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Recent Tasting Notes
Aroma: Light roast, grassy, crisp, sweet
Liquor Color: Bright yellow-green
Liquor Flavor: Creamy, sweet, slight nuttiness, clean, smooth vegetal
Notes: When I first opened the bag, the aroma smelled so good. And the leaves were so pretty! Bold colors and straight lines. The wet leaf aroma was heavenly. This reminded me of a sencha in a less intense kind of way. Reminds me of a crisp spring day.
I’ve had the sample pack of this tea (unopened) for a few years now, which admittedly might have impacted the taste, but I thought it was getting around time to try it and that a tasting note wouldn’t be amiss.
The first scent I noticed from the dry leaf was tobacco, but after a few more sniffs I can also pick out a leafy smell — it reminds me of the woods in the fall. Not generally what I expect from tea, but I’ve never had houjicha before.
1st steep – boiling water, 30 seconds:
The liquor smells like tobacco too, but in a surprisingly pleasant way. A lovely golden color! I’m glad I’m using a clear mug. There’s not much that surprises me about the flavor, honestly — it’s got a smoky kind of flavor, although much weaker than I get from, say, lapsang souchong. There are some definite woodsy notes as well, and the flavor lingers in the throat after swallowing.
2nd steep – near boiling, 60 seconds:
There’s a pretty similar flavor profile here, although it’s less complex now. The leaf notes have now really taken over.
Ultimately this isn’t really my preferred flavor profile (I do enjoy smoky teas, but I’m not so fond of the other notes), but it’s a very interesting sipping experience and I’m glad it was included in the sampler! I can see it being particularly pleasant to sip on a cool fall day.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Smoke, Wood
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Flavors: Earth, Honey, Tobacco
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Flavors: Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal
I’ve never had a genmaicha like this before. A fine coating of matcha is dusted on everything, which looks pretty darn cool looking.
I saw the directions had instructions for icing this, and even though I basically ice or cold brew everything, I’ve never thought of trying a genmaicha cold. So obviously that’s what I had to try.
I combined both the first and second steepings and iced them. Dang, I like this. I’ve had roasty teas iced, and I’ve had green teas iced, but never together. I already know that I love the combination of roasty toasty comfort, with sweet delicious vegetal when hot, but cold it’s so similar, yet different when cold. Instead of being warm and comfy, it’s refreshing and complex. The notes are all the same, but the tone is different. This is another one I’ll need to restock.
Smelling this tea, it smells just like everything I love in a green tea: sweet vegetal spinachy goodness.
I set my stopwatch, and waited 45 seconds for it to steep. I let the leave float free, planning to strain it through a basket, but right before it was time to strain, I knocked the basket on the floor, and had to rush to go clean it, of course causing it to over steep.
The liquor smelled delicious and mouthwateringly vegetal. Unfortunately, sipping it was a bitter astringent mess. This cup went down the drain, and when I resteeped, I made sure to pull the leaves out at exactly 15 seconds. This cup was much smoother, sweeter, and more vegetal, but also mellow.
I had enough leaves yet, so I tried again, pulling the fresh leaves after 30 seconds just in case. Much better than the last first cup. I got all the vegetal spinach notes of the resteeping of the last cup, but a bit stronger and with a slight astringency. Definitely a good vegetal fresh green tea. Might need to restock this one.
I typically really enjoy senchas – and the flavouring seemed spot-on when I sniffed the bag – so I’m not sure what went wrong with this one.
The sencha base tasted really bland – more of a generic “green tea” than the more nuanced and complex flavours I’m used to – and although there was a great artificial grape smell when the tea was hot almost none of it came through to the actual flavour of the tea.
So I wasn’t all that impressed with the tea. I wanted it to live up to the expectations built up by the delicious scent…but it looks like it just couldn’t.
Aroma: Fresh, sweet cantaloupe
Liquor Color: Emerald Green
Liquor Flavor: Mineral, savory, vegetal
Notes: This one was interesting. I had a hard time placing my finger on what I was tasting. It’s grassy and green but I got this fruity sweetness to it. It lingered in my mouth, kind of a mineral linger. I’m really having a hard time describing this. But I liked it in a strange way. Not usually something I would pick, but after having the sample, I enjoyed it.
Aroma: Deep, roasted, corn, brown rice
Liquor color: Light amber
Liquor Flavor: No bitterness, roasted flavor, rice, corn sweetness
Notes: This reminded me of genmaicha, the leaves looked like little pieces of bark. It was very smooth but rich. I still prefer genmaicha over this but it was a pretty good alternative.
Aroma: Fresh, grass, vibrant
Liquor Color: Bright green
Liquor Flavor: Bright, very clean, light astringency, mineral, very crisp with an underlying sweetness.
Notes: Drinking this hot made me want it cold. I’m noticing a pattern with wanting senchas iced. Felt so crisp and clean that I could see this as being energizing.
Aroma: Roasted nuttiness
Liquor Color: Bright green
Liquor Flavor: Roasted, nutty, warm smooth, rich with a sweet base
Notes: Yummy! Full flavored, I really enjoyed this. The popped rice is so delicious, making this a comfort tea. I could see this paring well with a chilly autumn night. The matcha adds a slight sweetness which I really enjoyed. I will be ordering this again.
Aroma: Sweet grass
Liquor Color: Deep yellowish green
*Liquor Flavor: Crisp grassiness, refreshing with a light sweetness
Notes: Bitterness is not something that’s a bad bitter in this tea. The sweetness is well balanced. I would not use the word bitter to describe this but instead, crisp. I think this would be a delicious energizing iced tea for the summer after a workout. I’m pretty new to Japanese greens but this one was pretty good.
I wanted to love this, I really did, but unfortunately I did not.
I followed the provided directions: 180 degrees F, 60 seconds, 1 tsp to 3oz
This was a rich dark green, and smelled sweet and vegetal, a good sign. Unfortunatly it didn’t taste how it smelled. Theres a strong sharp bitterness to this tea. I can detect a slight vegetal note in the background, but the bitterness masked it. I don’t know if all the little bits at the bottom continued to steep while it cooled, or what, so until I try it again I’ll put off giving it a rating. As is though, it would be about 25.
Steeped this up according to the directions, and this is quite roasty!
Flavor-wise, this is so toasty and roasty, with a slight natural sweetness. It reminds me a lot of a genmaicha, but with a less vegetal green notes. Not bad at all.
I needed a little break after drinking new black teas all day! This sample is from KiwiDelight. I checked the Den’s website to see what exactly fukamushi sencha is. Turns out it just means that this is a deeply steamed sencha!
The aroma is very mild and sweetly vegetal with a little bit of wet grass. This is definitely the most seaweedy tasting tea I’ve had yet. And I don’t necessarily mean that as a bad thing! The primary taste is definitely seaweed, but there are also spinach and grass notes common among most senchas I’ve had. The flavor is quite mild, which I wouldn’t expect from something “deeply” steamed. I guess it has the opposite effect of what I would assume! Not to be confused with shaded sencha! :) Tasty, but not my favorite sencha ever.
Flavors: Grass, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach
Den’s Tea sent this along as a sample with my order. I’m generally not a fan of powdered teas (matcha excepted, since it’s prepared differently). It’s really hard to get them mixed in properly. With this one, most of the powder settled in the bottom of the mug within a minute or two of mixing. I tried stirring again but the powder settled anyway.
This tastes ok. Nothing spectacular, but not unbearable either. A little seaweed-y. Drinkable, if it wasn’t for all that danged powder at the bottom. Wouldn’t buy it myself.
Another tea from KiwiDelight’s Japanese green sample extravaganza package. It’s a sencha tea with the teensiest cherry blossom buds in it. Cute! The smell is a bit odd… I don’t really smell the sencha, just a strange vinegar scent?
After the tea is brewed, it smells more like a sencha, albeit a mild one. It’s grassy and spinachy in a very light way. There’s a light floral note, and that weird vinegar odor is still there in the background. It tastes similar to the smell – mild grassy sencha with just a wisp of floral taste. I taste vinegar in the back of my mouth at the beginning of the sip – strange but not wholly unpleasant. I asked my boyfriend what he thought, and he said it reminded him of apple cider (what?! weirdo). It seems to me that the floral note is mostly in the aroma.
This was definitely a very delicate tea. I don’t think it lent itself very well to western style – either that or I should have used more leaf. Interesting, but I’m not in love. :P
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Sweet
This will be even a lamer note than my last. Wasn’t paying tons of attention to this cup of tea because I was working on a new Steampunk gun. But I can at least tell you that it makes a delicious cup of roasty goodness. ^^ So much better than the last Genmaicha I tried! Thanks, Cameron B. for letting me know about the Den’s Tea sampler! I’ll be sad when I can no longer steep this tea bag.