127 Tasting Notes
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
Rishi is one of the selected loose leaf companies my local grocery store carries, so every once in a while I’ll wander from the bulk tea section and check out if they have anything interesting to offer. Last week I stumbled upon this one which I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise, but it was on sale (I’m such a sucker) so of course I took it home with me. I got around to trying it a day so later and immediately went back and picked up two more boxes while it was still on sale (again, what a sucker).
This is the type of Assam I really adore. Malty and sweet, but not so sweet that it seems more like a Yunnan. Just enough to counter the touch of astringency . There’s not all that much to say about it. It’s just a really nice hearty classic Assam. Even with ever-changing preferences, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of theses types of teas.
I should note that I think this is the tea I got. My boxes only say Assam rather than Golden Assam. However the golden tips are plentiful and there is no plain Assam listed here or on Rishi’s website. So I think I’m putting this in the correct spot.
Flavors: Malt, Sugarcane
I think this is the first tea I’ve ever tried from Zhe Jiang Province, but if this one is indicative of the general quality I would certainly like to try more. This is definitely fruity as the description says, with a bit of brown sugar or molasses-y sweetness at the end of the sip. Overall though, it tastes mostly like a Keemun. A lovely light and fruity Keemun. Yum.
I don’t know if they’re still doing it, but I got free points at ESGreen by creating an account and signing up for their newsletter. Cashing them in I ended up getting my order for only a few dollars. So if you’re planning an order I definitely recommend trying that first.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Fruity
I actually really like this one. This is especially surprising because I don’t tend to like mint very much at all. Peppermint is moderately tolerable while I steer well clear of spearmint. Knowing I don’t enjoy mint I have no idea why I decided to pick this up, but I’m glad I did. It’s definitely pepperminty, but there’s a decent bit of vanilla in there that’s making it palatable. I don’t taste any cinnamon (another note I don’t tend to enjoy), orange, green tea or really any of the other listed ingredients. Not exactly sure why they put decaf green in here rather than just leaving it an herbal blend. Maybe trying to reel in the antioxidant obsessed crowd? Whatever the reason it ends up a pleasant, comforting cup. When I need something warm and cozy before bed this is a nice choice.
Flavors: Peppermint, Vanilla
I really like this one. It’s incredibly flavorful with tons of interesting notes hiding throughout the sip. Orange zest, sugarcane, potato and sweet potato a bit of undistinguishable spice… maybe pepper? And it’s a bit astringent. Not especially bitter but drying on my tongue. It’s not at all an unpleasant astringency.
If I hadn’t read the description I wouldn’t have guessed this was a Yunnan. It seems to have the mouthfeel of an Assam with a taste somewhere in between that and a Yunnan. Really unique and delightful. So far I’ve been extremely pleased with Tao of Tea’s products. I wonder why they aren’t more popular around these parts?
Flavors: Malt, Orange, Potato, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes
Bit of a sad sipdown for this one. I fully intended to purchase more, but sadly Simpson and Vail seem to be out at the moment. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on more soon because this is really just a delightful CTC Assam. Simple and malty. Not much else, but sometimes that’s just what you need.
This is certainly the lightest Hoji Cha I’ve had to date. I do tend to prefer mine a bit more roasted, but that’s just a personal preference. This one is really quite nice. Smooth and mellow with just enough of that roasty hojicha flavor present to keep it from being dull. If I had more than a sample I’d have tried less water/another tea bag but sadly I only had a one to play with. Overall it’s not bad at all, but there are other hojichas I would prefer over this one.
Flavors: Nutty, Roasted
I’m not usually super big on green teas. It’s not that I don’t like them, I really do enjoy some. It’s just I love black teas so much that I never want to sacrifice a cup of black tea for anything else. I usually relegate greens to bedtime duty. But it’s ones like this that make me rethink that status. This is my favorite (non-genmaicha) green. Not grassy like sencha. Sweet, fresh and just a little vegetal. Really a delightful tea.
Kind of regretting this purchase. It’s not a particularly offensive tea, but good lord, it’s just boring. It’s terribly weak, even steeped in 6oz of water. The base is a snooze, and the flavors meld together in some indistinguishable generic pumpkin spice muddle. If ‘meh’ were a tea, this would be it.
Why, oh, why does ROT have to package their teas in 50 bag canisters? Can’t imagine what I’m going to do with it all.