Ito En

Recent Tasting Notes

82
drank Sencha Shot by Ito En
52 tasting notes

World Market snag. Good stuff; better, imo, than reaching for a red bull. Does what it says on the tine, cold strong sencha; nice as well.

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81
drank Oolong Shot by Ito En
52 tasting notes

Nice heavy oolong,. The weight of the can is nice, like the sencha shot, and the taste of the oolong is nice, not spicy or bland, but fitting for a warm day.

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80
drank Oi Ocha by Ito En
52 tasting notes

World Market pick-up. Great stuff on a hot day. Not a whole lot to offer, but what it packs in the bottle is pure refreshment.

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drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
39 tasting notes

It’s like a cup of lawn clippings, judging the appearance and aroma. Very springy.

I was surprised by the steeping guidelines (they want me to add BOILING water? Really?), but followed them anyhow. It’s yielded a yellowish green drink, and the grassiness has persisted in both the nose and the mouth. I like the astringency on the back end of the sip, and the bitter spinachness up front.

I’m excited to try the next steeping!

Flavors: Bitter, Cut grass, Spinach

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95
drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
21 tasting notes

This was really great. A fun tea to try in my Steepster box.

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1
drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
27 tasting notes

Definitely smelling the grass that others have mentioned, but not as bad and in much more of that classic green tea way. I meant to steep it at boiling like the directions mentioned, but I got distracted so it’s steeping at 172 degrees right now. Oh well. I won’t lie, the smell of this tea just smells…bad. My first thought was rotten eggs, but I don’t want to go that far. I literally had to hold my nose to sip it. The taste is pretty grassy, but that nasty egg taste is lurking in the background. This is getting dumped.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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66
drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
14 tasting notes

hypem.com is down right now. I have exhausted all avenues to cool-ness. Thus, I sit here writing about tea.

This tea tastes like a mediocre life. Having just seen the enigmatic yet transformative Iggy Azalea at Atlanta’s recent music festival, I feel like I have some authority on the matter.

Leading an unfulfilling life scares me. The scariest part being everyone with the wool over their eyes being led hand-in-hand into the slaughterhouse, singing kumbaya and cooking quiche. Shakespeare could not have imagined a more sardonic future. I haven’t seen RoboCop. Maybe I’m a PU$$Y.

“Pus pus pus!”

Luckily, we have mavens like IGGY to stave off our ever-quiescent society. The true madonna of our times, Iggy, not only exposes us to the truth (in warning us against falling into a mediocre life) but also fights against a heathen robotic uprising that seeks to prey on our youth!

Just take a peek at Iggy’s unparalleled PU$$Y linked below. The predatory robotic voice emphatically belts out “Pussy. Pussy. Pussy.” A cold, driven emotion lies underneath his articulate facade. What are his motivations? Clearly, Iggy is lashing out against the over-sexualization in society. What long term effects must we suffer before we see how our fleshy fetish will condemn us?

I can’t speak for her, but I believe that Iggy isn’t trying to shelter our children per say, but she does try to protect the collective innocence. Unfortunately, there are the unenlightened among us that clearly misunderstand Iggy’s artistic virtues. Below is an excerpt from saboteur365’s April 27th blog post:

“The one thing these Illuminati creations all have in common, whether they be Iggy, Gaga, Paris, Kim, or others, is their Satanic lifestyles, which they promote through video, music, TV, and film. The message is clear and it’s aimed at children: Worship Satan. Satan will reward you. It’s the Illuminati at work, doing what they do, which is enslaving humanity in its Satanic grip.”

But I don’t want to let some radical fundamentalist nonsense derail my tea review! The Australian(s) is great – it has a dry grass, almost zucchini taste to it, with inviting whiffs akin to boiling spaghetti.


No Mediocre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdsTUfDTEhQ
PU$$Y (listen for the Pus Pus Pus!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As-05Gnihcw
saboteur365’s April Post: http://saboteur365.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/iggy-azalea-a-great-message-for-little-girls-says-good-morning-america/

Flavors: Dry Grass, Spinach, Zucchini

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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82
drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
56 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
235 tasting notes

This is the first Shincha that I’ve tried that actually smelled like grass. That term gets used a lot in describing tea but this really does smell and of course, look like dried cut grass. As I smell deeper, there are a few notes of cream.
I am a little shocked by the 212F temp too but I’m following directions lol.
After I see the wet leaf, it is more understandable the 212F temp. The wet leaves are very strong and I would describe them as semi-waxy. They are very pretty and hearty.
The liquor is a light spring yellow green color and it smells like grass as well.
The flavor is also a touch of grass but there is a cream note in there as well. There is a touch of bitter but it’s an enjoyable bitter not offensive.
I’m glad I’m having this after lunch because I have a feeling there is high caffeine to this and also I want food in my stomach.
Overall, very interesting tea and it’s cool that it comes from Victoria, Australia.

Cool to find a new tea company to check out too because I was not aware of Ito En.

From the Steepster Select Box; September, 2014

Flavors: Bitter, Cream, Grass

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

I’ll definitely have to try this with the recommended parameters and see how different it is. :P

Lee

Yes, you should try a Japanese shincha as well so you can see the difference in the leaves because these are far out. I tried to find which varietal leaf this is on the Ito En site but it doesn’t say. Australia is hot so it is a hearty one for sure.

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88
drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
601 tasting notes

This tea is from September’s Steepster Select box. I was excited to find it there because it seems like a unique region and because I’ve never had a shincha before. The leaves are a dark and rich green with some yellow tones, and they look as if they’ve been rolled up long-ways (as in, rolled along the long edge into long tubes, if that makes sense). Dry scent is sweet and vegetal with some slight grassiness and a nice nutty smell. The directions recommended a 3 minute steep at boiling, which kind of made my eyes bug out of my head. Not knowing whether shincha required vastly different parameters, I asked in Steepster chat, and they thought it sounded insane too. So I did a 1 minute steep and 175 degrees instead.

Once brewed, the tea smells very sweet and creamy with a nice spinach aroma. Oh yum! The vegetal flavor starts out somewhat mild, but somewhere mid-sip it becomes suddenly intense and amazing! There’s a mixture of steamed spinach and butternut squash, and it’s very creamy and sweet. There’s the slightest amount of pleasant mineral flavor, like clean water from a stream, along with a light seaweed taste. The aftertaste is deep, sweet, and vegetal, and it lingers nicely. Super delicious!

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Creamy, Mineral, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML
KiwiDelight

I thought I sent you some Night Shincha from Upton’s…Or was that someone else? (scratches head)

Cameron B.

I guess it was someone else. You’ve been holding out on me! :P

KiwiDelight

I finished it a while ago D:

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83

First steep was quick and colorful with a light almost neon green color and a slightly earthy scent with a burst of green and fresh cut grass after sipping. The tea has a full bodied floral element to it in the background both in aroma and in taste.

I ran the second steep a bit quick to see how the flavors develop but I find it to be a bit astringent on the second pass without as much of the florals or grass. Still a very clean bright color and good taste

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85
drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
244 tasting notes

This just arrived the other day as part of my Steepster select subscription, so I’m drinking it during a slow day at work. Since I can’t brew it with the recomended directions, I improvised, using an 8oz cup, a finum brew basket, and boiled tap water. I let the water sit for a good 10 minutes to cool off, I’m not a fan of the bitterness that overwhelms the flavor of Japanese-style greens when brewed too hot.

After steeping for 2-2.5 minutes, I decided to see what the aroma was like, and was pleasantly surprised. It actually smells sweetly herbaceous/grassy, and reminds me a bit of when I used to “help” (read – get in the way and slow down the process of) my grandfather make hay on his farm. The flavor is a bit more conventional, grassy and a bit stringent, aftertaste lingers on the hard palate for a good minute and a half. Seems like a good everyday tea, nothing that makes me want to hoard it away (like my golden fleece, that’s only for special occasions), but still better than your average Japanese-style green. I’ll write more after the next steep.

Well, the second steep was fairly bland and generic. Most japanese-style teas lose a lot of flavor quickly, but this went from “interesting” to “upper middle class”. Good, but not great, lost both the astringency and the sweetness, not much else to say.

Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Herbaceous, Sweet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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14

Big disappointment. Looks and smells wonderful, but tastes like a mediocre teabag on its 6th infusion no matter how hard I brew. At least it was cheap.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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77

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62
drank Oi Ocha Dark by Ito En
13 tasting notes

much as I love regular Oi Ocha and can drink it all day, this version is just too strong.

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87
drank Oi Ocha by Ito En
13 tasting notes

The best bottled tea I’ve had.

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90
drank Makinohara Sencha by Ito En
13 tasting notes

man, I love this. Crappy, tiny rollings make a mess after infusion. Deliciously sweet grass on the nose. Deep green liquor. Taste is assertively vegetal with a warmly astringent finish. Not at all delicate or pretty, but gets the job done and creams almost anything else in the price range.

Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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90
drank Makinohara Sencha by Ito En
13 tasting notes

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82
drank Sobacha by Ito En
235 tasting notes

This sample came to me from Christina.
The brew time was 1.5 min but I increased to 5 min (like the Harney & Sons one). This buckwheat tea is a lighter colour than the Harney & Son’s tea. Brewed , it’s a tasty buckwheat wheat tea. A lighter roast and not quite as nutty and roasty as the Harney & Sons.

Thanks Christina for sending this sample. I’m really enjoying comparing some of the buckwheat teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Christina

Thanks for doing a comparison taste! I agree that it’s not as deep in flavour as the other sobacha I’ve tried.

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97
drank Lavender Sencha by Ito En
111 tasting notes

This is the best lavender tea I’ve had! Really wonderful. The lavender pairs so well with the sencha, giving it this rich, brothy vegetal undertone that is still quite light and pairs so well with the gentle lavender floral notes that leave a minty tingle on your tongue. There are slight citrus notes as well and a bit of honey sweetness. I got a sample of this from a friend, and decided to drink it on a night I was feeling really restless and in need of some calming of the nerves. This really helped. I will definitely be getting more of this tea someday.

Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Lemon Zest

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

When I visit my family back in PA I will have to get more for you. Ito En is the creator, but I bought it from a local grocery store that has a surprisingly good selection of tea!

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75
drank Teas' Tea Rose Green by Ito En
132 tasting notes

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75
drank Sobacha by Ito En
532 tasting notes

Sipdown!

After my first two pots of tea today, I went out to Ribfest.

And let me tell you, I frickin’ goddamn LOVE Ribfest. Despite the humidity, the bandshell with local podunk artists doing bad karaoke, and the overpriced food, I love Ribfest. I gorged on pulled pork and corn on the cob, and then we made sure to buy lots of meat to take home.

Then I had pulled pork and ribs and chicken for dinner. Today was a protein-heavy day, people.

Thus, when it came time to figure out how to top off this decidedly unhealthy mix, I figured that having something savoury and at least vaguely healthy would do me good, so sobacha it was.

I ended up pouring the remainder of my packet of soba into the infuser, which was quite a bit. Probably a few tablespoons. But since I realized I really want to restock a certain sobacha from Yunomi.us instead, I don’t mind.

So I sipped this while watching John Carpenter’s “They Live”. A perfectly trashy end to a day full of perfectly trashy (but fun!) food.

Preparation
11 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
Nicole

Ribfest??? That sounds awesome.

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75
drank Sobacha by Ito En
532 tasting notes

No installment of Sunday Tea and Books tonight, folks! I’m way too tuckered out after the conference, and with my sore throat, I’m looking for comfort teas tonight rather than new experiences.

When it comes to comfort, I think there are few things that compare to a tea that tastes like warm breakfast. Speaking of which – I steeped this guy twice and saved the puffed-up grains for tomorrow morning.

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