Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic


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Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby Chip » Dec 29th, '09, 13:38

NEW! Official Japanese Green Tea Vendor Guide: itoen.com Consider this a perennial topic for Japanese teas from Ito En.

http://www.itoen.com/leaf/index.cfm

Official Japanese Green Tea Vendor Guide. Let's see what happens with this wild and crazy idea. You can view the main Japanese TeaVendor Guide here: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11556 and the main TeaVendor Guide here: http://www.teachat.com/viewforum.php?f=60
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Re: "Official" Ito En Japanese tea topic

Postby clareandromeda » Dec 31st, '09, 18:58

The Ito En website I have found difficult to navigate but since I live in NYC I have visited the store many times. The people there are very nice and remember me (and can hold great discussions about the Yankees). There are 3 grades of Gyokuro and I find the highest comparable to top offerings of other companies. They also have shincha at the appropriate time of year that is of high quality. I know they offer some low grade tea but their top tier stuff is excellent and worth trying. They also have beautiful and tempting teaware that is expensive but beautiful.

Their NYC shop is well worth a visit. I have never ordered online but I can testify they have quality green tea.
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Re: "Official" Ito En Japanese tea topic

Postby inspectoring » Jan 5th, '10, 03:28

I would have to say I have tried their offerings and I was not impressed with their sincha - however their megami sencha, gyokuro, and red label matcha are very interesting and amazing !
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby joelbct » May 8th, '10, 10:41

Ito En introduced me to fine Japanese Tea when I discovered their Madison Avenue, NYC store 4 years ago. If you are ever in New York, stop by. They have over 200 loose leaf selections at any given time.

I concur with Inspectoring, the red-labeled Koto no Tsuki is one of my favorite Matcha's. Affordable and delicious.

I personally have had good luck with their Shizuoka Shincha in years past.

My Sencha recommendations are the Megami and Chiran Kanaya Midori.

They get a sublime Keemun Spring Dawn which goes quickly and is a bit pricey, but one of the most incredible black tea's I've ever tasted. You usu have to call up the store for that, as it doesn't always get put online.

The staff can be relied upon for recommendations too, as their menu changes often.
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby TokyoB » May 8th, '10, 10:51

joelbct,
Unfortunately Ito-en closed their shop on Madison Ave although their online shop is still operating. The staff said their lease was out and they are reconsidering their strategy in the US. So it isn't clear if they will open another shop or not. See this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12616
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby mjanowich » Apr 21st, '11, 09:49

I know this is an old thread, but since this is the "official" Ito En topic, I figured it's ok to post here.

I recently discovered Ito En's bottled green teas, both "Teas Tea" and "Oi Ocha". I had been looking for an unsweetened tea in the grocery store to help me cut my addiction to Mountain Dew during the work day without any luck until one day I found the Ito En products at a local Target. That Target doesn't carry them any more, but the Harris Teeter across the street from my house does and I'm also ordering online. Since switching to Ito En and limiting myself to one soda per day, I've lost close to 8 lbs over the past 3 weeks.

The tea itself is very good, especially considering it's bottled and not sweetened. My favorite is Oi Ocha Dark Green, which has a stronger taste than any of their other bottled teas.

I've also tried a few different senchas from Ito En that I like a lot. I don't have any other sencha to compare them to right now other than some generic sencha from Teavana I had a few years ago, but what I've tried I have liked a lot. I have no idea what the names are right now, I'll update this post later with them.

I did try their Australian shincha a few weeks ago and compared to the Japanese sencha I ordered at the same time, it was uninspiring. It was weaker and more bitter than the sencha when brewed at the same temp and duration.
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby Kevangogh » Apr 21st, '11, 11:11

Ito En's main specialty is bottled green tea. They're having a war with Coca Cola, who also puts out some good bottled green tea. In Japan, there are numerous choices but if all you can get your hands on is Ito En, it's pretty good for what it is.
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby kikula » Sep 6th, '13, 12:39

Just in case anyone wanders back here and cares - I was curious about the source for Wegman's loose tea (never tried it, leery of supermarket tea) and contacted them to find out. They say that they purchase all of it (not just Japanese tea) from Ito En. I've never purchased from them as I'm generally leery of supermarket tea, but there it is for whatever it's worth. In a pinch, maybe... it's convenient.
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby MacGuffin » Mar 19th, '14, 14:38

TokyoB wrote:joelbct,
Unfortunately Ito-en closed their shop on Madison Ave although their online shop is still operating. The staff said their lease was out and they are reconsidering their strategy in the US. So it isn't clear if they will open another shop or not. See this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12616

I wish I'd realized they were closing. They were my go-to stop for Makaibari Imperial Silver Tips (you had to ask for them; they weren't displayed). I was heartbroken when I realized they were gone. Except for the "Tips," I found that I usually found better quality from online vendors but it was a beautiful establishment and unique here in NYC. They were also near the Urasenke Chanoyu Center on E. 69th St., which I'm guessing was intentional.
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby chingwa » Jun 20th, '14, 11:24

You can still order from their online shop. They used to ship out of their corporate headquarters in Brooklyn, so for us NYC tea drinkers it was quite awesome to order on Monday and receive on Tuesday! :D However my latest order with them got shipped from Florida (!?) and took just as long as an order coming from a shop in Japan.

I find their teas are mostly not up to snuff, even when they had the Madison Avenue store there were only a few that were good and worth the price (though they did have great specialty sencha "off the menu" hidden under the counter :D )

My most recent order (shipped from FL) was very disappointing. the main reason I ordered was because I was completely out of sencha and thought I could get a "quick fix". But the shipping took longer than expected and 1 of the 2 teas I purchased was horrible... The Yame sencha... just awful, and I knew immediately upon opening the bag... distinct "old tea" smell. tasted no better than a teabag :(

To be fair, the other tea I ordered (Okumidori Sencha) was pretty decent. Overall though the main reason I went to ito en was for convenience... this may have been my last order with them.
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Re: Ito En "Official" Japanese tea topic

Postby daidokorocha » Jul 25th, '14, 12:45

kikula wrote:Just in case anyone wanders back here and cares - I was curious about the source for Wegman's loose tea (never tried it, leery of supermarket tea) and contacted them to find out. They say that they purchase all of it (not just Japanese tea) from Ito En. I've never purchased from them as I'm generally leery of supermarket tea, but there it is for whatever it's worth. In a pinch, maybe... it's convenient.


Perhaps a bit too late, but my friend bought me a few packs of Wegman's tea once and it was worthwhile, especially for the price. I had no idea they source from ito-en? Ito-en might not always be the BEST product on the market, but I feel they are consistent at delivering a very solid product. They are not too expensive and are good for an every day cup, especially in less than ideal situations where you need a quick brew. The solid quality mixed with cheaper prices makes it all too forgiving to do so. Their bottled stuff is very tasty as well, in my opinion. However, when I'm in America they tend to source from Taiwan or Thailand and these are honestly inferior to the Japanese produced that are more widely available in Japan itself.
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