Den's TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This was the last of Den’s $3 sampler. I first sampled this tea as a very new tea drinker, and enjoyed it then.
Now as I return with far more tea experience, I love it even more. It smells much like Genmaicha and tastes somewhat like a roastier Genmaicha. The flavor is warming, toasty, and also just a little savory, just a hint of seaweed that to me makes it all the more interesting and delightful. It also resteeped well, full of flavor for 3 steeps despite being underleafed (rather than the recommended 2g or heaping tsp per 4oz, I had only a scant tsp remaining, and on top of that poured in more than 4oz water). I’m on #4, and this cup is lighter though still lovely.
I have barely explored Japanese teas — in many ways, they seem like their own world. Sure, Genmaicha is an easy bridge tea, and I’ve experienced some Senchas and a Kukichas with delightfully fresh, sweet, grassy flavors, yet haven’t fully embraced the astringency that seems such a key part of the experience of many (most?) Japanese greens.
But this tea is quite accessible. It is not all that different from a roasted oolong, like Harney’s Formosa Oolong, the tea that reminds me of what was served in the Chinese restaurant my family frequented when I was a kid. I was not a tea drinker then, but I’d drink cup after cup of that tea. It needed no adjustment period. Because of the hint of salt in this cup, this tea may be slightly less universally appealing, but I think it’s still very accessible.
No astringency. Easy to brew. Nothing intimidating. A unique combination of the hearty, roasty dominating flavor along with the tease of savory seaweed. This is the first Japanese tea that’s completely hooked me. I’m ready for more.
Of all the teas I’ve tried from Den’s, this is my favorite. It has a nutty flavor with just enough grassiness to make a pleasant compliment to the nuttiness rather than overpower it. This tea is easy on the stomach and palate. It gets a bit bitter if steeped too long, but it has never gotten to the point of being distasteful.
Flavors: Grass, Nutty
I’ve been drinking this every night after dinner for the past week or so. It isn’t my favorite tea, but it works well as an after dinner drink. It has a bright woody taste with a bit of sweetness that is strong enough to not be covered up by any food you may have recently eaten, and it’s much easier on the stomach than some of my other Den’s teas. The lower caffeine content also makes it a nice night time drink if you aren’t prepared to switch tea for something herbal.
Flavors: Sweet, Wood
Sample from one of the tea boxes this year. I really need to keep my samples better organized.
I’m not really a green tea person, but I I like to try new varieties on occasion just for variety and in case I find something that strikes my fancy. Also black tea triggers my heartburn, but green and white don’t seem to. So I pulled this out. It tastes mostly like spinach to me, with a very slight touch of bitterness. Not bad, but not something I would buy. I’ll probably mix it with dried carrot pieces next time.
Sipdown no. 183. A sample.
Last caffeine of the day. Sweet, green smell in the packet and lovely feathery green leaves. Steeps to a light yellow color with an aroma somewhere between mown grass and steamed peas.
Light, vegetal (still peas, mostly, and some broccoli) in the sip, and grassy in the aftertaste. Pretty much what I expected, though it’s been a while since I’ve had a Den’s sencha, or any sencha, and I really don’t recall what I was thinking in terms of ratings when I rated some of the others. Putting this one on a par with the highest rated in the past.
Another plus: green tea always makes me feel like I’m being so healthy. :-)
Flavors: Broccoli, Grass, Hay, Peas
This was part of the $3 novice sampler back in March 2013. Yes, I know that green teas shouldn’t sit around for so long. But honestly? This was still delicious. It made for a perfect travel mug tea in the morning, full of roasty goodness. I added some honey when I got to work and the result was glorious. The sweetness of the honey balanced nicely with the grassiness of the green tea and roastiness of the popcorn/rice. I couldn’t really taste the matcha, but I do think it made for a nice little energy boost. This is one of those blends that proves teabags can still make good tea.
Good morning everyone!
I made a cup of this one yesterday but let it steep far too long so the resulting brew was intolerably bitter. I took two sips and poured the rest down the sink.
Today, I was a bit more careful and let the water cool down for a good 4 minutes and let the tea steep for only 3 minutes. The first thing I noticed was a buttery aroma rising from the cup. It wasn’t savory but more of a sweet cream butter flavor. The tea liquid tastes and smells of pineapple, but even with the shorter steep and cooler temp it still tastes a little bitter.
I was really excited about this one after reading such great reviews here, but I’m just not too impressed after having tried it. Maybe I’ll try steeping this a few different ways in the future to see if I can find a way to enjoy it.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Pineapple
second steep of the sample I tried yesterday. Steeped at 160 F for about 20 seconds, I think (I used about two cups of water this time, since I wanted extra for my homemade shampoo).
This cup was flavorful and much less bitter than yesterday’s steeping. There’s still a touch of bitterness, and a round floral edge to it. It reminds me more of jasmine green tea, with a slight cherry aroma instead of jasmine. Very nice. This is definitely a tea where you need to follow the instructions.
Got a sample of this from a BPAL sale. It smelled great, and the little pieces of dried cherry blossom looked so pretty against the green tea.
I let it steep for a little bit in the Zervo and let it drain into my cup. And then I might have gotten distracted with making breakfast, so it cooled down a lot before I drank it.
The cup has a distinct bitterness to it (maybe I should have let the water cool a bit more before steeping than after). It has a floral edge and aroma. As I keep sipping, there’s some subtle sweetness to it – it’s very fitting of my image of cherry blossom. And the green tea… how do I put this? It tastes like a very BRIGHT green tea. It’s like it’s been boosted with sunshine.
I don’t know if I’ll search out more of this (I used up my sample this time), but I probably wouldn’t say no to a cup.
Edit: after reading a bit more on the page, it looked like I oversteeped it. I might try a second or third steep before tossing the leaves. :)
Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Grass, Green, Sweet
Received this in a swap with Stephanie.
My last cherry blossom tea was a bust. Teavana’s Sakura Allure was super tart and hibiscusy. I didn’t care for the artificial flavoring they add to their teas either.
But this tea was on point. It has a bright cherry flavor that intermingles harmoniously with the natural grassiness of the sencha and notes of spring blossoms. Normally I find cherry flavored anything too overbearing but the cherry here is delicate and light.
I brewed it per Den’s instructions. 1 min @ 175 for the first infusion, and 15 seconds using hotter water for the second. The first steep is grassier while in the second infusion the sencha takes a backseat and really lets the cherry blossom flavor shine through.
Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Grass
Ever since I found out that this tea existed, I’ve been wanting to try it. Houjichas and genmaichas are two of my very favorite types of teas, and I am always turning to one or the other for comfort or as a palette cleanser or for any other excuse. Today is a warmer day, so I opted to steep this one extra strong and pour over ice to drink as an iced tea. As it was steeping, I really could smell the strong genmaicha toastiness. When the tea finally cooled, I was surprised to find that the dominant taste was houjicha in contrast to the smell while it was steeping. In fact, for the first couple sips, all I could really taste was the houjicha. After settling into it, though, I can definitely pick up the toasty genmaicha toward the end of the sip. These teas blend together so perfectly! Perhaps they don’t quite contribute completely unique flavors to the tea, but I’m okay with it. I love my roasty Japanese green teas :)
Tasty green tea! Brothy mouthfeel, but the flavor is relatively mild and not astringent. I usually like a stronger vegetal flavor in my greens, but sometimes I want something lighter. This certainly isn’t the lightest green tea, don’t misunderstand my, but I mean only relative to what I usually drink. I love me a strong unami, but it’s one of those things I can easily get too much of and need a break from it. This tea is perfect for that.
Flavors: Broth, Vegetal
It’s freezing in my office! I needed something warm and toasty to soothe myself, so this roasted bancha from my Den’s Tea sampler should do the trick!
First steep 30 seconds: Brewed, this smells salty, like the Laoshan Black from Verdant smelled salty, but this one doesn’t quite have as much body behind it. My office mate described it as “everything-bagel tea”. The roasted flavor is not nearly as strong as some oolongs I’ve had before, but more warming, like fresh bread out of the oven that you know will taste sweet! And once it cools off some, I am getting a sweet aftertaste! This is a super enjoyable cup, just what I want right this moment. I’m going to have to get me some houjicha before cold weather rolls around again (maybe sooner if the office is going to stay arctic).
Seconds steep of 15 seconds: Darker color than the first, but flavors much more muted. still smells very nice.
Flavors: Roasted, Salty, Sweet
What a perfectly well-rounded and tasty sencha! So long as one pays careful attention to the color of the steep, you can expect a full bodied, toasty sencha with every infusion, and I typically enjoy five or six steeps. I mention color because there’s a lot of power in these leaves, and it’s easy to oversteep on the first brew. I just wash the water straight through and enjoy.
It’s funny how a tea so well balanced can leave me without something in particular to say, for good or ill, but you should consider that a form of praise itself. Be sure you enjoy a potentially strong green tea with a fantastic roasted flavor. If you do, you’re all set. Enjoy.
Yum! So smooth and green!
I’m thoroughly enjoying this cloudy cup from my Den’s tea sampler pack. I’m using the looseleaf version for this review.
First impression: so, so, so smooth! Maybe I’m just not used to good green tea, but even the brewed leaves are super soft! It tastes like spinach, fresh from my garden like I was munching on yesterday, minus the drying effect that spinach has. As it cools, it gets a little nutty, with a veggie-sweet aftertaste. When it was really hot, my first sip had a bit of a seaweed quality to it, but I couldn’t confirm on my second sip. Not near as roasty as I was expecting it to be. I guess the matcha is what is contributing to the thick mouthfeel, as well.
Seconds steep 15 seconds: Obviously a much clearer cup, without the matcha. I again got seaweed on the very first sip, but now with it is just slightly sweet veggies with a vague nuttiness. Still really nice!