Popular Teas from Ito EnSee All 78 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
The first time I even had Soba tea, I had been in Japan for only a few days so far, and was sitting in a small parlor at a government center in Japan, and was served this as I waited. It tasted like cheerios in a cup, and is so delicious. It took me a long time to find out the english translation – buckwheat tea.
I highly recommend trying it – you may find it at a Japanese or Korean grocer.
Each teabag is designed for 1 pot of tea; 200cc of water for 2 small cups of tea. Let it cool a bit after poring/removing tea bag. Served hot or chilled with no sweetner or milk.
I find that I don’t like this one quite as much as the traditional Jasmine Green tea from Ito En [in the round bottle]. This one is noticeably lighter in color and flavor and the ascorbic acid gives it an off taste that I don’t notice as much in the traditional variety. I find that I generally notice the ascorbic acid more in the Teas’ Tea varieties for some reason, I’m not sure why. I do like the design of the bottle better because I can fit more of them in my cooler.
While this certainly doesn’t compete with loose leaf this is hands down the best pre-bottled jasmine green tea I’ve ever had. When I’m traveling I like to stop by Whole Foods and pick up a few bottles to keep in the cooler. It has a very strong floral flavor and scent to it that I like and I find it very refreshing. It is unsweetened and I think it is perfect that way, but I have added honey on occasion when I’m craving something a little sweeter. This is nice at room temperature or iced but I do tend to find this a little more astringent when it is room temperature.
The scent is pleasant, but hard to smell unless poured into a glass. For some reason my bottle of tea smells like maple syrup and this is really messing with my head every time I go to take a drink because it makes me crave pancakes. It also keeps me from smelling the wonderful jasmine scent from my tea.
I purchased 2 cans based on the reviews this got. I dont have a strainer so I used a technique I saw on the internet to dry whisk the match in the bowl prior to adding water. This worked famously to remove any clumps! After adding the water and whisking the matcha foamed up perfectly, the color was a dark green. The taste was amazingly smooth with no bitterness. The caffeine kick was amazing. this is a very good everyday usucha for a great price.
This isn’t bad if you are picking up a bottled tea. Now, I drank most of it with a meal of sticky rice and honeyed tempura chicken, so I didn’t get any of the green tea out of it. Even when I drank the last 1/4 there wasn’t any green tea flavor in it.
But the jasmine is a lovely aftertaste. It is a lot of jasmine, but I like knowing that it is there in an aftertaste. Really nice and refreshing. Pleasantly sweet as well.
The rose flavor really hits you in this one so if you aren’t a floral tea fan I would suggest skipping it, it pretty much overwhelms the green tea. I love that this is unsweetened, but it has a slightly bitter taste from the Ascorbic Acid. You’ll find that in pretty much any bottled tea, although I think it is more noticeable in this one.
This is probably one of my favorite bottled teas and I remember how shocked I was when I first saw it. I love rose tea! This one is rather hard to find around here, but I generally keep a couple of bottles in the cooler when we go on road trips. Now that I live up north is is absolutely impossible to find fresh brewed tea at the gas stations and I refuse to stop at McDonalds for tea (my only other option on my route down south.)
When I was going to grad school, I picked up a job working at a beer store the size of a supermarket. I was a craft beer jerk, a snob, one of those guys who sniffs their beer at a bar and writes little notes to themselves and then secretly judges the person next to them based on what they are drinking (or the six-pack they are carrying out of the store). That was my life and my hobby and the only thing I talked about. I thought that working in the “industry” would help me appreciate it more, give me more of an understanding of it and provide me with a feeling that I was somehow contributing to the thing I was so involved and passionate about.
Did I extract information that helped me with beer; the making of it, the tasting of it, the culture of it? No. I stocked shelves. I hated it.
Why am I telling you this? Because apparently, I haven’t learned any lesson from that experience. I recently took a job working in tea. I thought if I immerse myself in tea by talking about it, educating people about it, answering questions about it for people who want to “get into tea” (like I once did), then I would feel like I am contributing to the culture that has given me so much.
It’s not as bad as stocking shelves but its not what I thought it would be. What is, really?
I give people misinformation when they ask me questions, even though I know the real answer. I have to try to get them to buy stuff when they don’t really need it. I tell them its some of the best out there when, really, its some of the same everywhere.
But I appreciate that I get to say I work in the thing I love. I get to try different tea everyday, get to talk to people about tea, and sometimes try to correct (however subtly) misinformation people are provided with (even from the place that pays me to say what they want me to say).
So. Long story short: sorry I’ve been away. Let’s steep.
I am constantly surprised with the selection at Wegmans Tea Bar (or tea areas). Yes, it might all be Ito-En but at least they have lose leaf tea. The Pittsford location has something like thirty teas(!) to choose from, they’re refrigerated, and they look and smell fresh. I got this bad boy from said Tea Bar.
The color is a beautiful lime-ish green, bright but soft. Not neon or highlighter green but close. It also doesn’t look watery. You ever have a green tea like that? One that looks almost creamy when you look at the liquid, not thin or light? Even after the particles drop and collect in a simple sludge at the bottom, the green hue has a slight thickness. Sign of quality or crap, I don’t know.
This is just my opinion but ff someone wonders what you mean by a balanced “vegetal” aroma or taste, I would recommend this type of tea. If you give someone a gyokuro, it might be too much in the vegetal department from 20ish days of letting it sit in the shade. I think this sencha is nice because it not only has that planty, grassy, lightness that a good green has but it also has just a hint of a matching bitterness that is almost imperceptible (probably from the temp. of my water, 170). The mouthfeel matches the vegetal notes and has a hint of weight to it, rather than just a watery thinness. Second steeping was at 140ish and was smoother and had a more mellow mouthfeel.
This is a great green for multiple reasons. It can be a into/intermediate tea to do research on (ex: what is sencha? what is umami? what is the difference between sencha and gyokuro?) when traversing the tea world. I think this is a great sipping tea for morning or afternoon and one that could go well with a meal or alone. I don’t drink a lot of sencha (I stick to Dragonwell as my fallback), but I want to start exploring more of this style of tea because I like the clean, vegetal, lightness of it. It seems very basic but I know there’s a lot going on to make it so simple. All good teas do.
Lastly, if you’ve made it this far (thank you for that…): anytime I drink a pretty high quality green (especially any oolong), my stomach makes CRAZY noises. Not hunger pangs but there’s definitely something going on inside. Does anyone else get reactions from their stomach after drinking tea? It doesn’t hurt or anything.