I like to keep an eye on all the crazy new energy drinks because sometimes you find something healthy. Today that something was a small can of green tea straight from Japan.

ito en sencha shot green tea

This is the Sencha Shot from Ito En, a premiere tea brewer in Japan. If the name didn’t give it away, the rock solid, steel can sure would have. This is not the can to try smashing on your forehead!

It actually reminded me of the Starbucks Double Shot Espresso can, which clues you in to the taste. In a word, it’s strong! This is the tea version of an espresso – strong, bitter, and a definite wake-up call! I guess that’s how they take it in Japan.

I wasn’t expecting something that was all-natural, unsweetened, and had 0 calories to be tasty, but I was still surprised at how “full-bodied” the flavor was. Some people call it “full-bodied” or “authentic,” but I have a more descriptive opinion…

I think it tastes like crap. Figuratively speaking, that is. Literally, it tastes (and smells) more like vomit. I couldn’t drink the whole thing (even though the can is only 6.4 ounces). The terrible smell rising from the can sets the stage for a bitter green tea, which actually isn’t so bad once you’re drinking it.

Like I said, I couldn’t finish the can, so I let it sit overnight in the fridge. Then the horrid smell was gone the next morning. I was able to taste this “authentic Japanese green tea” which was interesting, but still on the bitter side. The taste actually seemed like I was chewing on raw tea leaves and branches out in the wilderness (except that I was sipping it from a can in the comfort of my living room).

Moving on to the health benefits…

The highlight of this tea is that it contains 152 milligrams of catechin tea antioxidants. Epicatechin, epicatechingallate, epigallocatechin, and epigallocatechingallate, to be specific. 😉

Surely the high concentration of antioxidants plus a day’s worth of Vitamin C is worth the bitter taste!

My final verdict is…

If you like to try exotic or just plain weird drinks, this could be for you. It could also be used as an espresso replacement for someone looking for a pick-me-up with more antioxidants.

If you like green tea as we drink it in America, though, steer clear of this.

Official site: www.itoen.com

Buy it: Amazon.com

I almost bought these for Christmas gifts last year… for my enemies! 😉

* It got a 4-star rating at Amazon.com, so some people must like this stuff.

Product Review Details
Company: Ito En
Product: Ito En Sencha Shot Japanese Green Tea
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-02-05
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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11 Comments
  1. i am so sorry but i just could not drink this stuff i was so in hopes that i had found something that would make me feel stronger it smelled so bad it made me sick and it tasted so bad i could not drink it..

  2. great drink I love it. You can get it at big lots for 25 cents per can

  3. Yeah, this is one of those “love it or hate it” drinks.

  4. To me the sencha shot tastes exactly like canned spinach juice! but I have grown to like the taste. These work great to feel energized and focused. I take them before a test or job interview. Maybe it’s in my head, but I swear by them!

  5. I love the stuff. Too funny that you think it smells like vomit. I was beginning to think that you just got a bad can. I have to ask, do you drink green tea on a regular basis?

    If you like Red Bull, you are not going to like this stuff. I’m afraid that your taste buds have been tainted by the taste of sugar.

  6. @Pat

    I drink green tea all the time. Multiple times per day. I love the stuff – even without sugar! (Although I do enjoy it with honey sometimes.)

    I have had two Red Bulls in my entire life. I avoid that crap like the plague. The idea that my taste buds have been tainted by sugar seems utterly ridiculous. I would say getting a bad can is more likely.

  7. I hAve read many reviews on the sencha green tea shot, everyone says it tastes so bad. I dont get it, it smells like tea its not fermented so it should never smell or taste of anything but tea. I drink mine in a glass with ice, lemon and a bit of sugar(ice tea style). The flavor is grassy tasting not bitter or of tasting like that of “crap”. Also the energy it gives you Isnt followed by a caffiene crash. I think this product is awesome i buy one everyday at wholefoods and i rarely drink coffee anymore. So much better on your stomach too because its npt acidic like coffee or eenergy drinks

  8. um… the intensity i felt in my stomach was overwhelming… literally felt like I took a handful of vitamins and turned my stomach upside down. I could not tell if i was going to spew or crap all over the place…now, I’m not sure if i am alone in this, but that took a little while to pass… That was so awful that I don’t even remember what the smell or taste was like. I haven’t felt energized yet. I was looking for a healthy alternative to the sugary poison we call red bull…but that was really uncomfortable.

  9. This stuff is delicious and tastes just like the real deal I had in Japan. Only an uncultured swine thinks this stuff is bad lol

    • @Tina

      LOL!! Prior to maybe 2002 or so, I was probably pretty close to being ‘an uncultured swine.’ But I reviewed this in 2008. So I don’t know what to think.

      Maybe I’ll try it once more…

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