Ito En Oi Ocha Authentic Japanese Iced Green Tea
The Original Ito En Oi Ocha Green Tea in the green bottle is Japan’s number one selling bottled iced green tea. Fortunately, it is available here in the United States at specialty stores or from Amazon.com. Our review of this authentic Japanese Green Tea is provided below.
If your experience with iced green tea to date is Lipton green tea or other brands you can find in a vending machine than this Ito En, will be an eye opening experience. One look at the ingredient list tells you this is not your typical Americanized iced green tea. The ingredient list is:
- Purified Water
- Green Tea
- Asorbic Acid
Pretty simple, especially compared with the list of ingredients from say Lipton Green Tea with citrus, which lists the following ingredients:
- Green Tea (Water, Green Tea Extract from Tea Leaves)
- Citric Acid
- Natural Flavor
- Fruit Extract
- REB A (Purified Stevia Extract)
I do not show this comparison to knock Lipton, but rather to point out that Ito En Oi Ocha is pure green tea. Notice, first the short list of ingredients and second, notice the fact that Ito En uses green tea and not green tea extract.
Oi Ocha is brewed from prime first flush green tea leaves, which means it is brewed in Japanese style from the first leaves of the season. As a result of the ingredient list and the method of brewing it tastes like green tea.
The hallmark grassy green tea finish is strong but not bitter. In fact it is quite smooth. Like a fine wine or a good cigar, the taste lingers and develops after the last bit goes down the throat.
Ito En Oi Ocha is an unsweetened green tea. There is a subtle natural sweetness to it but for someone who drinks their teas sweetened this will at first seem quite the change. This tea was the first unsweetened iced green tea I ever had and honestly, the first case or so, I added a packet of Splenda to each bottle. What surprised me is that with my second case, I left out the sweetener and have never looked back. For some reason, I don’t miss the sweetness and never feel the need to add any to this wonderfully smooth iced green tea.
Each 16.9 ounce bottle of Ito En Oi Ocha provides 60 mg of caffeine, zero calories and 100% of the USDA recommended amount of vitamin C. In addition, you are getting all of the natural “catechin” tea antioxidants that real brewed green tea leaves provide.
If you are looking for am authentic iced green tea and not a sugary green tea extract drink, look no further. This is the Cadillac of authentic iced green tea.
Where to buy:
I have seen Ito En products in specialty grocers at $2-$3 a bottle. I have since wised up and begun ordering cases of 12 from Amazon.com. At $23.44 that’s less than $2 a bottle and if you subscribe, like I do, you can get it for $19.92 a case. Here is a link to the Ito En Oi Ocha product page where you can read more reviews.
About Ito En:
ITO EN is Japan’s premier purveyor of green tea in Japan. ITO EN, North America was found in May of 2001 with the mission of introducing ITO EN’s line of green tea and establishing a culture and interest in authentic Japanese green tea.
ITO EN has unique, privileged access to the most prized tea harvests each season. They carefully select superior tea leaves which are noted for their appearance, flavor, and aroma. Their knowledge, experience, expertise, and sense of taste and quality result in an extraordinary, ready-to-drink tea.