overall to the Organic Sencha also sold by Harney & Sons. The main difference I noticed initially was that t...

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Picture of Organic Sencha

Organic Sencha from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 29th, 2016

This was one of the best senchas I've had from a tea company that is not a Japanese company.

It smells amazing! The dry leaf is incredibly aromatic, and the aroma is rich, sweet, and very interesting. It has sweet vegetal notes which quickly develop into a warm, mellow, nutty, and slightly toasty aroma, hinting at ...

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Picture of Japanese Sencha (Sachets)

Japanese Sencha (Sachets) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 20th, 2015

An exceptional sencha from a tea bag; without a doubt the best sencha I've ever tried from a tea bag, and better than a lot of examples of loose-leaf tea.

The dry tea bag has a very fresh and pleasing aroma, like loose-leaf sencha of very good quality, suggesting sweetness.

Brews a very light-colored cup with a b...

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Picture of TJ58: Japanese Oolong Organic

TJ58: Japanese Oolong Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Japan

53 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 9th, 2015

This is the first oolong tea I've ever tried from Japan, one of a few Japanese teas other than green teas that I've ever sampled. It has a classic oolong character, but I was disappointed, it just doesn't seem all that good.

The aroma of the dry leaf is pleasantly nutty, with light notes of roast. The dry leaf look...

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Picture of Sencha Kagoshima

Sencha Kagoshima from Octavia Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 21st, 2014

This sencha has large pieces of intact leaf, and looks and smells like a very typical sencha.

Brews up a yellow-green cup, so vibrant in color that it looks almost like it is glowing.

The aroma is spinachy and seaweedy, and the flavor is strongly umami, slightly sweet, and slightly bitter. There's a hint of corn...

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Picture of Roasted Hojicha

Roasted Hojicha from Octavia Tea

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 19th, 2014

An unusually smooth hojicha, not the strongest aroma, I thought on the weak side.

The dry leaf (which is a mix of stem and leaf) looks fairly roasted, but the aroma only has a light amount of roast. Instead, there are some interesting fruity notes, as well as some of the vegetal and grain-like qualities I associate...

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Picture of Sencha (Sen-cha), Loose-leaf

Sencha (Sen-cha), Loose-leaf from Yamamotoyama

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 2nd, 2014

Thanks to Brytta Sopword for the sample!

A low-grade sencha that is remarkably enjoyable for what it is.

Flavor is bold, a pleasant bitterness (easily becoming too much if oversteeped), and slight sweet, sour, and savory qualities. Aroma toasty, with a strong warming quality, but also with vegetal notes and fain...

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Picture of Genmai-Cha (Loose-leaf)

Genmai-Cha (Loose-leaf) from Yamamotoyama

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 26th, 2014

A good genmaicha for a low price, a great everyday tea. Dry leaf has a lot of popped rice kernels in the mix, and has a mild, pleasingly toasty aroma.

Brews up a full-bodied cup with a bold flavor, with a light bitterness, light savory (umami) presence, and slight sourness. The base tea comes through a bit in the ...

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Picture of Gyokuro Green Tea

Gyokuro Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 19th, 2014

Relatively inexpensive among Gyokuro, especially for being organic. Pleasant, and easy to brew, but less aromatic than other samples of this type of tea I've tried.

Very long, straight leaves, very dark green. Dry leaf has a pleasant aroma, similar to some sencha, and a bit nondescript.

Brews up a cup that isn'...

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Picture of Hojicha

Hojicha from Adagio Teas

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 19th, 2014

Thanks E. Alex Gerster for this sample! The leaf looks dark in color, but smells greener or lighter-roasted.

Brews up a dark amber color, lighter than I expected, with a greener character. Flavor is crisp, with a little bitterness or bite. There's only a light roast evident in the aroma when drinking, and there a...

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Picture of Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Top Leaf™ Green Tea from Mellow Monk

Style: Sencha – Region: Kumamoto, Japan

92 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 16th, 2014

This is a mellow tea, and probably my favorite sencha I've ever tried, and I also think it is one that would have broad appeal. I found it very easy to brew, pleasantly aromatic, and relatively smooth in flavor, in every incarnation. I also found that it lasted through multiple infusions better than any other Japanes...

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Picture of Premium Japanese Green Tea

Premium Japanese Green Tea from Choice Organic Teas

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 15th, 2014

This tea was surprisingly decent.

After being repeatedly underwhelmed with the teas I've tried from Choice Organic Teas, I wasn't expecting much, but this one turned out to be a surprise. My expectations were very low--not only because of this brand but because in general, I've had bad experiences with Japanese gre...

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Picture of Japanese Sencha

Japanese Sencha from Bare Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 2nd, 2014

Definitely among the best senchas (if not the best) that I've ever had from a tea bag!

Flavor is mild and a little brothy. Aroma is slightly toasty, slightly seaweedy.

Easily brews two infusions...the first two cups are outstanding for a tea bag, although they have less of that pleasant sweet grass quality that ...

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Picture of Houjicha Roasted Green Tea

Houjicha Roasted Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 2nd, 2013

A surprisingly good-quality, but expensive hojicha with a light roast, woody aroma, and a sweet flavor.

Dry leaf has a lighter color and a "greener" character to the aroma...only a light roast, and moderate woody aroma, tones of malt or grain, and even a hint of the grassiness characteristic of sencha and other unro...

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Picture of Organic Ryokucha Green Tea

Organic Ryokucha Green Tea from Samovar Tea Lounge

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 26th, 2013

Dry leaf has a potent, cereal-like aroma.

First infusion brews a hazy, pale golden cup...it almost looks like there's a tiny bit of iridescent dust on top of the tea's surface.

Flavor is mild but delightful...sweet, crisp, and with a hint of a fruitiness that I can only describe as reminiscent of cola. It sort o...

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Picture of Sencha of the Earth

Sencha of the Earth from Obubu Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Kyoto, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 16th, 2013

Very different from any other sencha I have tried. Complex, rich, and interesting. I would especially recommend this for people who don't like the fresh grassy and seaweedy tones of sencha, because it had the least of these characteristics of among any sencha I've tried. It was ever-so-slightly more oolong-like.

...

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Picture of Genmai Cha

Genmai Cha from Adagio Teas

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Aug. 30th, 2013

This was a very good genmaicha; the base is a dark, wiry green tea, seems like a sencha. Interestingly, I tried it fairly soon after Octavia's genmaicha, which is my current favorite; the two teas are like night and day. This one brews up a very clear, golden-colored cup. Octavia's is much pricier and I think has a ...

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Picture of Kukicha

Kukicha from Adagio Teas

Style: Kukicha – Region: Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 29th, 2013

I really enjoyed this one. It's a little atypical for a kukicha, slightly bolder than usual.

The dry leaf smelled to me almost like a mix of a very high-quality tea and a lower-quality tea, with sweet tones, suggestive of a brothy, umami-laden green tea, mixed with a low grade sencha.

Upon brewing, I kind of get...

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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 Japanese Genmaicha

Japanese 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: 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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