Sweet and Classic: Japanese Green Tea IN and Arahataen Green Tea Farms

When Kei Nishida from Japanese Green Tea IN reached out to ask if I’d like to try their product, I knew I couldn’t say no. Sweet and refreshing, Japanese green teas have been a weakness of mine since I was a teenager, drinking Canadian grocery-store brand greens and dreaming of someday traveling to Japan. Now as an adult with some tea experience, I drink a good, dark gyokuro or sencha on a near-daily basis. Japanese Green Tea IN’s teas are a classic example of high-quality, sweet and full-bodied Japanese green teas. That they keep up a close relationship with their tea farmers in Shizuoka prefecture near Mt. Fuji makes me like them all the more.

Issaku

While cultivating this tea, the team at Arahataen Green Tea Farm uses local sugarcane to fertilize their plants with. They say the amino acids and sugar from the plants sinking into the ground gets taken in by the tea plants an adds to its sweetness.

Now, I’m not horticulturist, but I can tell you this tea had a beautiful aroma, and a clean, green, sweet taste. The flavour was very elegant and took me back to Japan with one sip.

The tea itself was extremely fine. Normally I prefer a large leaf, but in this case the fineness of the leaves contribute to that nice mouth-feel and full body of the tea.

Suggested preparation: 80˚C water, 3 minute steep time.

Here is Japanese Green Tea IN’s Issaku.

Highest Grade Gokuzyo

Gokujyou (極上) in Japanese, translates to ‘first-rate,’ or ‘finest quality.’ Basically, the best of the best. The farmers at Arahataen make this from the first cutting of tea leaves and similar to the Issaku, produces a tea with a bright green liquor, sweet, aromatic and smooth tea with almost no astringency and a very delicious, full-bodied taste.

To distinguish the difference between the Issaku and Gokuzyo is very subtle. The Issaku to me had a slight more hint of ‘toastiness,’ where the Gokuzyo had a more ‘pure’ flavour, if that makes sense. In either case, the difference was hard to spot.

Either green tea would be great for a beginner looking to experience a high-quality Japanese green tea. With summer coming, I’d also suggest these teas would work great iced. They’re so sweet you wouldn’t even have to add any sugar or honey.

Suggested preparation: 80˚C water, 3 minute steep time.

Here is Japanese Green Tea IN’s Highest Grade Gokuzyo.

Green tea and health

Before Nishida founded Japanese Green Tea IN, he was a Hewlett Packard Software Engineer. It’s clear by his writing and correspondence on the subject that he’s passionate about spreading the word of Japanese Green Tea as a health product. His latest book is Green Tea Mania: 200+ Green Tea Facts, Cooking & Brewing Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn’t Know.

In every country, how much you can claim health benefits depends on government regulation. In Canda all I’m allowed to claim is that green tea has an antioxidant effect on your blood, which is a good thing because they remove free radicals which damage our cells.

Anecdotally, green tea is a part of my personal health regimen. I drink it for focused, anxiety-relief, digestion, for basically… everything.

Arahataen Green Tea Farm

Japanese Green Tea IN sources their products from Arahataen Green Tea Farm in Shizuoka prefecture in Japan, one of Japan’s perfect tea-growing climates near Mt. Fuji. Like most Japanese tea farms, they specialize in making green tea. Nearly 100% of tea produced in Japan is green tea.

As a tea drinker, I really appreciated that Japanese Green Tea IN has pages of information dedicated to their tea farmers and cultivation processes. There’s nothing more disturbing to me than a tea company that doesn’t know where their tea comes from, or how its made.

It’s also impressive to note that they’re the #1 Best-Selling Green Tea on Rakuten, which is like Japan’s version of Amazon.com.

Overall, I enjoyed and would recommend their products. I’m also adding Arahataen Tea Farms on my list of tea farms to visit the next time I’m in Japan.

Disclaimer: Japanese Green Tea IN provided the tea for this review free of charge. Opinions are my own.
Categories Tea Reviews

About

Hi, I’m Mel, blogger and tea sommelier at Mel Had Tea. I love to explore, learn, and meet new people. Nothing inspires me more than reading, traveling the world, talking to strangers, and drinking tea.

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