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.