May 23, 2018
We are daily green tea drinkers, although I'm too lazy to deal with loose leaf teas anymore.
We typically use Itoen brand's O~i Ocha which is a powdered green tea with matcha and it can be easily dissolved into hot or cold water. It's super convenient and not cheap at about 800 yen for an 80 gram pack, but much cheaper than constantly buying bottles of watered down tea. I looked into it, and their website says their tea is from all over Japan, so it isn't necessarily from any one of the well known tea growing regions in Japan.
To be honest, before living in Fukuoka Prefecture, the only tea growing region I even knew of was Uji, near Kyoto. I think this is only because so many green tea flavored products (Super Cup ice cream...) use Uji Matcha. After moving to Kurume City, we found out our neighbor town Yame, is famous for their tea as well. Sometimes we see products using Yame Cha and it's really tasty, so we recently went there for new tea picking. Since our region is saturated with Yame Cha, it's not common to find other region's teas in supermarkets.
I didn't know Shizuoka is a region famous for tea, and I've barely been there before. I thought it might be nice to try some of their green tea powder to compare it with what we currently use.
We're a fan of going to kaitenzushi restaurants where we can drink lots of instant green tea. I thought it sounded nice to try a powdered tea which can be used in sushi restaurants. I expected it would be stronger than the Itoen brand, which uses a teaspoon per cup, as opposed to a teeny weeny spoon or two needed per cup of tea at a sushi restaurant.
The tea I chose is from Kakegawa City in Shizuoka, from the Mikasaen farm. I bought a "business use" sized 200 gram bag of instant powder tea for 878 yen including free shipping, from Amazon. The product name in Japanese is 業務用の粉末緑茶（粉末 パウダー）which translates to "business use powdered green tea (funmatsu powder)." As funmatsu means powder it's a little redundant.
My first reaction to the tea after opening the bag was that the smell is really fresh and strong. Especially as I'm used to no smell at all from our powdered tea. That really impressed me and the aroma continued after the tea was made.
This brand boasts that their tea leaves are steamed two or three times longer than normal sencha, resulting in a darker colored tea with a deeper taste. We definitely found this to be true, as the taste is thicker without using as much powder as we would for the Itoen powdered tea.
The only downside I've found to this tea so far is that it doesn't dissolve into hot or cold water as easily as what we're used to - just a swish of the water in the cup would dissolve the Itoen tea. I had to use a spoon to mix in the powder for a bit before the hot tea was visibly smooth. Cold tea mixes up the same - slightly lumpy, but still tastes great and refreshing. The thick taste makes me want to try this in a smoothie because it reminds me of aojiro.
If we consider that the price is almost the same for 2.5 times as much, the Kakegawa Shizuoka powdered tea is a way better value for a fresher taste.
This post is supported by Shizuoka Green Tea Guide, one of City-Cost's Supporters helping City-Cost bloggers to enjoy life in Japan and engage in new experiences.