24 Tasting Notes


Starting to think I’ve ruined my palate, even though it has been hours and I’ve had plenty of other beverages between trying the Hojicha Dark Roast and this Kyobancha. I still taste something mushroomy.

There is a light sweetness to it; not nearly as toasty as I would expect from a roasted green. Definitely vegetable notes.

The liquor is a nice burnt orange colour; the broad dry leaves were beautiful to look upon. It’s smooth to drink.

Flavors: Caramel, Mushrooms, Vegetables

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This tea made me nervous when I opened the bag, because the only scent I got out of the dry leaf was mushrooms, which I despise. The moment they hit the warm kyusu, I began to smell smokiness, which deepened as it steeped to campfire, and finally into a charcoal taste in the cup. It’s almost Lapsang Souchong-esque, but instead of Pine, I taste Cedar.

It feels not unlike a french roast – almost overwhelmingly dark, but leaving a sweet finish. As it cooled, it tasted a little fishy as well? Finally leading back to that initial mushroom taste. Blergh.

Not bad overall, but this is a sample I doubt I’ll buy more of this sample, just because of my feelings about shrooms.

Flavors: Campfire, Cedar, Coffee, Fish Broth, Mushrooms

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The first thing I noticed about this tea is how intensely smokey it is compared to my usual Hojichas (Harney & Sons, MEM Tea Imports). The size of the leaves impressed me too; again, I am used to teas that run on the kukicha side, or using fairly small broken leaves.

It brewed a nice cup – heavy on the wood/cedar scents, though I can definitely see where one gets tobacco from the wet leaf. A little thickness on the tongue, but not much in the way of mouthfeel. We did a second steep (~2 minutes) that felt almost espresso-esque. Roommate commented that she might want to try this longer steeping in her next bowl of chazuke – too bad we drank the whole sample!

Flavors: Cedar, Espresso, Smoke, Tobacco, Wet Rocks

Boiling 1 min, 15 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I feel like I love this tea more and more each time I brew it. This sencha has some body, and a brothyness, that makes me really want to make chazuke from it some time. The spent leaves already make a good salad ;)

Flavors: Broth, Ocean Air, Vegetal

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
24 tasting notes

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drank Hojicha by Harney & Sons
24 tasting notes

Hojicha is becoming my favorite tea to drink when I first wake up. I think all the woody smells, and the rich, dark taste are what do it. At the same time, I’m super ready to sip down on this one and try some other varieties. Too bad I have so much!

Flavors: Roasted Barley, Wood

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Eventually I will learn that I hate almonds in tea.

Flavors: Almond, Anise, Fruity

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My first adventures in tea were unpleasant. After years of frowning at burnt/oversteeped teas, a chocolate tea my mother picked up in San Francisco changed everything.

Now I mostly drink greens and oolongs, while also trying to sip down a stash of flavored blends.


Boston, MA

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