Den's Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

67
drank Orange Sencha by Den's Tea
865 tasting notes

I love any free tea, but what I love even more is when you get something free unexpectedly that I’ve always wanted to try. And this is one of them.

Prepared as suggested. Holy orange! The flavor of the orange instantly hits me in the face when I open the package. Once steeped, the liquor is a light yellowish green. Unfortunately the orange isn’t nearly as strong as it was when the leaf was raw, but it’s still definitely there. The flavor matches that of the steeped tea and not the raw leaf, but that’s ok. I think if it’d been as strong as the raw leaf it would have been too easily mistaken for an herbal tisane. The sencha is very much a part of the flavor profile.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

Oops, forgot to log infusions 2-5. 15, 20, 25, and 30 sec. All very wonderful!

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66
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
865 tasting notes

Ok, I admit it. This tea terrifies me. I love cherries (bing to be exact), but I hate almost anything else cherry flavored. But… I also love things that are seasonal and since Japan is known for their cherry blossoms, I knew I had to at least give it a try.

Prepared as suggested. 2g/3oz water. The aroma of the dry leaf isn’t as strong as I was expecting and smells of cherry sweet tarts, not of cough syrup as I feared. When steeped the liquor is a gorgeous yellowish green. Surprisingly the sent of the cherry is gone leaving only that of the sencha.

Hmmm… I’ve only had one other flavored sencha from Den’s (their apple) and the flavor of this one just doesn’t compare. The cherry is very light and is more of the blossom rather than the fruit. I’m not sure I’d like it if it was stronger, but I have a feeling that a person looking for a cherry flavored sencha will be disappointed.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

2nd infusion, almost boiling water for 15 sec. Liquor is the same as the 1st although the cherry flavor and aroma are both slightly more pronounced.

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

Me exactly the same! Loving cherries and hating everything cherry flavored! Besides, I think the cherry used to flavor things is not the same cultivar as the sweet bing cherry we eat.

Cofftea

But being more blossomy this isn’t your average cherry flavored item either…

Cofftea

3rd infusion, 20 sec. Still very sweet, but the cherry aspect is gone.

Cofftea

4th infusion, 25 sec. Lighter liquor, but the flavor is the same as the 3rd infusion.

Cofftea

5th infusion, 30 sec. The liquor is like the 4th infusion. A lot of the sweeteness is gone, but it’s still very clean and crisp.

Cofftea

6th infusion, 40 sec. Consistant liquor and the flavor is back to being sweet.

Cofftea

7th infusion, 50 sec. Lighter in liquor and flavor, but still very good. I think I’ll call these leaves done even though they may not be.

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92
drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
251 tasting notes

I made some of this iced today. Really a good iced tea, I think I like it better iced than hot. It tastes very tropical and summery. I think that I’ll try to have some of this on hand for the really hot part of summer.

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92
drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
251 tasting notes

I’m going to write a nice long review the next time I have this. Progress report grades are due tomorrow, and I’m just too swamped with grading.

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100

OM NOM NOM. This is what I think every time I open this tea up and smell it. It smells soooo good. If it were nom-able, I would totally just nom it.

I think they should make Tencha-Kuki Houjicha potato chips. They probably do make snacks that taste like this in Japan. Maybe that’s why I want to nom it so bad, lol.

I’m sooo hungry, and to prevent myself from going down to the vending machine and getting junk food, I decided to have some of this. It was a very tasty decision.

I did end up making this a bit stronger than I had it the last time, but that’s not a bad thing. And it hasn’t made it any better. It’s just as awesome as before. :)

And now I’m thinking I shoulda had this with the sushi I ate for lunch yesterday! It would have gone awesomely together. Oh well. Next time!! :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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100

I was really excited to try this tea. It sounded really good! So I made sure to order some when I made my real, non-sampler order from Den’s. :)

This tea smells delightfully sweet-roasty-earthy. Not too much of any of those things. It just smells downright good!

It has a light, sweet, honey-like taste. I’m definitely a fan! :D

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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86

This comes in bags that make a liter at a time. It’s a fast, cold brew tea and is ready after an hour in the fridge. The resulting tea is a nice, orangey brown color. The taste is very nutty and grainy. It is very refreshing, and makes you want to gulp it down if you drink it while you are really thirsty. I enjoyed my first taste, and I think it will be really wonderful in the summer when it is hot out and we need something really, really cold to drink.

This is definitely something that I’ll be drinking again, especially since it is completely caffeine free. (Well, unless barley somehow has caffeine in it.)

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87
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
162 tasting notes

I am ready for Spring and after drinking this I want Spring to be here right this moment. This has a really nice flavor. The sencha and the cherry flavor blend together in an excellent way. Neither one overpowers or sticks out above the other. The cherry flavor is not fake at all which really surprised me. I have another cherry flavor tea in my collection that is so incredibly sickly sweet and fake that I really have to be in the mood for. This one however is perfectly refreshing, green, and sweet reminding me of Spring.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Cofftea

Ah! I wish I could drink this today, it seems to be Sakura Sencha day:)

Auggy

I’ve heard good things about this sencha but have always wondered – how close to cough syrup taste is the cherry flavoring?

jennlea

I despise the taste of cough syrup! Even the thought of it makes me gag. I did not think of cough syrup what-so-ever when I tasted this. The cherry isn’t overly cherry now that I think about it. Subtle and somewhat slightly floral.

Cofftea

Auggy, that’s exactly my worry as well. I don’t even like cherry flavored anything but real cherries. jennlea, the floral aspect makes sense if they use cherry blossoms.

Auggy

Awesome! Knowing that (and that you seem to be a co-sufferer in the fake-cherry nastiness) makes this very tempting now!

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85
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
21 tasting notes

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85
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
21 tasting notes

The smell straight from the bag is incredible & pretty strong (like cherry candy) but it mellows once you put the leaf in your brewing vessel.

Steeped, the cherry tasted isn’t nearly as intense as the dry leaf aroma would suggest. The balance between cherry and sencha is quite nice. The later infusions lose the cherry taste and you get more sencha.

This is the perfect Spring and Summer tea. It’s great iced on a hot day. Since it’s only available for a limited time (maybe 2 months near the beginning of the year… in other words NOW), buy a couple pouches and store one unopened in the fridge. You’ll be glad you did when the weather changes and you have this refreshing treat to drink :)

Note, this does have cherry flavoring added.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Cofftea

I’ve emailed them twice and they have yet to reply and tell me how long this is going to be available. Surprising for them, they normally have wonderful customer service. I’m surprised this wasn’t their sale item this month. Does it taste like cherry flavored medicine at all? That’s my one concern w/ cherry flavored anything.

Brian

I’m not too averse to the cherry flavoring and don’t really associate it with medicine. Though I have read others say it has a medicinal taste.

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75
drank Bancha Suruga by Den's Tea
865 tasting notes

This was one of the sales last month and I needed more matcha so I decided to place another Den’s order. My 1st Bancha! Steeped as suggested, except I lowered the temp just a bit so I didn’t kill the health benefits.

Does anyone else think astringency has an aroma? The raw leaves smell quite a bit like Kukicha so I’m wondering if that’s from the astringency.

The liquor is a pretty yellow color and the aroma is that of the raw leaf, but quite a bit lighter. I can definitely see the similarities between this and Kukicha although this is quite a bit lighter and sweeter. Given the choice between this and Kukicha, I think I’d go w/ this.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

2nd infusion, 15sec as suggested. I still can’t get over shorter steeping times for 2nd infusions. Inspite of this, the aroma, liquor, and flavor are all a bit stronger. Wonderful, a bit brothy.

Cofftea

3rd infusion, 20 sec. Water wasn’t hot enough so it’s very light and sweet like a raw pu erh- yum!

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100

Steeped this a bit long, and used a bit too much leaf. But I decided to just dump the rest of my sample in, since I wouldn’t have enough for two more anyway. It’s not bad, just a bit more astringent than I would prefer. Still yummy, though. :) I love the smoothness and the thickness that the matcha gives it. I’ve decided I need to get some straight matcha at some point. Maybe in a couple months, after I recover from the massive tea spree I’ve been on the past few months!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec
the quiet life

2nd steep is sweet and delicious – more like how I was hoping the 1st would be. I steeped it for less time the 2nd time around, too, which helps when using so much leaf.

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100

I reeeeeeally don’t want to do work today. This week. This month, really, lol. So I decided another cup of tea was in order. It is, after all, a more delicious way to spend my time. :P I was in the mood for genmaicha and was feeling pretty sad that I hadn’t brought my ginormous bag of Kyoto Rice with me today, until I remembered that I DO have my Den’s samples with me! Though I drank my Genmaicha Extra Green teabag sample, I still had the whole loose tea sample of it. Yay!!

I gotta say, the loose leaf version has a really scary look to it, hahaha. Everything’s covered in the matcha, which gives it this glowy, fuzzy, so-bright-it’s-unnatural green look. I found it minutely entertaining. :P (This is the time of day where I go a liiiiittle bit crazy from wanting to go home so badly.)

Anyway, I think I didn’t use enough leaf per amount of water, as it doesn’t taste quite as strongly awesome as it did with the teabag, but it’s still tasty, and still hits the spot! :D

One hour and 5 minutes until I can go leave…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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100

LOVE this! This is just the right combination of everything. I love the smoothness of it, and the roasty taste of the rice. I’m definitely going to have to get some of this!

I’m also really loving the fact that Den’s Tea really transports me back to the time I spent in Japan. It’s funny how tastes can do that!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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86

Mmmm houjicha. ♥ This has a smooth, nutty flavor that I really really like. :D I’ve definitely had this in restaurants before (well, maybe not Den’s, but some kind of houjicha), and it gives me such a good, relaxed feeling, I can’t help but enjoy it! :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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62

This isn’t my favorite sencha ever, but it’s quite tasty! :) It’s smooth and earthy. I like it! But I’m still searching for my favorite sencha.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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25

YAY! My Den’s sampler came yesterday! Unfortunately, the first tea I tried (this one) was expressly the type of green tea I DON’T like. :( It just tastes too vegetal for me, with some bitterness I’m not a fan of. I can tell, though, that this is high quality stuff. It’s just not the type I like.

Oh well. On to the next cup!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Ricky

Sencha took me several tries to overcome it. Same with Earl Grey and Chai. Now I love all of them. Some more than others, but you get the point =P

the quiet life

Oh, I love sencha! I just don’t love this sencha, unfortunately. :( Until recently, I didn’t know there were different types of sencha, haha, so now I have to find the kind I remember from Japan! :P I’m glad to hear you’ve overcome Earl Grey and Chai. Those are two other favorites of mine! :)

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90
drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
355 tasting notes

Best part of sencha: knowing that great resteeps are yet to come.

This tea is so delicious, and hopefully will help me on my eternal quest to drink more greens. Light, sweet, buttery, and with an intoxicating pineapple aroma. I still have a small sample bag of their orange sencha that I need to try.

Cofftea

I wish this was closer in price to The Tea Farm’s pineapple green! Their orange is good so I’m hoping this one is a heck of a lot more pineappley than TTF’s version.

Bethany

It is VERY pineappley. If you love pineapple, you’ll love this. It reminds me of those sugary sweet dried pineapple pieces you can buy at the grocery store.

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90
drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
355 tasting notes

Second steep. Much grassier and more floral, with a hint of pineapple sweetness.

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90
drank Pineapple Sencha by Den's Tea
355 tasting notes

Wow, this is good. Like, really good. Perfect combo of sweet grassy Sencha and really sweet pineapple. The pineapple isn’t overwhelming but definitely complements the Sencha beautifully. It’s like the sweetness of the Sencha flows right into the sweeter pineapple. I also got a free sample of their Orange Sencha with my order, so I’m curious to see how that compares.

So far I’m really loving Den’s Teas!

TeaEqualsBliss

One of these days I would love to try Den’s Teas! :P

Cofftea

Yeah they can be quite addicting:) This is on my shopping list!:)

fcmonroe

I’ve got some of this unopened. Next time I use up a tea, maybe I should break into this one!

Jillian

I went ahead and got their $3 Starter Set – apparently they’ll even refund the amount with your first purchase of $15 or more.

Cofftea

Jillian, you can get that w/ no other items in your order?

Jillian

I did, and they didn’t seem to have a problem with that. *shrugs *

Cofftea

…facepalm… Oh well, I probably would have gone w/ Den’s for my matcha set anyway.

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88
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
355 tasting notes

Definitely steeped too long last time. Shut down steeping as soon as I finished pouring in my water (it took about 10-15 seconds since I had to wait for the leaves to absorb the water), and it’s much sweeter and lighter this time. No bitterness at the end. Upping my rating, and putting this on my shopping list!

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88
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
355 tasting notes

My Den’s order came today! Talk about super quick service. I reallllly want to try the matcha, but it’s too late in the evening for that. So I decided to try this out first, which came in my sampler.

This is pretty freaking great. As I’ve said a million times before, I generally don’t love green teas. But this is sweet, soft, and so soothing. There is a bitterness at the end of the sip that I don’t love – I’m not sure if I steeped too long or if that’s supposed to be there; Den’s website does mention a bitterness with this sencha.

This is the beginning and end of my sample, since I made a whole pot. Will report back on the next steep.

Cofftea

You’re smarter than I am. I tried mine at 9pm lol.

Ricky

Haha, I should have made something stronger than a white tea. I’m literally falling asleep right now. Wait so you got Den’s $3 sampler or made individual purchases? Or both?

Bethany

Both! I got the sampler, Pineapple Sencha, Genmaicha Extra Green, and Matcha Kaze.

fcmonroe

I was stupid and forgot to order the sampler. I guess I missed my chance, since it is for new customers only!

Cofftea

Ricky, it’s w/ purchase only. Fcmonroe, well it’s not like you wouldn’t want to buy large amounts of all the teas anyway lol:)

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54
drank Green Kukicha by Den's Tea
260 tasting notes

The Final Sipdown: Day 15.1

This sample came to me from Micah right when I was beginning to build up a real appreciation for kukicha. I was thinking that all kukicha was universally magnificent, and then I tried this sample.

That sounds like a dig. It’s not meant to be. Because in the same way that superheroes are really only as impressive as their enemies make them out to be, having a relatively mediocre tea can only make the good ones taste even better.

Not-so-great teas save me from taking the good teas for granted. One cannot even near-accurately label anything to be the peak of greatness without a decent spectrum of experience in the matter.

Looking at my prior rating on this tea, I find myself not wanting to adjust it. The drink is not…the best. It’s got this dull bitterness about it and lacks butteriness. Curious, I find myself going back to read my log and comparing this to the pith of an orange pretty much nails how this tea tastes to me.

The aftertaste is full of chlorophylly goodness, but it can’t save the tea. It has been said that the journey is more important than the destination, and while I only half agree with this, the journey that this tea travels to get to the finish does not boost, complement, or do anything to positively affect the aftertaste of the tea. Which is unfortunate.

And so, I bid adieu to Den’s kukicha sans regrets and look forward to future encounters with eager eyes.

Teas Downed: 25

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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54
drank Green Kukicha by Den's Tea
260 tasting notes

I’ve been on a really big kukicha kick lately, so when I got some of this from Micah in a tea swap it was one of the ones I decided to try first.

First off, I want to say that I think that kukicha is really pretty. I think it’s something about all those linear strips of varied, yet tonally cohesive greens. It makes me want to pull the colors into a room with some warm medium wood tones and fresh cream fabrics. […Am I bleeding HGTV yet?]

This particular tea, while pretty, unfortunately couldn’t run with the refreshing aesthetic it inspires [at least in my head]. It wasn’t nearly as buttery as the kukicha I’ve been inhaling [Samovar’s] and while it had grassy and nutty tones to it, it was missing a lot of that sun-kissed sweetness that makes grassy teas enjoyable to me.

In a way, the taste almost reminded me of the pith of an orange, but without the citrus taste and residual tartness. It rested somewhere in limbo between bland and bitter, in a way that wasn’t completely off-putting, but also wasn’t enjoyable.

Fortunately, some sweetness eventually began to arrive on the aftertaste and grew in volume on my breath, but it wasn’t enough to make it good. I’m going to take the water temperature down into the 160’s on the next go round, maybe steep it a bit longer, and see if I can get this tea to bloom.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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