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Which of these green tea brands are your favourite?

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ok, I have a friend who's birthday is coming up. She absolutely loves green tea so I decided to get her a bag of loose leaf sencha green tea, and the teddy bear she really wanted. The problem is that I'm not really a tea drinker and am not sure which of these 3 brands I found to get her.

Anyways, I found bags of sencha loose leaf green tea from the brands Ito-en, Yamadamotoyama, and Maeda-en. Which one of these three brands do you like more for sencha and why? Like do one of these brands have more flavour etc.? Also, I don't really care if one brand is more expensive or not because I'll just end up buying that brand if the quality is better.

For anyone who read this post & replied, thankyou for taking your time to help me. I really appreciate it.

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  1. All three of these brands make a huge variety of teas that range from canned iced tea to premium teas that cost over $50 per 3 oz package. Not knowing specifically what you have available to you makes this kind of futile, but personally I have seen more high quality Ito-En teas exported to America than the other two brands. Green tea is like coffee, everyone has different tastes, but generally speaking single origin teas are the most interesting and the most expensive. Price being equal I guess would buy the Ito-En first, but I've had Maeda-En and Yamamotoyama teas that were excellent too. Usually you get what you pay for.

    1. From these brands, I've only tried Ito-En and Yamamotoyama. I got much better, more consistent results from the Ito-En (I think it was down to superior packaging that kept the tea fresher). Great colour.
      I would say the downside of getting tea from any of these big brands rather than buying a small quantity in a tea shop is that the tea is often poorly handled, shaken up in its container, and you wind up with a lot of tea "dust."

      2 Replies
        1. re: Sean

          Stash has a chai green tea that appeals to me more than the straight green.

      1. If your friend really loves green tea, maybe she would like matcha? I love that there's not the bitterness you often find in sencha loose leaf tea. I can usually only drink 1/2 a cup of the sencha, but find matcha delicious to the last drop.

        Here's a lovely starter set:

        http://www.amazon.com/Matcha-Source-M...

        1. I just bought some Yamamotoyama green tea bags (I like to carry bags for when I travel and am headed back to FL from San Fran tomorrow) and it's funny because the box has Asian characters on it but when you read the print, it says "Mfd by Yamamotoyama of America"--nowhere on the box does it say the tea is from Japan or Vietnam or China...just interesting. I do like it. Some green teas (in bags) brew up brown, which I understand means it is not good quality.

          1. i hope it is not too late in responding.
            i too recommend ito-en. why? because i only had ito-en and it was very good.
            as someone already pointed out, you basically get what you pay. so the more expensive, the better quality.

            1. If you are going to buy loose tea, I highly advise you go to an actual tea purveyor (if there is one where you live) and buy it there. The tea will be fresher and better quality. If you buy from a brand like Ito-En, you have no idea how long the loose tea has been in its' package -odds are the tea will be several months old and poorer quality with a lot more fannings and dust.

              At tea shops, you can buy small amounts - I have bought a little as 25-50g when trying out a new tea to see if I like it. Plus they usually have very nice, free packaging or tins that they put the tea into for free or nominal $1-2 charge.

              Dragon Well is a very popular, versatile green tea - you can drink it in the mornings or evenings, before or after meals.