7 Tasting Notes
Profile: Liquor is a pale, clear beige. Aroma is a natural and exceptionally sweet floral bouquet of jasmine. Taste is similar, with sweet jasmine diffusing across the palate and an undertone of soft green tea grounding it. Aftertaste lingers pleasantly, revealing notes of honey and grapes. Mouthfeel is smooth and light, with no bitterness or astringency.
Other notes: The freshly steeped leaves are intoxicating. Breathe in deeply and a potent whiff of jasmine will greet you. Aroma is very much a part of this experience as the taste. The pearls are also a pleasure to watch unfurl.
Verdict: A complex and truly superior jasmine tea, and perhaps the best I’ve tried. There is a sweetness here that overshadows lesser teas, the floral aspect is not cloying or artificial, and the leaves themselves are clearly a cut above the typical quality, leaving no trace of astringency. If you seek this style of tea, I would currently recommend no other as highly.
Profile: Liquor is a dark, partially opaque brown. Aroma is malty and sweet. Taste is malty as well, but an overpowering bitterness masks any sweetness. Aftertaste is brief and unpleasant. Mouthfeel has an excessively astringent bite.
Other notes: The bitterness and astringency become progressively more dominant as the tea cools.
Verdict: This is a poor example of Darjeeling tea, without any of the characteristic fruitiness or muscatel notes. Instead of a pleasantly crisp bite, it is excessive and masks any flavor but malt. I will not drink this tea again, and I would advise steering clear of it.
Profile: Liquor is golden brown. Aroma is heavily toasted, with notes of caramel, coffee, and charcoal. Taste is similar, though the toastiness is lighter, the caramel sweetness is more apparent, and notes of coffee and charcoal are muted, replaced with a green woodsiness, revealing that this is, in fact, a green tea (bancha). Aftertaste is long and sweet, with the toastiness lingering for minutes. Mouthfeel is smooth, with no astringency or bitterness.
Other notes: The flavor of this tea is quite unique, due to the use of charcoal during the roasting process. Caffeine content is also lower, which makes houjicha better suited than other teas for evenings.
Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable experience with a unique flavor profile and very long finish. It has become my drink of choice at night, for relaxation and warmth. I will be ordering more of this wonderful tea from Den’s.
Profile: Liquor is a dark, coppery brown. Aroma is malty and citrusy. Taste is predominantly malt. Aftertaste is brief, but reveals mild sweetness. Mouthfeel is crisp, with light astringency and no bitterness.
Other notes: Some reviews complain about heavy bitterness or astringency. Don’t steep this for 5 minutes and expect a light cup.
Verdict: It is refreshing, but lacks character. If you want a malty, basic black tea, this is acceptable.
Profile: Liquor is a dark, coppery brown. Aroma is malt and wet leaves, like a combination between a pu-erh and Yunnan black. Taste is somewhat malty, with slight sweetness and the forest-floor earthiness of a Gunpowder green. Aftertaste is brief, but pleasant. Mouthfeel is smooth, with no astringency or bitterness.
Other notes: It is obvious that this is a blend, but the flavors mesh well with one another. Steeping is easy and very forgiving.
Verdict: Excellent for a bagged tea. I enjoyed the earthy sweetness and was surprised by the mellowness of the cup; it is light and refreshing compared to morning blends.
Profile: Liquor is a pale yellowish green. Aroma is mildly vegetal. Taste is mildly vegetal as well; fresh green beans with a hint of smokiness. Aftertaste is brief and clean. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly drying to the tongue, without any bitterness.
Other notes: One could compare it to Dragonwell, though it is thinner and without nuttiness. Also worth noting is that I detected no spiciness or sweetness, which is contrary to other reviews.
Verdict: An inoffensive cup, but not my preference. The complexity of flavors simply wasn’t there, and while it is bolder than some other Chinese greens, still too mild for me.