Den's TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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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.