Den's Tea

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

85

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Butter, Fruity, Milk, Pineapple

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Nutty, Smoked

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68

I am going to probably be covered in chiggers. I decided, I am tired of this stupid Midwest pointy grass and chiggers, and the inability to roll around in the grass, so I found a MASSIVE patch of clovers and just flopped down into it, soaking up the sunlight. The inevitable itchies are probably worth it, I will give a definite on that after they happen. Sometimes a nature lover like me has to to take one for the team in order to recharge my batteries after a long (ok actually it was a really warm) winter.

Since it is Thursday, that means it is time to blow the dust off my tea notebook pile and review one of the teas from my distant (like a year and a half ago) past. Reading the notes of these teas sends me back to the time I drank it, I might not be able to remember what day of the week it is half the time, but I can remember the way things taste and smell from years ago. I have a very strong yet very selective memory! So, today’s tea is Houjicha Gold from Den’s Tea, and boy do I feel sheepish for not visiting their site in a while, because they have some new and exciting teas! I feel a fondness for them since it was where I got my first Kyusu, and a Green Tea Starter kit, I was not at all new to Japanese teas, but I was new to Den’s Tea, and this seemed a good way to try their teas, Houjicha Gold was included. This is their roasted Bancha (as Houjicha tends to be) specifically from the Yabukita Cultivar grown in Shizuoka. The aroma of this tea is fairly mild, on the lightly toasted spectrum of Houjicha, blending a faint sweetness with autumn leaves and a touch of loam. Towards the finish there is a blend of nutty and toasted seaweed, giving it a savory, umami finish.
in
Into the kyusu the toasted leaves go, and man are my photos so bad! I am glad I finally figured out how to take indoor photos, one day though I am going to have a very well lit tea room! Preferably one with a sink…and very close to a bathroom! Ah, a girl can dream. So, after brewing, the leaves take on a stronger kelp and toasted note, even adding in a bit of smoke, no more sweetness this time, just toasted umami notes. The liquid, well, time for a little head-jerk of contrast, because it is super sweet, like toasted marshmallow and roasted nuts. Toss in a little campfire and you have a delicious smelling liquid.

The taste starts a touch smoky and very umami, with strong toasted kelp. This pretty quickly moves to sweet toasted marshmallow and nuttiness with a delightful lingering sweetness. The mouthfeel was a bit dry, not a sucking dryness, but not the coating feeling you get from its less toasted green cousin, it is a dryness I associate with toasted teas, distinct but not at all unpleasant. As the tea cools, the notes of smoke and roasted tea become stronger and linger much longer, leaving a smoky aftertaste. This is an excellent choice as a introductory Houjicha, it showcases the aspects you expect without any of the quirks of a more specialized Houjicha.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/04/dens-tea-houjicha-gold-tbt-tea-review.html

Kirkoneill1988

too much for me to read. but i love hojicha :D try ippodo’s next

Lindsay

Meanwhile, there’s still snow outside up here. :) Guess I’ll just have to dream of flopping down in clover for a bit longer…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
2338 tasting notes

This is an awesome pineapple flavor. Seriously, it’s spot on to a fresh, juicy slice of pineapple. Lots of sweet but also tang. The base adds a layer of vegetal flavor but really it’s the flavoring that shines.

TeaBrat

I love this one too :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

This comes my way from Stephanie via Terri. I’ll admit at first i was a little hesitatnt about this but figured what the heck! I’m so glad that i tried this out. Seriously..this is like iced coffee without the caffeine or that coffee after taste. i am a fan. I can see these being great for the summer – no fuss, coffee grounds or anything. yay!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

Sipdown (142)!

This one’s from the March Amoda subscription box. I still haven’t finished all of my February teas, but when I saw this sample I couldn’t wait. I love pineapple; and I’ve been searching for the perfect pineapple tea to replace Butiki’s Flowery Pineapple Oolong which I’m coming closer and closer to finishing off.

I cold brewed my sample because I saw that this was recommended as an iced tea. I don’t regret the decision to do so even in the slightest. I’ll break it down in a second; but I’m just gonna jump the gun and say that, next to Flowery Pineapple Oolong, this is the best pineapple tea I’ve ever had. MAYBE even just as good. And considering this is on a green tea base that’s such high praise coming from me.

The pineapple flavour in this is over the top, 100% authentic, freshly cut pineapple with all the natural sticky sweetness and tang from the juices – and the tiny touch of coconut in here makes it pop and invokes a lovely tropical flavour that’s perfect for this time of year when all the snow’s melting and the weather is wishy-washy. It’s an instant vacation in a cup or, in this case, mason jar. Plus, the coconut just touches on a creaminess that really rounds out the brew.

I found that for the most part the green base was very masked by the extreme pineapple flavour; and that suits my tastes well. But, what I could taste blended near seamlessly into the fresh pineapple and provided a very faint grassyness that just worked well with the other flavours. It was highly refreshing and thirst quenching.

I know this isn’t oolong, and it doesn’t have the floral component that Butiki’s kick-ass pineapple tea has, but to be honest I didn’t miss it. I honestly think this is what I’m going to be replacing Flowery Pineapple Oolong with once I’ve finished it off. It was SO GOOD.

Good find Amoda, good find!

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Grass, Pineapple, Tangy, Tropical

VariaTEA

Yay! I’m glad you are having at least some success with the Amoda box. Alas, March is the last one.

TeaBrat

this is so yummy

Roswell Strange

I’m debating continuing with the subscription though; I’ve found some REALLY good ones but at this rate it’s more 1/4 or 1/2 success rate so I don’t know.

Kaylee

What else is in this month’s box?

Roswell Strange

Ginger Twist and Jasmine Mist, both from Sloane Tea Merchants and a straight black from a company I’m not familiar with.

Kaylee

Thanks!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I’m traveling all week and drinking what I have in teabags, including this from the Den’s Tea sampler. I brewed it using water heated by a Keurig, which was just cool enough not to make it bitter. Still, it’s not my favorite kind of thing — grassy, vegetal, kind of like drinking spinach. In terms of salad-like greens as tea, I think I might prefer something like arugula, which is at least peppery. And although this is a whole-leaf tea, plenty of dust came out of the bag and sank to the bottom of my cup. Still, points for no bitterness in a dusty teabag. I just prefer teas that are well on the way to high oxidation.

Also, it did not make me feel nauseous, so that’s a relief.

Flavors: Grass, Spinach, Vegetal

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

I’m really impressed with this tea! It definitely tastes roasty like genmaicha but in my opinion has a better overall flavor. I personally really am enjoying this cup versus the genmaicha I wasn’t a big fan of. This tea would go well with a grilled type of meal or as an afternoon tea. Definitely nothing sweet about this tea, it hits much more of a savory note.

Flavors: Earth, Nutty, Roasted

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

Yup. I need to order some of this tea. :D

masked185

I’m thinking once my sample is gone I’ll have to as well :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

This tea was pretty amazing for a fuka style. It was a bit different than I usually like my green teas [i prefer them lighter steamed] but it was still really good. I kept thinking how smooth it was and that it had an almost buttery affect on my mouth as I sipped it. I would highly recommend this tea in general but more so for a seasoned tea pallet and not so much for a newcomer.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

This is really good. I love genmaicha, even though it is a bit odd because it just yells POPCORN to me. I drank some…and then made popcorn because it induced a craving. That said, this being good green tea, it tastes a bit more like veggies and popcorn. Popped veggies maybe.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

73

This is good, with pronounced roasted almond flavor, but it’s not as good as the Yunomi Naturally Grown first flush hojicha with sencha leaves. I don’t detect much of the sweetness that tea has. The roast is a little heavier than I’d like. Maybe the fact that this uses bancha between 2nd and 3rd flushes means it just isn’t quite as good or as delicate. I do enjoy the toastiness. At this point, I’m beginning to think it would be hard to create a houjicha that I hate, so I enjoy drinking this, but… It’s disappointing partly because I drank the Yunomi every morning for the past 3 days before ever trying this.

Flavors: Almond, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Toasted, Toasty

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78
drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
6042 tasting notes

Thank you stephanie for sharing this one with me via Terri :) I’ve been wanting to try this one forever but since i know i’m not the biggest sencha fan, haven’t gotten around to placing an order. With butiki gone, i need to find a suitable replacement for my pineapple tea that doesn’t have coconut. blech. this one is pretty good. It’s still not as pineappley as i want it to be but it IS pure pineapple and green stuff lol. I mean, i can taste the sencha, which is a good thing as far as teas – you want to be able to taste the base imo…but for me, i’d love this just a little more if the base backed off a bit and let the pineapple be stronger.

All that aside though, this might be a good fix for those times that i just want pineapple damnit! :) Thanks for letting me try this one stephanie!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Genmaicha was the tea that got Hubby into tea, so I’ll always have a huge soft spot for it. And it’s hard to go wrong with such a staple tea.

This is one of my favorites, though.

The matcha adds such a wonderful sweetness to what was already a roasty toasty cup of comfort, that it becomes something you can just fall happily into. I like the balance of this cup too, with the matcha just edging out the nuttiness of the rice as the dominant flavor.
Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cheri

I quite like this one. I’m not big on genmaicha with matcha (I prefer mine normal), but this one just does something for me.

Mad Hatter

I think the matcha is somewhat sweeter in this one than in Lupicia, H&S or American Tea Room (the only other few I can remember trying). It just feels less aggressive and more zen (or at least more like normal genmaicha feels to me).

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Found a sample of this at the back of my tea drawer, and admittedly, this has got to be old…like, real old, since I haven’t ordered from Den’s tea in quite some time (not because I don’t like their tea…I just don’t have enough money to order all the tea I want to. haha).
Anyway, even being old, I really like this. It’s bright, with that vegetal bitter note I was expecting. I don’t think I’ll rush to buy it (again…in my dream world, my tea budge would be HUGE….), but it’s definitely a nice cup.
I wonder what it would taste like if it hadn’t been hiding in my tea drawer for such a long time….

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89
drank Genmaicha Satsuki by Den's Tea
169 tasting notes

oh i do so like this! it’s definitely NOT one of the rich deep-sea brothy senchas, but a nice delicate light (chartreuse!) green that is accented wonderfully by the genmai. TASTY! and a perfect after-meal cuppa, as it won’t weigh you down, not at all.

haven’t tried a second steeping yet, but am thinking of steeping for longer next go-round, just to see what happens.

Flavors: Butter, Green, Popcorn, Rice

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

Toasty and roasty and delicious. I am SO glad to have found a good teabag option for when I am dog sitting. These have the bonus of being individually wrapped, which I normally would find to be wasteful but make them perfect for my purse tea stash (yes I carry about 10 higher quality teabags in my purse for tea emergencies) or travel.

Writing this on my phone because my computer is broken, the charger port is loose and I am waiting in fear for the repair man to get back to me to tell me how much it will be to fix and how long it will take.

Anlina

I hope your computer gets repaired for a reasonable price. I had a loose charging port on an old laptop and I think I just ended up duct taping the cord in place :P

Leah Naomi

I totally would have done that if I could get it to connect to charge at all!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Yuzu Kukicha by Den's Tea
972 tasting notes

Well, this is the closest thing I have to a grapefruit tea after that Adagio sample. At least I know this one will be high quality! Stephanie and I split a package of this since neither of us wanted a full 2 ounces without trying it first. Yay for tea frens! I really liked the two Kukichas I tried recently from Yunomi, so I’m excited for this one. Inside the pouch are flat green stems along with teeny pieces of citrus peel, all coated in fine green powder. Dry scent is fairly strong on the citrus (I’ve never had a yuzu before, but I would describe the scent as somewhere between tangerine and lemon).

There’s actually not a lot of yuzu flavor in the taste, but it’s very delicious overall. The kukicha is mildly grassy/vegetal with a ton of sweetness (probably from the matcha as well). The yuzu flavor is more of an accent than the star. There’s just a bit of citrusy freshness that pops out at some moments, and especially in the aftertaste. Overall, it’s sweet, creamy, and delicious!

Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Grass, Lemon, Peas, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

67

If you let it steep for awhile it will eventually smell of Genmaicha but the taste is always like roasted Kukicha. Really, it just tastes like Kukicha so why not just buy Kukicha?

Flavors: Roasted

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

33

I found this to be a really bitter tea. Not fun to drink at all. I followed the instructions when making it and I wonder if messing around with the amount and volume might have helped. But I only had a sample. Still, I didn’t find anything in the flavor to really love.

Flavors: Green

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

65

The tea smells like a particularly sweet (but not cloying) apple cider. The taste is also more apple cider than apple. I actually find the taste to be very cloying (unlike the smell).

When preparing the tea I found it very easy to make it over-steeped. It got bitter very fast. So I use a much shorter steep time. This creates a blander tea but that’s better than an over-steeped tea.

Over all I can’t say I can recommend this tea. Neither the smell nor taste were terribly compelling.

Flavors: Apple, Sugar

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

This tea is from cookies. I find that I prefer this style of tea to regular houjicha, which tastes rougher and more “leafy” to me. Visually, this tea looks quite similar to the Kaga Bocha I tried from Lupicia, but a touch darker in color. It’s made up of very fragile and brittle roasted stems, and the color is a medium tan. Dry scent is sweet and roasty, and I can smell something that reminds me of apricots.

The steeped tea has a strong roasted aroma, but it also smells like toasted nuts with a touch of sweetness. The taste is quite mellow. It has a nice, comforting roasted flavor that’s not overpowering. I can also taste heavily toasted nuts such as pecans and walnuts, as well as dry autumn leaves. Overall it’s yummy, but I tend to prefer genmaicha or oolongs when I wanted a roasted tea. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Roasted, Roasted nuts

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

This is a very mellow yet well defined green tea. Mellow in that it isn’t very acidic. Well defined in that it has a definite green tea smell and taste. It is just so well mannered and refined I felt like I should sip it out of a porcelain cup at afternoon tea.

Flavors: Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
ZipRedAcrossBlue

I’m trying experiments with this tea since I think the default amount is too strong. I just tried 8 g/16 oz at 160 for 2 minutes. The result is more acidic than I like and very vegetable-y. So I’ll need to try again but maybe this time for 45 seconds (the time suggested on the package).

ZipRedAcrossBlue

Tried a second pull yesterday with 160 degrees water but 1 minute steep time and that produced a weak tea.

ZipRedAcrossBlue

I tried a first pull using 8 g/16 oz at 160 for 1 minute (rather than the 2 minutes I used before). The result is a much less acidic tea but also, frankly, a less defined tea. The major taste is just vegetable.

I suspect that if one wants to get the best out of this tea one has to use the 3 oz/2 G ratio which means that a 16 0z cup needs roughly 10 G of tea. Which is a huge amount and will not let me sleep. So if I can’t find a better balance I’ll probably have to abandon this tea. :(

ZipRedAcrossBlue

For the second pull on the weaker tea I tried 160 for 2 minutes (upping it from the 1 minute last time). It has a taste so subtle it might as well just be hot water. :(

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

The smell is awesome and I find that if I take an extra long steeping (a full 3 minutes) that it brings that awesome roasted rice flavor into the tea. This is becoming my go to Genmaicha. That or Den’s super green.

Flavors: Nutty

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
ZipRedAcrossBlue

I find that sometimes I even need to steep for 4 minutes to really get the flavor out.

juliebeth

i wonder if that’ll work as well on a second steeping? well, i’ll report back in a few…

ZipRedAcrossBlue

I do two pulls at 4 minutes each and it works fine. But two seems to be the maximum. The third pool is typically tasteless. I can actually see the rice turning white by that point.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.