Sugimoto America: Gyokuro 玉露



Gyokuro is green tea that was cultivated in the shade and is considered one of the finest green teas in Japan. It has a unique sweetness since the shade allows the tea to retain a high Theanine content. Only the first flush tea leaves are used for Gyokuro.

Available through: Sugimoto America | Facebook

Tasting Notes

This is a very typical green tea. Smelling it is very buttery and then a hint of grassiness. The butteriness is missing almost completely from the tea when drinking and is instead replaced with a slight bitterness at the end.

The leaves are a very pretty blue-green color and are smaller than most other leaves, brewing up like spinach. The packaging suggested 140 degrees for steeping but I think this would have done better at either a lower temperature or lower steeping time since it did have a tad of bitterness.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Spinach
Preparation: 2 minutes, 15 seconds @ 140 °F

About sa

Sugimoto America is a complete supplier of Japanese green tea and a subsidiary of Sugimoto Seicha, a Japanese green tea company founded in 1946. They have been awarded both the Green Tea Connoisseur Award as well as the prestigious Prime Minister Award for its superior quality of tea leaves.

Tea quality is determined by tea farmers. Our Tea Maestro has selected 11 artisan farmers in his local area of Shizuoka prefecture. He and his farmers work toward the same goal — to produce the highest quality green tea possible using the traditional Japanese steam processing method (Fukamushi), and without using large machines to harvest from their farms located on mountain slopes.

Product provided for review.  All notes & opinions are my own.

Simple Loose Leaf Tea: Insomniac’s Dream Herbal


This dreamy tisane blends five calming herbs into one delicious tea. Catnip and Chamomile Flowers lure the drinker into a mellow, relaxed mood, while the bright flavors of Peppermint, Lemon Balm and Lemongrass dance around their palate, resulting in a tea that is at once effective and unforgettable. But drinker beware- you may hit the pillow before finishing your cup!

Ingredients: Catnip, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Peppermint

Available through: Simple Loose Leaf | Facebook

Tasting Notes

The scent of this tea is much stronger than the taste. Has aromas of grass, mint, hay, a hint of citrus and a heavy dose of honey from the chammomile.

The taste is smooth, light, and sweet with a hint of floral honey on the finish. I thought it would be a lot heavier tasting after smelling, but it wasn’t too rich.

Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey, Mint

About logo

Simple Loose Leaf is not just another simple tea club that uses its members to get rid of spare inventory that is about to expire. We are a Subscription Box company dedicated to enriching people’s lives through the love of tea. Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, behind water, for a reason. The variety of tea and the beautiful nuances of tea rival the great wines of history, and we are just at the beginning of the tea revolution here in the United States.

Product provided for review.  All notes & opinions are my own.

Fashionista Tea: Creamy Earl Grey


Organic, high grown estate black tea hand blended with cornflowers, fragrant oil of bergamot and a touch of French Vanilla.

Ingredients: Organic black tea, Organic Cornflowers, Organic Oil of Bergamot, Natural Flavor

Available through: Fashionista Tea | Facebook

Tasting Notes

The smell of the dry leaf is strong with bergamot and finishes with cream. The taste when brewed is creamy and floral with a slight hint of pepper. This is a great, smooth and flavorful tea.

Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Pepper

About Fashionista Tea

Fashion & Tea meet to create the 1st company to blend the two worlds together with a collection of gourmet teas crafted to impart a unique taste and an aura of sophistication featuring its signature “Fashionista” Blend created specifically for the line.

Product provided for review.  All notes & opinions are my own.

Nepali Tea Traders: Everest First Flush


Photo by Nepali Tea Traders



Our Everest First Flush tea is hand-picked in April from the tender buds of the tea plants that emerge after several months of dormancy as the days turned crisp, sunny, and bright. This unique, artisan tea is a vibrant expression of the fresh Himalayan spring. Its beautiful, long leaves reflect the subtleties of the season. Upon delivery of the freshly picked leaves to the Sandakphu factory, it is processed initially by hand by gently rolling the leaves, then allowed to wither overnight. The following day, the leaves are mechanically rolled to achieve natural oxidation while preserving the fresh, spring green color. The liquor is pale and pure. The tea’s gentle, aromatic profile features floral and lilac notes. The first sip reveals a smooth, sweet tea, with refreshing spring astringency. This tea finishes with crisp vegetal notes and hints of roasted corn. Like Nepal’s famed peak, this is the pinnacle of our first flush teas.

Available through: Nepali Tea Traders | Facebook

Tasting Notes

Very clean, buttery and naturally sweet. This tastes more like a green tea than a black tea and has a nice, clear broth. Absolutely no bitterness or astringency and sips very smoothly. This tea seems like a great beginner point for unflavored teas, but nothing jumps out at me.

Flavors: Sweet, warm grass

About logo

Nepali Tea Traders is inspired by the Nepalese people, who live in one of Asia’s poorest countries and have few resources but are incredibly warm and generous with what little they do have. Nepalese farmers work hard, carefully handpicking and crafting premium teas, but buyers have often paid them below market value and sold their teas as fine Indian Darjeelings instead. They want Nepal to gain the recognition it deserves as a world-class origin for tea and are committed to paying fair prices and helping build a sustainable tea economy that can improve quality of life.

Product provided for review.  All notes & opinions are my own.

ShiZen: Organic Houjicha 有機ほうじ茶


Houjicha is a roasted green tea that has a smooth and mellow roasted nut flavor. Our houjicha is grown on the family farms in the foothills of Mount Fuji that is organically grown for over 25 years and roasted by a tea artisan that has the top quality roasting technique in Japan. Houjicha’s refreshing taste will be suitable when served with a meal, and of course great for after meals and simply for tea time too. Read About Our Farmer.

Available through: ShiZen | Facebook

Tasting Notes

The dry leaf for this tea might be a bit intimidating for some. Not as strong as some lapsang or genmaicha I’ve smelled, but it is a slightly funky, earthy, and straw-like scent.

The brewed tea is much more mild and smells almost like roasted corn. I was afraid this tea would be similar to barley tea (mugicha), which for some reason I don’t like the taste of, but I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this tea when brewed. It stood up to a nice long brewing of 3 minutes since it is less fragile than a non-roasted green tea. There is absolutely no bitterness, astringency, or even the slight acidity that regular green teas can sometimes have. It does inherit the grassiness and smooth buttery finish of a high quality green tea.

The finish is sweet and smooth, reminding me of a non-salted version of those grocery snack corn nuts. The after taste has a bit of tannin that reminds me of oolong teas served in restaurants to help with digestion, but it is more of a nostalgic reminder and does not affect the overall taste of the tea at all.

Flavors: Butter, Hay, Roasted nuts, Straw, Toasted Rice


Shizen’s mission is to support sustainable organic farming for the better environment and safer health foods by becoming a bridge between organic farmers and consumers around the world. In Japan, there are farmers who have strong commitments to organic farming. Most of these farmers believe that organic farming is the sustainable way to keep their land healthy so that future generations can enjoy the same beautiful nature. However, Japanese consumers do not have as much appreciation in organic products as consumers in other countries do.

Product provided for review.  All notes & opinions are my own.