This is the third sample I’ve tried in the sample package. I was very surprised when I saw the brewing instructions and, honestly, a little scared to try it! Using boiled water for a green tea!
Both the tea and tea leaves (dry and wet) have a strong roasted, wood-like aroma, and the liquor is clear, medium brown. The flavor is like that of a usual houjicha, only slightly more robust – possibly due to the fact that much of the sample consisted of tiny broken leaves. When it lingers, boy does it linger. After letting the tea settle for a few seconds in my mouth, the taste becomes much stronger. Too strong for me actually. The aftertaste is similar to that of a black coffee, which I don’t like.
I was even more surprised at the instructions for the second steeping: 15 seconds! The liquor, this time, is golden. The aroma, weaker, but still maintaining its roasted quality. It is the same for the flavor, which still leaves an astringent aftertaste. All around, the second steeping tasted like the usual houjicha I’m used to drinking.
Overall this tea is very strong and woody. I would probably drink it during an early morning because the flavor would surprise my taste buds (and brain) out of sleepiness.