Review: Sencha Shot green tea by Ito En.

Sencha Shot by Ito En. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Asian markets seem to be full of canned and bottled green tea, oolong tea, and Thai milk tea products, which seem to be especially popular in Japan and among Japanese residents of San Jose. I purchased Sencha Shot at the Lucky supermarket on Park Victoria Blvd. in Milpitas, but I have seen it also at the Ranch 99 markets, and I expect that the Japanese groceries in Japantown would carry it. The 6.4 fl. oz. can cost $0.98, I believe.

Sencha Shot Japanese green tea by Ito En is a fairly new product to appear on San Jose grocery shelves; the promotional text on the can reads: “Drink for your self.  Recharge and renew with this shot of Catechin powered Japanese green tea.  Sencha shot is authentically brewed from premium sencha green tea leaves.  Our advanced, deeper brewing method yields this high content of natural Catechin antioxidants … and a more full-bodied taste.” The product is billed as an usweetened, antioxidant-rich beverage, and the can reads “Contains 152 MG of catechin tea antioxidants”; “All Natural Unsweetened No Calories”; and “Sencha Shot’s catechin antioxidants occur naturally and have not been added”.

Sencha Shot comes in a small can, decorated with attractive green photo images of fresh tea leaves.  The ingredients are: purified water, green tea, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid).  According to the nutrition facts chart, it has no calories, fat, carbohydrate or protein, 20 mg of sodium and 140% vitamin C. The tea is very much as you would get if you brewed some Japanese sencha tea leaves, allowed the infusion to cool, and drank it later.  It has a very grassy, fresh flavor that is slightly bitter, and not sweet. The metallic flavor that often accompanies canned tea products is almost nonexistent in this tea.

While the health claims and “deeper brewing method” can’t be confirmed by simply drinking this tea, I would recommend this product as a refreshing beverage.  It’s a bit pricey, at about a dollar for little more than 6 ounces, but it is flavorful and has a pure green tea taste.

Company information from the can:
Distributed by ITO EN (North America) INC.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Product of Japan
http://www.itoen.com
1-888-832-7832 (toll free)

Copyright 2010, Elizabeth Urbach.

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For more information: “Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality green tea”
“Japanese tea from San Jose’s Japantown”
“Review: Sanrotsu matcha tea cookies”
“Review: Japanese Oreo matcha candy bar by Nabisco”
“Kombucha: what is it and should you drink it?”
“Review: Vital Tea Leaf Angel green tea and Siberian Rose tisane”
“Review: the Royal Wedding tea from Lisa’s Tea Treasures”
“Review: Buccaneer blend from SerendipiTea”
“Review of Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong”
“Review: Orange Blossom 100% White Tea from The Republic of Tea”
“Review: Passion blend from SerendipiTea”

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3 Comments

Filed under Product Reviews, Tea

3 responses to “Review: Sencha Shot green tea by Ito En.

  1. Anna

    Call me a “tea n00b” but this stuff tastes so gross haha I haven’t even been able to finish half the can to be able to see if there are any benefits.

    • That’s o.k., Anna! Just like with most beverages, drinking tea is a subjective experience. Not everyone is going to like every kind of tea. While canned tea is convenient, and I liked this product, it doesn’t taste anywhere as good as freshly made tea! I have discovered, however, that green tea is especially sensitive to infusing conditions: if the water is too hot, or if the tea leaves stay in the water too long, they can get bitter really quickly and produce a really unpleasant cup of tea. I encourage you to not give up on green tea yet, but instead try making it with water that’s not quite boiling hot, make sure you’re not heating your water in the microwave (it really makes a difference in the way the tea tastes!), and take the tea bag/tea leaves out of the water after no more than 3 minutes. You can also get some loose tea, and those fabric or filter paper bags (Asian markets often carry them), put some tea in one of the bags and pop it into your water bottle at night. In the morning, you’ll have fresh-tasting tea that you made yourself, with only a little more work than grabbing a can of tea. You might discover that green tea can be delicious!

  2. Pingback: TeaParty.nu – Tea Shots

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