Houjicha Gold (Roasted Bancha)

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Autumn Leaf Pile, Smoke, Wood, Grain, Toasted Rice, Butter, Plant Stems, Roasted
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Frank W.
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 6 oz / 177 ml

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80 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Tea of the afternoon along with some soymilk. Makes a nice companion to this Decemberists song I am listening to: "This is the story of the boys who loved you Who love you now and loved you...” Read full tasting note
    92
    amyoh2 2381 tasting notes
  • “This tea keeps reminding me of something and after two cups of it tonight I think I know what it is. It has that bran-like flavour that you get from brown rice or maybe whole wheat bread, combined...” Read full tasting note
    73
    JillDragon 1600 tasting notes
  • “Sipdown! (131) This sample was really generous; the website claimed they were all single-serve but there was enough in there for four individual cups (eight if resteeped, wow!). Made the last of it...” Read full tasting note
    93
    bluebelle 421 tasting notes
  • “I got my Den's Green Tea Sampler for Novices today! I was so impressed with what was inside that little box: 4 samples of loose-leaf tea, 2 tea bags, 2 paper filter bags, a catalog, order form,...” Read full tasting note
    77
    zildjianpride 176 tasting notes

From Den's Tea

Houjicha-Gold delivers a delightful and calming cup. Highly aromatic but gentle to your stomach with a low amount of caffeine.

Origin: Shizuoka
Harvest: Between First and Second Harvests
Species: Yabukita

Tasting Profile:
The infusion brews an elegant roasted aroma, medium bodied, transparent and light “woodsy” brown liquid. Houjicha also makes a very refreshing iced tea.

Den’s Preferred Brewing:
Water: 4oz boiled
Leaves: 2 grams or 1 heaping teaspoon
Steep: 30 sec
2nd Cup: Water boiled; Steep 15 sec

For a cup of Iced Tea: Put 50% more tea leaves into a teapot. Steep as directed for hot tea. Once you brew it, put ice into the cup to lock in the aroma.

About Den's Tea View company

Company description not available.

80 Tasting Notes

92
2381 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon along with some soymilk. Makes a nice companion to this Decemberists song I am listening to:

“This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet, some were cold and snuffed you
And some just laid around in bed.

Some had crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some had crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you
This is the story of your red right ankle".

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73
1600 tasting notes

This tea keeps reminding me of something and after two cups of it tonight I think I know what it is. It has that bran-like flavour that you get from brown rice or maybe whole wheat bread, combined with a bit of “green”-ness and a touch of charred/roasted corn.

The wet leaves in the bottom of the strainer actually look like little bits of charred wood instead of resembling anything remotely leaf-like. It resteeps very well though, the second cup being almost identical in taste and strength to the first.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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93
421 tasting notes

Sipdown! (131) This sample was really generous; the website claimed they were all single-serve but there was enough in there for four individual cups (eight if resteeped, wow!). Made the last of it in a pot and split it with mom, who declared herself in love with it. When I use up some things this might be one for the cabinet!

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77
176 tasting notes

I got my Den’s Green Tea Sampler for Novices today! I was so impressed with what was inside that little box: 4 samples of loose-leaf tea, 2 tea bags, 2 paper filter bags, a catalog, order form, pamphlet about Den’s Tea, a sheet of brewing instructions, and a large booklet all about the health benefits of green tea. If anyone doesn’t know, this was all for $3, with free shipping. Such a great deal.

So this was not only my first time with Den’s Tea, but my first time with an unflavored green as well. It took me a while to get over my fear of grassiness, but I’ve gotta take that plunge sometime, right? I didn’t know which tea to start with, so I plunged my hand into the samples and picked a random one.

These leaves were a medium brown color. When steeping, they honestly smelled like Pu-erh mixed with marijuana [I’ve been to lots of rock & metal concerts]. However, once decanted, it just smells a little like Pu-erh but less fishy and more woodsy/earthy. The liquid is brown, just like the leaves.

After that smell, I was a teensy bit scared to take a sip. I want to like green tea, but I guess I have to actually try it to like it, right?

It’s not nearly as heavy as I thought it would be. It definitely has a light mouth feel, medium body. If I didn’t know this was green tea, I’d mistake it for a light Pu-erh. It has most of the characteristics of a Pu-ehr; earthy, woody, and the tiniest bit fishy (but not in a bad way, I promise).

I like it. But I’m confused. It looks, smells, and tastes like a Pu-erh. What’s the deal? How is this considered green tea? I know it’s all about the processing, but… Can anyone enlighten me? Pretty please?

Cofftea

Holy crap… This is a scary one to try 1st! It’s made of twigs instead of leaf I think. I could be wrong. I’m having a HORRIBLE day and reading this made me feel better- thanks! I can’t wait to live vicariously thru your next tasting note=D

LiberTEAS

Hi Erin: Houjicha is not the twigs (that would be kukicha or bocha), houjicha is made from bancha which is similar to sencha tea, only of lesser quality. The bancha leaves are roasted over charcoal, which imparts the very deep woodsy and locks in a very earthy characteristic, which is what you’re detecting.

Erin

@Cofftea – Awwwww, I really do hope your day gets better, seriously.
@LiberTEAS – That makes sense… Is Pu-erh processed the same way?

Dan

That is a great deal, I just ordered my sample kit. Thanks…

LiberTEAS

Erin: no. There are several different types of pu-erh so I would need to know what type of pu-erh you’re speaking of before I can be completely accurate. Pu-erh can be either raw or cooked, and is generally pressed and aged. It also generally comes from ancient, wild tea trees. It is these unique situations that create the unique flavor that is pu-erh.

Erin

@LiberTEAS – Wow, thanks for the help! Having you on this site is like having a Tea Encyclopedia that can type!

Cofftea

I don’t like any tea that’s roasted (or roasty/toasty in taste). This and gen mai cha I think are the only 2 greens I’ve found I don’t like.

__Morgana__

Good to hear about your experience — I’m sitting here with an unopened Den’s tea box on my lap which ought to contain the things you just mentioned. This is going to be fun!

Cofftea

Morgana … open it! =D

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88
2245 tasting notes

I’ve decided to tackle my Den’s sampler, that I’ve now had for over a year and barely made a dent in! Shouldn’t take long to get through most things :D

Anyhow, I hadn’t previously tried this one, but thankfully, it seems that age has not hurt it too badly. The flavour is roasty and sweet, and definitely kind of seaweedy. So not quite like genmaicha, especially as the toastiness is coming from the tea itself, not toasted rice. It’s certainly pretty tasty, however! I’d definitely be happy to add this into my “comforting evening teas” rotation. I suspect it would also suit a travel mug well, though I don’t think I have enough to try that.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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87
953 tasting notes

Den’s tea sample numero uno. I’m fascinated by the suggested temperature and steep times in the pamphlet that accompanied the sample “kit.” 15 seconds. Boiling. It’s intriguing enough that I have to follow it at least for the first try and see what happens. I just hope my reaction time is quick enough to be able to get the filter out in 15 seconds. Heh.

The leaves are uniformly brown but have gradations from a light milk chocolate color to a dark chocolate color. And they smell like…. toasted rice! Really toasted rice. Like the kind of toasted that sticks to the bottom of the pot and starts to carmelize when you don’t get the water/heat ratio exactly right. Fortunately, I’ve always loved that smell. :-)

At 15 seconds I get a liquor that is a tawny golden yellow, and a toasty aroma reminiscent of some oolongs but less intense and less full. The flavor, however, is surprisingly green! There is a roasted, nutty note, but mostly I taste a celery-like, sweet green flavor, with a bit of a rice-like flavor mixed in which I think is mostly coming from the aroma.

The second steep (20 seconds), brought out a slightly deeper, less green flavor, but I preferred the first steep. Next time I’ll go 15 seconds on the second as well and see what happens.

Like this one. Like.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Jillian

I take it you got the novice green tea sampler too? I’m working my way through mine right now – it’s good stuff. :)

Ricky

Woah everyone’s having Dens!

__Morgana__

Yes, it’s an epidemic!

S

This sampler sounds so neat! Did you get an extra sample of sencha in your order? I want to try the Apple, Grape, and Orange senchas, but am thinking maybe I’ll just cross my fingers and hope they send a sample of orange sencha my way?

Cofftea

Shanti, you may not get a free sample of orange for a while- it was the free sample last month (or was it Feb?) so it may not come around again for a while.

Cofftea

Morgana- Japanese greens are now my favorite- partly because they all have different steeping parameters. I’ve yet to find out if other teas (Chinese greens, for example) are all prepared differently.

__Morgana__

@Shanti — looks like I got Organic Sencha as my lagniappe. Not sure whether this is what they’re giving as the “seasonal” choice with all the intro packages though.

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93
463 tasting notes

A sad sipdown. I’ve been loving this tea, and I’m sad to see it go. There’s a bit of astringency today, but that may just be because I’ve been drinking a lot of tea anyway. I have a bunch of other hojichas now, but when I run out, I will restock this one!

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60
237 tasting notes

Second try at this one, this time giving it a minute instead of 30 seconds steeping time. That definitely brings out the roastiness more, which is nice, but it also highlights a strangely astringent characteristic I hadn’t noticed before: I’m feeling the “puckeriness” more at the top of my mouth than at the back or on the sides.

It’s still just okay for me. I think I’d enjoy it more in the morning than in the late afternoon. We’ll just have to try it again!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Shinobi_cha

Try it iced – it should come out as mostly faintly roasted and sweet.

Adham

Thanks, I’ll give it a try next time!

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87
4383 tasting notes

I love the roasted scent of this tea. But then, I do have a certain fondness for roasty-toasty teas. But… I don’t care for smoky teas. Which… seems pretty odd to me.

I brewed according to Den’s Preferred Brewing Method, except that after I brought the water to a boil, I first poured it into my ceramic mug so that it could take just a bit of the heat off of the water before I poured it into my smart brewer.

30 seconds to deliciousness!

The aroma of the brewed tea is caramel-y, like caramelized sugar. It also has a slight coffee-ish scent to it.

The flavor – sweet, caramel, woodsy, with a deep earthy note. Kind of like a Genmaicha but without the grassy-green-tea taste, although there is a very gentle, almost-barely-there note of vegetative taste that I can detect. Sort of like a roasted brown rice casserole with a few roasted, deeply caramelized, root vegetables. Now… if only I could actually create such a dish – I’d be quite happy!

YUM, yum, YUM this tea is good.

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

LOVE greens and LOVE oolongs… but not if their roasty toasty… about the only quality in those 2 teas I don’t like. Sad day.

Miss Sweet

Yum, this sounds delicious! A Genmaicha without the grassy taste sounds like my dream green

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85
1041 tasting notes

Trying this tea out from my Den’s Tea sampler – that and I’m thinking of doing an order and I wanna see if I like Houjicha.

DRY: super roasted scent from the brown tea leaves, yum!

STEEPED: pretty dark amber tea, smells more roasted.

TASTE: Theres an interesting sweetness to this tea, along with juicy freshness. Tea is medium / light in flavoring. A mellow roasted rice taste at the end. Like others, surprised this is a green tea – could pass for a light oolong for me!
RESTEEP: same colour for a 15 second steep! Scent is a mellower roasted rice. Sweeter lighter taste and slightly savory now. Very good, I’d drink this resteep again!

COMMENTS: very neat and I like, be a great lighter alternative to genmaicha – though now I need to try Den’s Houjicha genmaicha – that combo sounds delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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