O-Cha.com tea

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

O-Cha.com tea

Postby go green » Dec 14th, '07, 18:18

Has anyone ever bought from here...what is their tea like? I am looking specifically at the shizuoka green tea daily sencha. I like Adagio's sencha and wonder how it compares? Thanks!

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Dec 14th, '07, 18:31

O-Cha.com is one of the best vendors for Japanese tea online, no exaggeration. Their daily sencha is a second flush, and while it's supposed to be good for a second flush, one of O-Cha's first flush offerings will be far better.

I haven't tried the daily sencha or Adagio's sencha so I can't say for sure, but I would bet on O-Cha being better as Japanese green tea is what they specialize in. Looking at prices, you could get an excellent first flush sencha at O-Cha for the price of Adagio's sencha premier– I would go with that if I were you. :)

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Postby Chip » Dec 14th, '07, 18:42

I would have to agree with that, excellent sencha delivered to your door direct from Japan in around 4-5 days. The Miyabi is claimed by many to be the best in all the lands, it is very grassy. I happen to be partial to sencha from Kagoshima, so I really like their Yutaka Midori. And the talk of the town right now is the new Fukamushi Supreme, a brand new offering.

Adagio's Premier is very good coming from a domestic vendor. It takes a bit of a leap of faith to order from abroad, it is like a little TEA Adventure.

I hear the moderator of their green tea forum is also the best in all the lands as well, but hard to beat the Mod Squad here. 8)

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Postby Ed » Dec 14th, '07, 19:44

The Daily Sencha is a good second-flush sencha. It's fresher than most of the sencha you'll get from other places. O-cha is one of the best places to get fresh Japanese tea. But, as Scruff said, don't forget to try one of the first-flush - it's well worth the money.

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Postby Wesli » Dec 14th, '07, 20:10

Skip over the daily sencha and climb to the higher ranks of that list. I wouldn't go any lower than the Kabusecha.


O-cha is a respected vendor among these parts.

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Postby Space Samurai » Dec 14th, '07, 21:31

I concour. I was staunchly opposed to o-cha for some time, but I've long since been converted. Its the best Japanese tea I've had my hands on.

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Postby JRS22 » Dec 15th, '07, 10:04

After reading this thread I took a look at the O-Cha website. By my calculations O-Cha recommends using 5 grams of tea per cup of sencha, and about 8 grams of tea per cup of gyokuru. Is this really necessary? Some of the teas end up costing $2 a cup.

Combine that with the reputed difficulty of brewing a good cup of gyokuru and I could need a second job.

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Postby Ed » Dec 15th, '07, 10:17

You can brew it as strong or as weak as you like, just like any other tea. It's mostly the gyokuro that you are really supposed to add plenty of leaf because that's how gyokuro is traditionally brewed in order to get the right flavor. And you are going to get multiple infusions. Anyway, most people don't drink top-grade gyokuro as an "everyday tea", even in Japan it is considered a luxury.

A 100 gram bag of o-cha sencha will last me a month usually. I add 1 teaspoon of leaf to 4 ounces of water. All of the high quality sencha will give you 3 good infusions at least. That doesn't seem too expensive to me when you break it down like that. You can always get some cheaper sencha (like Adagio's) to drink as an everyday tea and have the top-notch stuff as an occasional treat.

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Postby Mary R » Dec 15th, '07, 10:43

True that...and you can usually get 3 or so good infusions from a sencha. Sometimes even up to five, if you've got nice stuff and are a careful brewer. That should help lower the cost to cup ratio.

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Postby Space Samurai » Dec 15th, '07, 11:11

I use 4.5 - 5 grams of the Hatsumi Sencha, and I can get 5 infusions. In my experience Japanese tea benefits from lots of leaf.

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Postby Chip » Dec 15th, '07, 11:35

A session of O-Cha's better senchas are still only around 1 buck or so. Since I am what Mary has kindly referred to as a careful brewer, I am able to get 5 steeps for each session, 20-25 cents a steep. If you think of it this way, that is really cheap.

I think we have all gone through the calculating mode, I don't do it any more, but one thing I do is try to have one premo sencha open and one everyday sencha open at the same time. This gives me variety but is also more cost effective.

Regarding gyokuro. Yes, if you are going to drink gyokuro everyday, get a second job, it is not cheap. It should not in my opinion be drunk as an everyday tea, but I get a bag or 2 a year, that is it, and then I try to fully enjoy that bag when it is ceremoniously opened. There are cheap gyokuos out there, but with Jpanaese tea, you truly get what you pay for.

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Postby JRS22 » Dec 15th, '07, 12:49

I like the O-Cha description of most of their gyokurus as sweet with low astringency. I'm trying to avoid the bitter taste that many vendors seem to count as one of the good qualities of Sencha.

O-Cha describes the Uji Sencha Miyabi and the Kagoshima Sencha Yutaka Midori as grassy whereas they describe the taste of their other Senchas as medium. Does that mean little or no bitterness?

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Postby bambooforest » Dec 15th, '07, 12:57

tea-snob, I would certainly recommend the every day sencha from o-cha as a good introduction to Japanese green tea's. And I do think it is wiser to start with the "lower end" of the spectrum, so that when you buy yourself a special treat you can really appreciate it.

With sencha from o-cha I use 3 grams per 5 ounces and always get 3 steeps. So, if your pot is 5 ounces, and you use my parameters that means 33 pots of tea per bag.

I buy my Japanese green tea from quite a few vendors, but to date o-cha has the best stuff all in one place.

JRS22.... If bitterness is your concern, I'd recommend the kabusecha from o-cha... I don't find sencha bitter at al.... Don't use water that is too hot, or steep too long. Sencha can be astringet though.

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Dec 15th, '07, 13:03

JRS22 wrote:I like the O-Cha description of most of their gyokurus as sweet with low astringency. I'm trying to avoid the bitter taste that many vendors seem to count as one of the good qualities of Sencha.

O-Cha describes the Uji Sencha Miyabi and the Kagoshima Sencha Yutaka Midori as grassy whereas they describe the taste of their other Senchas as medium. Does that mean little or no bitterness?


Sencha can be sweet if brewed right– I went into Japanese greens thinking the same thing as you, and I like sencha much much more. Gyokuro is an acquired taste, I think– it's very vegetal. Don't trust what vendors say about their products either, they're often wrong. :)

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Postby Ed » Dec 15th, '07, 13:05

Yutaka Midori is not bitter at all. You might like that the best. It is very deep green in color but the flavor is very mild (a little too mild for me, actually). Also, keep in mind that everyone's definition of "astringent" is different. Many of the teas that are said to be astringent are not bitter at all, in my experience. Miyabi is grassy, but not bitter. Most sencha will not be truly bitter if you brew them properly. That just means don't brew them too hot or too long. A thermometer and a timer will prevent a bitter cup.

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