Ito En

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drank Green Tea by Ito En
31 tasting notes

Normal and uninspiring, this green tea is the perfect thing as I sit in the airport near a Japanese restaurant waiting for a flight. It doesn’t have any aftertaste, and it tastes like green-tea-flavored-hot-water. It probably wasn’t steeped hot enough, but who cares? I’m just happy to have it. Would I drink it again? Absolutely. Would I buy it? Sure, if I’m traveling. Would I seek it out? Probably not, because I have loose leaf teas that I really like.

Flavors: Grass, Green

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Ureshino Tama Ryokucha by Ito En
67 tasting notes

A nice, mellow tea, good for a night cap. It has a vegetal/seaweed scent and mouth feel, but not too roasty. It has a light citrus aftertaste, too. Very subtle and sweet finish. I find myself making this tea when I’m all “tea’ed” out.

Flavors: Citrus, Grass, Seaweed

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Genmaicha by Ito En
229 tasting notes

I’m sure this is a lower quality Genmaicha but I have to say I really enjoyed the distinct popcorn/toasted rice goodness of this tonight. Nothing too special but a good every day tea.

Flavors: Popcorn, Toasted Rice

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank matcha LOVE Sweetened by Ito En
682 tasting notes

Okay so I totally went to the LA International Tea Festival today and IT WAS FANTASTIC OH MY GOSH.
I went with a couple friends who enjoyed tea, and they knew I liked tea, but I think today was the day they realized that I freakin loved tea.

Anyway, I had a TON of tea today and I want to write about all the teas that I had, but I forgot to write down the names/tasting notes for all of them D: The only one that I remember was this one.

Just a super simple sweetened canned matcha drink. Like an energy drink for matcha lovers :) It definitely can’t replace real matcha, but this is just a super easy way to drink it AND it was only a dollar each so I was okay with that (I bought 5 hehe)

I had tons of fun at the festival and my friends and I even saw a Japanese Tea Ceremony (and I saw my manager at the theater it was held in as well???).
We walked around places, I was talking to a bunch of the vendors about tea and it was so nice talking to their travels. I ALSO MET //THE// ROSA LI FROM ROSALI TEA. And freakin Alex Harney was there and I talked to him as well. SO MANY PEOPLE I NEARLY DIED.

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Got 10 of these at $1 each at Stop & Shop this week! I used to pay $2.50 per bottle when I worked in NYC! I find each batch to be different – sometimes it’s more jasmine-y than other times. The batch I got now is more on the green tea side. The jasmine aroma hits you first, then as you drink it, the green tea becomes more prevalent in flavor. I’ve always purchased these teas because of how they smell – they are truly aromatic!

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine

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drank Sobacha by Ito En
53 tasting notes

Cold Brew
I used 1TBSP and 1TSP of Sobacha and let it steep for 48 hours. I’ve cold brewed this tea before and if you’re in need for a quick fix this is an easy tea to cold brew. Its about ready in 4 hours and the flavor doesn’t change much so there is no urgency in removing the tea. Also, tea is totally edible so no need for a tea bag.

Flavors: Roasted Barley

Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank House Sencha by Ito En
1 tasting notes

Session A: 3 grams tea in 5 ounces of 205 degree water for 5 minutes
Session B: 2.5 grams tea in 6 ounces of 176 degree water for 1.5 minutes
Appearance Session A Session B
Dry Leaf: thin strips, dark green with same
few pieces of yellow
Infused Leaf larger pieces with rough edges same
that support CTC process
Liquor: light yellow darker tone yellow

Dry Leaf: fresh grass same
Infused Leaf: steamed spinach same
Liquor: vegetal same

Liquor Flavor/Mouth Feel
Hot: astringent bitter
Cool: earthy bitter more even with just a hint of possible sweetness

Finish & Overall Impression: I can’t imagine purposely making this tea to sip for pleasure. I accept that this is a learning experience and my taste will evolve. The extremes with temperature and steep time are to bring out the characteristics so students can more readily experience the flavor. They were very harsh. I’m hopeful that steeping at lower water temperature and for shorter time will have the tea be more agreeable to me.

Next Time: Decided to try again sooner than expected on June 9, 2015, as my first tea pet arrived. It’s nice to know she will be part of all my cuppings.

Session C: 0.7 grams (0.5 teaspoon) tea in 5 ounces of 150 degree water for 1.5 minutes.

Appearance of Liquor: very pale yellow
Aroma of Infused Leaf and Liquor: outside on sunny spring day with fresh cut grass
Liquor Flavor/Mouth Feel: Very unassuming; like water with a hint of vegetal flavor. Thin.

The Next, Next Time: I think I can handle more flavor so will go for 1 teaspoon tea in 5 ounces of 150 degree water for 1.5 minutes.

I did these cuppings using a pocket thermometer because I believed it to be a classic/traditional approach. I am uncomfortable with the accuracy, especially with Session B. I will use my variable temperature Bonavita with next cupping for comparison.

Flavors: Grass

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Lavender Sencha by Ito En
921 tasting notes

Happy Thursday! A day of throwbacks and D&D, well the Dungeons and Dragons is all me, but the throwing back is all over the internet. Maybe on these tea themed #TBT I should occasionally toss in older pics of me, from my younger days of a myriad of different hair colors. There is a terrifying noise coming from the basement, thought you all should know, apparently something is FINALLY being done about the foundation leak (took other people’s stuff being ruined and a massive mold colony before anyone would listen to me, not that I am bitter) and the repair man who is checking things out has a creepy machine. I could go down and see what the machine actually is, but I like the idea of some steam-powered monstrosity better.

This tea was procured during the summer before I became a tea blogger, well not true, I became a tea blogger during that summer visit with my mom, it was one of those ‘I have found my true calling’ moments, and it was awesome. Anyway, getting lost in nostalgia, I bought a heaping pile of Ito-En’s Lavender Sencha while visiting Pennsylvania, and the awesome grocery store Wegman’s, my go to place to buy tea back when I lived in that state. This very aromatic tea is a blend of European Lavender and Fine Sencha (according to their map it is from the Kagoshima region) blending regions for one of the more sublime Sencha blends I have run into. The aroma is heavenly, well, if you like lavender, it blends the floral to the point of almost being soapy, and sweet grassiness and fresh vegetation. It smells very much so like a fresh lavender field in bloom.

The aroma of the now soggy and very vibrantly lavender…lavender, is more balanced. There is sweet freshly cut grass and honey along with gentle lavender notes. Not so much a soapy kick in the face. The liquid is gentle and fairly delicate, with notes of hay and grass along with honey and lavender. I am not sure I put much stock in aromatherapy, but the lavender certainly relaxes me…more teas need it.

The taste is surprisingly not overwhelming with lavender, I was expecting a blast in the face, but nah, it is gentle and sweet. The Sencha is delightfully refreshing and green, with notes of hay and grass, with just a touch of kale and kelp. When I first tried this tea and noticed a touch of bitterness I thought it was the green tea oversteeped or at a too high temperature (but I brewed it at 155!) but since then I have discovered that lavender is actually a bit bitter. The mouthfeel is fun, a bit tacky, like flower nectar, and the end of the tea, once you let it get a bit chilled (if you are a sipper like me) the lavender becomes stronger and is very relaxing. I rather like this tea hot and cold brewed over the summer, it is good for relaxing with a nice cup of a very nature themed tea. And now, for my obligatory TBT photo, it is from January of 2009, back when I was sporting red hair.

For blog and photos:


steam-powered monstrosity FTW! :D too bad there was no asparagus taste. sencha tastes even better with it.


I do like the heavy vegetal notes, but I think with the lavender it could have clashed really grossly :P


dont forget to roll 3d6 to hit for natural 18 to kill the steam-powered monstrosity. oh wait! did it flee back into the man’s truck?


Oh it hard core fled back to the truck, which is sad, I was hoping to use my skills on it!


but it would use self destruct for damage (7d6)

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Just steeped up a pitcher of cold brewed green tea with mint leaves and lime slices. Refrigerated overnight. No mess and easy to throw together, perfect when getting home after a hot afternoon.

Iced 8 min or more

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I will not get sick, I will not get sick, I will not get sick…. I’ve been repeating this mantra, and I am busting out every remedy I own. This was definitely something my body could use. This is my staple for matcha. I do treat myself to something new every now and again, but I use this for a general bowl. I believe this to be a fantastic matcha, for the price. It is relatively inexpensive and, when whisked right, comes out to a delicious bowl full of goodness. I usually brew usucha with this so it’s easy to get down. The taste is very buttery and full of umami. I use 6 chaksaku scoops for my bowl (its a glass one that is slightly larger than most). This has a slight vegetal tone and wet grass flavor. I rarely experience a bitter taste and it is always smooth. I’ve had a few other matcha that have been incredibly worse. My local tea shop sells “matcha” which is a puke yellow and causes headaches. This is much better and half the price. There is a lot of matcha out there that is amazingly better but its also triple the cash. This will do for now :) I hope to cure this sickness before it even strikes, hahah. The remedy hunt goes on!

Flavors: Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetal

165 °F / 73 °C

chants Don’t get sick! (Hope you don’t!)
Your local shop’s match sounds horrible! I just googled yours, and the price looks great, I might have to check it out once I am through my current tin.


Its still on the edge hahah, I can feel it coming.
The shops matcha is terrible. Its a low quality culinary grade that they sell to people to drink, I can’t stand it. Few people actually realize what they are drinking and chock it up as “thats what matcha is supposed to taste like.”
You should check this one out though hahah its yummy :D

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I picked up a little can of this while grocery shopping at the local Korean supermarket. The can design is cute, but I poured it out before drinking to get a better look at the color. (I’ve been finding that visuals are an important part of the experience of enjoying tea—using a dark mug or thermos just isn’t the same!)

Well, the color of this one is a very murky yellowish-green that reminds me of vegetable smoothies. It has a seaweed aroma commonly found with Japanese green teas (and as I later discovered, this one actually contains seaweed too). The taste is quite nice—it has that smoothness that I associate with Ito En’s bottled green teas. The matcha adds some body and umami flavor. It’s not something that I would often reach for, but it is a nice chilled drink and probably a decent energy boost.

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drank Sencha With Matcha by Ito En
518 tasting notes

More Advent Calendar Tea!

From the matcha in with the sencha, the tea is a little cloudy. It’s nice, but not outstanding. It wasn’t bitter at all, though, fairly sweet, but not as strong as I like. (I generally overleaf my sencha, so I made it in my 5oz cup, but I still felt like there wasn’t enough here.)

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I enjoyed the texture and look of the finer, grassier Japanese teas. This yielded a somewhat bitter, very spinachy cup. While decent overall, it isn’t really my cup. I prefer my green teas a little less bitter; I have black teas to satisfy that itch!

Flavors: Cut grass, Herbaceous, Spinach

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Sencha Shot by Ito En
72 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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drank Oolong Shot by Ito En
72 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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drank Oi Ocha by Ito En
72 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
45 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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drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
23 tasting notes

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

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drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
33 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.

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

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drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
20 tasting notes 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:
PU$$Y (listen for the Pus Pus Pus!):
saboteur365’s April Post:

Flavors: Dry Grass, Spinach, Zucchini

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

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drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
62 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

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

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drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
257 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

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


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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