618 Tasting Notes
I saved the best for last. :) I have had my eye on this tea for a while, like around 6 months I think. Houjicha is one of my favorite teas, so I’m really looking forward to trying this one from a new-to-me tea company. This is grown right in Japan! It doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you to Sil for sharing this sample!
Ohhhh, yes! The brewed tea aroma is intoxicating and instantly made my mouth water. The taste is a perfect roasted green tea flavor. It’s roasty toasty and delicious! I’ve had several different types of houjicha, and this one is particularly buttery. I don’t think I’ve encountered a buttery houjicha before. It’s really interesting and complements the roasted notes nicer than I would have thought.
I love the description of this tea: “Houjicha is a source of health for farmers, and Japanese farmers are well-known for their good health.” LOL! I didn’t know that! :P If you’ve never tried houjicha before, this is an excellent one to try. Its buttery notes are unique, but it still maintains the prefect roasted flavor that I would expect.
Houjicha is nothing like unroasted green tea (sencha, matcha, gunpowder, dragonwell, etc). It’s not grassy at all and instead can be quite nutty. I think this particular tea is less nutty because of the added buttery notes. Nevertheless, it’s a great representation of what roasted green tea has to offer: a tasty warming cuppa!
This is truly a delicious and special tea. I’m savoring every sip. Mmmm, yum! And now I know that Hibiki-an offers excellent quality teas. I’ll have to check them out further, and I’ll probably pick up more of this while I’m at it. ;) Thanks again, Sil!!!
Another sipdown made possible by Sil. Yay! Oooh, I love white peony! The brewed tea aroma is white peony and juicy pear. The initial flavor is the lovely white base. The aftertaste is thickly pear and a little weird. I think it actually tastes more like blue raspberry than pear. The best part of this tea is definitely the base. Thank you Sil!!!
The dry leaf aroma is chocolate. The brewed tea aroma is chocolate. The taste? Chocolate. What a surprise. ;)
The black tea base is a little bitter. I added Truvia and skim milk, but it’s still fairly bitter. If you like dark chocolate, I think you’d probably really enjoy this tea. I’ve always been more of a milk chocolate kind of gal myself. Although the older I get, the more dark chocolate grows on me.
I’m really getting nothing in the way of almond here though. I LOVE almond, but I can’t detect any of that lovely flavor in this cup. As a chocolate tea, it’s pretty good. As an almond truffle tea, I think it leaves something to be desired. Nonetheless, I always enjoy trying something new! So thank you to Sil for providing this sample!
I received this sample teabag from a co-worker. Don’t you love when people give you free tea just because they know you like it? Big thanks to my awesome co-worker!
The dry leaf aroma is floral but not recognizably jasmine. The taste? Hmm, it kind of just tastes like a generic black bagged tea. Weird. Isn’t this a green/black/oolong/jasmine blend? Why doesn’t it taste like any of those things? Well, besides black tea that is. Anything blended with black tea always seems to end up tasting like black tea. Why do people bother blending it with greens and oolongs?
Oh, this has Darjeeling in it. I can definitely taste that. It’s smooth and has a nice muscatel. It’s not bitter or astringent. Mmm, yum! For a bagged Darjeeling tea, this is pretty tasty! But I can’t say that it tastes like anything else. Overall, I like it! I definitely wouldn’t turn it down in the future.
No matter how hard I try, my cupboard always seems to be at 180 teas. *Sigh. Well, all I can do is carry on! This tea is juicy and delicious! It has very little ginger. The aroma is candied pears, but the flavor is more natural pear with a touch of lemon. I think if it had a tiny bit more ginger, it would be much improved.
The ginger is coming out more at the end of the sip now that I’m halfway through the cup. But the predominant flavor is juicy, sweet pear. Like those Dole cups of diced pears in natural juices. No sugar added. ;) I can understand how this won an award. The flavors are delicately balanced. This is super yummy!
The dry leaf aroma has bite! It’s spicy and pumpkin-y and downright scrumptious smelling! The brewed tea aroma is calmer and the taste is calmer still. Don’t get me wrong; this is tasty! But I wish the taste had the same bite as the dry leaf aroma.
The green base comes through strong and in the forefront of the sip. It’s not thickly grassy as I would expect a dragonwell to be, but that’s actually to my advantage. Next comes the pumpkin spiciness (think Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with nutmeg). And at the end of the sip, there’s a sweet, caramel-like, toffee finish. This is delicious! Not quite as potent as I’d like the flavors to be but delicious nonetheless.
I know this isn’t a cheesecake tea…but I swear I can detect tanginess too. Overall, I’m not floored by this blend as I have been in the past with some 52teas’ creations. However, I’ll happily drink the rest of this and even share it with my husband. I have a feeling this is exactly the type of tea he’d love. Green teas are his favorite. :)
I’ve had this in my cupboard for over 2 years and never written a note about it. Shame on me! Well, it’s time to turn this poor overlooked tea into a sipdown! I originally received this from Camiah who was my first swap partner on Steepster. Thank you, Camiah!!!
The brewed tea aroma is very strong! The base is Chinese, but that’s all I could find about it. It reminds me of a cross between Assam and Keemun. That is to say, this has an odd, pungent, almost smokey aroma that calms as the cup cools.
Upon sipping it, the initial flavor is the base. Again, it’s a bit strange. I can’t figure out what it is. I guess that’s because I just haven’t had it before! The aftertaste is a lovely, sweet lychee flavor. It’s a tad astringent but tolerably so. No bitterness. The lychee here is delicious! It’s not the best I’ve had but that could easily be attributable to age.
Overall, this is a lovely tea. I’m sorry I neglected it for so long. But I am happy to move on to new tea adventures! I never tire of trying new things. After all, isn’t that what life’s about? And now that my husband enjoys tea too, we can share in the exploration and discovery together. :D
Hmm, this pretty much just tastes like coconut oil. Upon opening the sample, there was some weird golden fuzz on the outside of the teabag. I’m not sure what that’s about. This tea has a slight acrid aftertaste, and each successive sip grows more astringent than the last.
It’s not going to become one of my favorites, but I’m happy I got the chance to try something new. I had higher expectations of something named ambrosia. Sadly, that’s just a fancy name for a mediocre coconut tea.
This isn’t a bad jasmine green tea, but it’s not among the best I’ve tried (I’m looking at you, Verdant & Teavivre). The jasmine is strong and flavorful in the first steep and quieter in the second. The end of the sip leans towards bitterness, so I probably should have used a little cooler water.
I’m also not sure if the bitterness is originating from the jasmine flavoring or the green base. I brewed the second infusion at 180 degrees for four minutes and the bitterness was noticeably less apparent. So, I think it’s safe to say that 185 degrees is just too hot for this particular tea.
This is similar to Tea Forte’s Earl Grey. There’s a harshness to the flavoring that dulls the overall flavor profile, making it flat and one dimensional in the second steep. It doesn’t dance across the tongue. Like I said, overall it’s not bad. But I think I’ll stick to the other jasmine teas I’ve found.