99 Tasting Notes
It’s been a month without drinking tea, finding myself a little too lethargic each morning when I get to work, grabbing a Coke Zero on the way to my desk and letting my spectacular tea collection gather dust beside me, and just grabbing more Zero throughout the day – which only perpetuates the cycle, since aspartame has a complex, subtly negative relationship with sleep. It’s about time I break the cycle, and what better tea to do it with than this one.
I’ve never skipped logging a brew here on Steepster since I began, and this Houjicha has become one of my most-consumed teas of all, without ever getting rated or reviewed. I find it hard to really write much at length about it because it’s just so perfect, simple and understated. It’s a Houjicha, technically speaking, but it’s much fresher and greener than the usual, and has a subtle but much greener, richer flavor. The roasty aspect is almost entirely gone, replaced by a sort of abstract warmth, and it tastes much more clearly like a product of the tea plant, in a gentle white tea way.
I’ve never had a tea quite like this and I suspect I never will, once I run out, so it’s a good thing I bought a 100g bag. Warm, deeply calming, only lightly caffeinated, near-zero astringency… every tea has a place, a mood and a life moment it pairs well with, and this one is the taste of contentment and calm, a brief oasis of zen on a busy workday afternoon, a warming herbal Valium for a cold, rainy day spent reading in the warm glow of a Valhalla tube amplifier.
The one minute boiling steep is not an error. The green nature of this Houjicha might lead you to think you should do otherwise, but don’t be gentle with the temperature, and don’t be lax with the time. You will be rewarded with perfection.