53 Tasting Notes
This is another hojicha/houjicha that will likely need to grow on me to really appreciate it. If found it to have a bit of a woodsy flavor and a lightness of body. It also has a vague, floral aftertaste that I can’t really place- almost like a subtle osmanthus.
When I opened up my package of GenmaiMatcha was excited to see a couple of soft white popped rice kernels- I always see them in photos but never got any before. That was fun. It’s the toasted flavor and aroma of the rice that draws me to genmatcha, so I figured I was in for a real treat. I hate to say that I was disappointed that the rice’s lovely toastiness is muted in Zen Tea’s GenmaiMatcha. Not that this is a bad tea; I suspect that those who like a more subtle influence from the rice would be a fan of this version. My rating is therefore based on my need for a stronger influence from the rice.
I looooooove genmaicha, so when I saw the soba I thought, hmm… I wonder what this would be like paired with a green, oolong or white tea? So I took the plunge.
I wouldn’t drink this alone- it is not that kind of flavor for me. I’m going to use its toastiness to give new life to teas I’ve stopped drinking. First, I tried it with my new Harney & Sons Lung ching and I really like the results. Not like genmaicha, really, but obviously in the same category, adding a toasty, roasted dimension to a slightly sweet green tea. The soba doesn’t have the drama of toasted rice but subtlety doesn’t make it bad or uninteresting. I can’t wait to add it to some other teas in my collection.
I must say: I’m one of Harney & Sons’ new fans. I read up on them before buying from them and liked what I found- they are real tea experts who care about their product. I like the quality of the items I purchased- fresh and nicely packaged. Good job!
I’m so new to tea that I didn’t realize that I already had Lung Ching because I learned about it through its other common name, Dragonwell, which I’ve bought a couple of times from Teavana. I love Dragonwell as a mild, forgiving (hard to ruin!) green tea. Dragonwell is like that basic article of clothing that looks good on you and goes with just about anything you own- something you can depend on to complement your wardrobe. Dragonwell complements my tea cupboard. It is a comforting tea that doesn’t have to wow me to be thoroughly enjoyed.
And I say all of that because when I opened up the lovely Harney & Sons tin (my first purchase from them) I thought hey- that looks like a slightly paler version of Teavana’s Dragonwell! I steeped it and loved it immediately. A hint of sweetness and a vegetal flavor and aroma. The flavor is more robust than Teavana’s Dragonwell, though both teas are nice -and pretty to look at, too.
I’m going through a toasted/roasted tea thing right now so I was excited to try this. I am thoroughly enjoying my sample package from TeaFrog, which arrived yesterday.
This tea definitely has an overtone of roastiness from the rice that takes me back to my Puffed Rice cereal/rice cakes days. While those two foods annoy the heck out of me (as Styrofoam should) the rice in this tea doesn’t. Instead, it adds an interesting dimension of aroma and flavor, along with a pleasant lingering aftertaste.
I was thinking this tea came along because someone, long ago, wanted roasted green tea without roasting the actual tea leaves, but the story I’ve read is that it was accidentally created when monks roasting tea leaves in cauldrons that already had rice in them ended up liking the combo. I like it too. Time for cup #2.
Whoa- I love this stuff! I’m a big fan of Dragonwell, so I was intrigued with this roasted tea sent to me by Bonnie. Now I want MORE- and was disappointed to find that Happy Lucky’s is apparently all brick-and-mortar, no online sales. Drats. I will definitely be looking for Japanese roasted greens to try now. I love the strong steeping aroma, which reminds me of a forest during a rain, dense with humidity. The roasted quality is what I really relish, but I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the dimension it adds to this tea. I truly look forward to stocking my shelves with this wonderful addition.
This is a fun tea I got from Bonnie as a sample. I don’t buy a lot of these flavored teas, so it’s a treat to try them. This one reminds me of the winter holiday season, for some reason. I detect an undertone of the deep, sweet flavors of serious, home made ice cream- nuts, caramel/vanilla. I love the nutty aroma. For me, this would be a dessert tea. I’m very happy as I drink it- maybe it’s raising my serotonin levels!
I received this tea from Bonnie. Thank you, Bonnie!
I used to smoke tobacco pipes. I got into it as a qualitative sociologist who needed to study a social group. Along the way I became fascinated with learning about different types of tobacco, and after I wrote my paper I maintained my interest in pipes for a few years, smoking while I graded papers and the like. Then I stopped – got scared for my health.
This tea instantly reminded me of latakia tobacco. And shoe leather. When I first got into tea I started to wonder if one of its draws is its connection to the consumption of tobacco leaves. I loved learning about different tobaccos leaves, their treatment, flavor, aroma and other qualities. With tea I am equally enthralled. This particular tea kind of bridges the gap between Camellia sinensis and Nicotiana for me. Drinking it makes me kind of nervous, as if I’m smoking again. I even feel a little bite on my tongue just as I used to feel as a newbie pipe smoker (though THAT bite came from steaming my tongue half to death). Once I get past the smoky quality of the tea, I detect a smoothness and body that are also pleasantly satisfying. I drank this first mug straight- I’m not sure if I want to alter the flavor with anything.
Do I like this tea? I do. I think I like it mainly because of its uniqueness and the memories it brings forth. I will definitely order some, but I think it will last a long time- it’s not a tea I’ll drink often. I can see drinking it in cold weather- it’s got a warm-you-up quality to it. Maybe it’s the campfire undertone, but I imagine drinking this on the back porch on a cool Fall evening, wrapped in a blanket and gazing at shooting stars.