I have been drinking Japanese teas for about 2 years but never tried Houjicha yet, nor ordered from Den’s, but Mary Lou and Robert Heiss new book, “The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook” had recommended Den’s. Since O-Cha (my former supplier of Japanese tea) was hitting me up with a foreign exchange fee, I decided to order my sencha resupply from them and at $2.00 an ounce, figured this was worth a try since it was one of their best-sellers. I love Den’s packaging of their tea. It comes in resealable bags that give a great airtight seal, which is a huge plus since I am maxed out of Teavana containers.
Anyways, I am very pleased with what is in my cup this morning. The brew is deep bronze and very clear (unlike any other Japanese tea I’ve ever had) and smells delicious! Smells woodsy and toasty and like everything from Japan I smell a slight hint of sea life, but in a very appetizing way (think grilled herring). Tastes almost exactly like it smells and goes great with breakfast. Definitely a repurchase. Funny that this is classified as a green tea – sure tastes different from anything I’ve tried before. I read up on this after trying it…interesting how recent an invention it is (1920s) and amazing how so much of this camellia sinensis plant is tasty (even supposedly last-harvest, “trashy” leaves and stem).