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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea doesn’t have what I look for in a Genmaicha, which is the rich flavor of the roasted rice. Don’t get me wrong, as a tea, this is good stuff. It has a rich flavor with just a hint of sweetness. But I’m still looking for my favorite Genmaicha.
Note that I made the tea both according to the instructions on the website (1 rounded teaspoon per 4 oz at boiling) and also my preferred way (1 teaspoon per 8 oz at 165) and both tasted good. But it’s the flavor of the roasted rice that I’m looking for and didn’t find.
Flavors: Green, Sweet
A refreshing Sencha with really nice passion fruit/pineapple notes. The taste isn’t quite as clean as I might like, the fruit and green tea tastes seem more to mush together than reinforce each other. But nevertheless this is much better than any bagged tea I’ve had and better than the teas I get from a place like Teavana.
When I originally made the tea I made it exactly to instructions using boiling water, 1 round teaspoon per 4 0Z and 30 seconds steep time. The result was a strongly aromatic and very tasty tea! But the second pull, again following instructions, boiling water and 15 seconds steep time, had a good aroma but almost no flavor. However the bigger problem for me is that I just don’t want nearly that much caffeine. I literally couldn’t sleep!
So I now make it using my normal way of 1 teaspoon for 16 OZs, 165 F water and 2 minute steeping. The result is a fruity (without being excessive) tea that tastes just as good on the second pull as the first.
Flavors: Green, Passion Fruits, Pineapple, Umami
A couple notes I have written up for both tea boxes yet to post, but both are on the move!
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #3 Tea #30
I love the tiny flower buds in this blend.. it looks like a little garden with this sencha base looking like grass. I don’t taste very much cherry and the green tea itself is very light. Oddly enough I get a sugary cinnamon flavor… it doesn’t seem to belong but this is stored in a nice thick pouch so I’m not sure what is going on.
Steep #1// 30 min after boiling // 3 min
This is the last of the flavored senchas that KiwiDelight sent me in our swap. This has the same sencha leaves – large and flat and yellow/green in color. There are a couple of small pieces of dried apple mixed in as well. Dry scent is crisp, fresh apple. I steeped about a teaspoon for 1 minute at 175 degrees. I think I could’ve steeped it longer.
This one is a bit too mild for me. I don’t taste much vegetal here, just a touch of apple flavor and some sweetness. The texture is very creamy, almost like a milk oolong. It kind of tastes like a really weak apple milkshake? Not for me. :P
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Smooth
As the evening wears on, I tend to want black teas less and less and I start to turn to green and white options more. This one was a sample sent to me by KiwiDelight along with the other flavored senchas from Den’s. The leaf itself is quite pretty with a few purple flower buds mixed in. Dry scent is candy sweet and grapey. I steeped a teaspoon for 1 minute at 175 degrees (my usual sencha treatment).
Hm, I definitely don’t like this one as much as the pineapple. And that’s mostly because the flavoring here is definitely not genuine grape, it’s more like a grape candy and it reminds me of wine and champagne flavored teas. I was hoping for a more authentic grape flavor, as the pineapple seemed very true-to-life to me. Ah well, can’t win them all! :)
Flavors: Candy, Grapes, Sweet, Vegetal
I wanted something refreshing and calming after my run, so I chose this sample from KiwiDelight. This is the first of Den’s flavored senchas that I’ve had, although I did try and enjoy a couple of their plain ones. The leaves are dark yellow-green and flat steamed. Dry scent is spot-on fresh pineapple with lots of tartness. I steeped my leaves for 1 minutes at 175 degrees.
The brewed aroma reminds me of a fictional pineapple milkshake! It’s sweet and pineapple-y but also creamy. And that creaminess is present in the taste as well! The pineapple flavor almost reminds me of citrus in this, it’s definitely underripe fresh pineapple and isn’t very sweet. And it’s very nice this way! Definitely a tart pineapple milkshake or smoothie. :)
Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Pineapple, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal
Sipdown, yay! As much as I love this one I probably won’t be replacing it anytime soon. While it’s a bit smoother and sweeter than the Harney version I generally have in my cupboard, it’s hard to beat Harney’s price (and constant sales). And, in all honesty, it isn’t that much better. If you’re a hojicha/hoji kukicha fan it’s certainly worth a try, and if I place a future order with Den’s this will certainly be in it. But I won’t go out of my way to re-stock.
While I haven’t found a hojicha, let alone a hoji-kukicha, that I haven’t loved, this one is my absolute favorite (Sorry Harney, I still love you). It has the deepest roasty sweetness I’ve ever tasted in a tea. While I’ve never had them, it tastes a bit like those roasted chestnuts you find on street corners though out the holiday season smell. A nutty caramelized sweetness. Almost difficult to believe this is a straight tea. It’s an absolute delight. I’m definitely going to have to stock up for the winter.
Flavors: Roasted nuts, Sugarcane, Toasty
I’m changing my previous rating on this tea. I’m not sure if I oversteeped it on my first review, but this time I did 2g/3oz/1min. This time, the brew was MUCH better… any astringency or bitterness during my first tasting was much improved on this revisit, and had a much more vegetal flavor with a good amount of natural sweetness (another tea that I do not need to add sugar to). It tasted great, and its sad that most people dismiss green teas before tasting a delicious one such as this. Its hard for me to identify and define the notes in this since its my first sencha so I apologize for the briefness, but I will definitely be coming back to this tea in the future to see how it stacks up vs other senchas. In fact, tomorrow my huge Yunomi.us order arrives, so we will see very soon =D
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
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Earth, Honey, Tobacco