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New-ish green tea at Costco

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Top line: Readily available bagged green tea usually is terrible. This one's pretty good.

Kirkland Signature Japanese Green Tea
100 individually wrapped sachets for $12.79

This unusual tea is a not-so-privately-labeled product packed by Ito En in Japan. The "base" leaf is sencha, for characteristic Japanese-style green tea taste, but matcha has been added, with gives the tea a flavor reminiscent of Yamamotoyama's "Sushi Bar Style" green tea. The bag itself is a very free flowing nylon mesh; steeping is speedy, but perhaps too much matcha powder ends up settling to the bottom for my tastes.

The plastic "string" from bag to tag is rather short, but the tag has a slot pre-cut in it to fit on the edge of your cup so the string doesn't need to be long enough to flop over the side.

The tea seems to finish with a touch of genmai-cha toasted rice flavor. This is not listed on the label, but there were a few flecks of something lighter-than-green in the bag when I tossed it out. Unfortunately, further analysis will have to wait as I can't afford to get too wired tonight. :-)

I purchased this tea for the office because for hygiene reasons, it is easier for "catering" to handle wrapped tea bags than the loose ones (e.g., Celestial Seasonings) and most of the readily available brands are, frankly, appalling. I do like several of the Yamamotoyama products, and I think they are no more expensive than the Costco product, so this might well be a one-time purchase. After all, if you want to entice your clients with your tea offerings, Kirkland Signature probably is not the most impressive name.

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  1. I'm liking this tea more. Accidentally oversteeped it for 15 minutes and it didn't get unduly bitter/nasty like cheap green tea. Also the string is not plastic.

    Here's a photo showing the lighter-than-green items in the bag. Perhaps they are bits of stem?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jefferso...

    1. I just bought a box and I think it's pretty good-compared to more expensive kind-and it's more convenient, too... Only that I drunk too much that I couldn't sleep last night.

      1. I really was pleasantly surprised, too. I just happened upon this in the aisle. Although I usually try to drink green tea from time to time for the benefits, I usually end up drinking coffee or earl grey since choking back green tea is usually a chore...usually I just use the celestial seasonings that's supplied by my workplace.

        I really like the aftertaste on this. It doesn't taste like bark and/or dirt. :)

        Now I just hope Costco keeps this product around for a while..they have a habit of cycling stuff out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: seanleblanc

          I too was pleasantly surprised when I opened my first bag of this tea. I recently bought my first matcha powder and it takes skill and patience to make the tea just right. Kirkland's green tea does just that and it's made by Ito en, experts at Green Tea making. I Like it alot and hope that ? Im thinking of buying several boxes now to ensure I have it for a while.

        2. I've found that dusting away some of the matcha makes the flavor seem lighter. Wish it had a grassier taste though.

          1. Wow! I had been hesitant to purchase the Kirkland since it was in bags. A buddy of mine gave me a few packets and man is it good. I have always been a loose leaf guy but this is good. I buy ito en matcha and have always enjoyed it. I am off to Costco this morning to buy a couple boxes of this very tasty tea.

            2 Replies
            1. re: SeanT

              Hey SeanT, did you notice if it came in decaf? I'm pregnant so no caffeine for me. Thx.

              1. re: AlyKen

                No decaf at my costco.

            2. I'm on my 3rd box of this GT and agree that it is a great value to be so economical. I had been only purchasing high grade matcha and sencha many times the price from the internet and asian markets like Uwajimaya. It does have a nice nutty flavour and aroma which is a quality I prefer. It's almost as if it had a hint of barley rice. Like someone earlier noted, even extended steeping time does not increase the astringent quality or make it bitter. I've not noticed an decaf version though, and it does offer a kick. This is by far the best "store brand" i've had the pleasure of drinking. As a matcha drinker I rather like the extra "dust" they include and thump the single packet and squeeze the sturdy mesh bag. Great as stated for the office, ahhh smelling a cup steep now. Enjoy!

              1. I have been buying this tea since costco started carrying it. I like to brew it with some fruit flavored loose green tea in a strainer. Boil water and put 3 ice cubes in cup and pour water over top. I steep for 2 minutes and this taste wonderful.

                1. Before this tea, I hated green tea even though I knew the huge health benefits. I absolutely love this green tea and I have 2 to 4 cups per day. My 16 year old loves it too!

                  1. I just bought a box of the Kirkland green at Costco - 100 bags for 13$. Not bad. It's better than most grocery store green teas I've tried and the price is perfect. I bought some Bigelow green yesterday - it's absolutely awful, no taste whatever. Even Lipton's green is much better.

                    1. How can I get this tea without a Costco membership? I tried it and I love it. One of the few green teas I've tried that actually IS green. And that is my favorite part of the flavor.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: darlajones

                        http://www.itoen.com/

                        1. re: darlajones

                          Get someone to buy you a Costco Gift card. You can go in the store and purchase items without having to be a member.