Houjicha Gold (Roasted Bancha)

Tea type
Green Tea
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Roasted, Umami, Autumn Leaf Pile, Smoke, Wood, Grain, Toasted Rice, Butter, Plant Stems
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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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82 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...” Read full tasting note
    amyoh2 2656 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
    JillDragon 1666 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
    bluebelle 517 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...” Read full tasting note
    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

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82 Tasting Notes

24 tasting notes

This tea is incredibly versatile; it really cant’ be overstepped, re-steeps excellently, and makes a good glass of iced tea. It also doesn’t taste much like a Japanese green tea, which helps in my book. Instead of tasting like vegetables, it tastes like roasted. Roasted something. Definitely going to buy this again.

Iced 0 min, 45 sec

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99 tasting notes

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! :)

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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18 tasting notes

It has a nice flavor, and is very calming. Note to self: Not quite the best tea to drink when trying desperately to stay awake.

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608 tasting notes

I think I don’t like this one much because I can still kinda taste the bancha. If it were a roasted oolong I’d like it more. I really just don’t like the taste of grassy bancha. So this one isn’t really for me. Not horrible. But definitely not my favorite.

Flavors: Roasted

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16 tasting notes

Rich flavored and wonderful roasted this is a satisfying bancha

Flavors: Roasted, Umami

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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23 tasting notes

Very roasty, deep flavor. Supposedly has the lowest caffeine level of all the Japanese green teas, so this may be a favorite for later in the day. They suggest trying it iced as well, which I will definitely do my next order.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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1107 tasting notes

I’ve had the sample pack of this tea (unopened) for a few years now, which admittedly might have impacted the taste, but I thought it was getting around time to try it and that a tasting note wouldn’t be amiss.

The first scent I noticed from the dry leaf was tobacco, but after a few more sniffs I can also pick out a leafy smell — it reminds me of the woods in the fall. Not generally what I expect from tea, but I’ve never had houjicha before.

1st steep – boiling water, 30 seconds:
The liquor smells like tobacco too, but in a surprisingly pleasant way. A lovely golden color! I’m glad I’m using a clear mug. There’s not much that surprises me about the flavor, honestly — it’s got a smoky kind of flavor, although much weaker than I get from, say, lapsang souchong. There are some definite woodsy notes as well, and the flavor lingers in the throat after swallowing.

2nd steep – near boiling, 60 seconds:
There’s a pretty similar flavor profile here, although it’s less complex now. The leaf notes have now really taken over.

Ultimately this isn’t really my preferred flavor profile (I do enjoy smoky teas, but I’m not so fond of the other notes), but it’s a very interesting sipping experience and I’m glad it was included in the sampler! I can see it being particularly pleasant to sip on a cool fall day.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Smoke, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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118 tasting notes

Aroma: Deep, roasted, corn, brown rice
Liquor color: Light amber
Liquor Flavor: No bitterness, roasted flavor, rice, corn sweetness
Notes: This reminded me of genmaicha, the leaves looked like little pieces of bark. It was very smooth but rich. I still prefer genmaicha over this but it was a pretty good alternative.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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972 tasting notes

Another tea from my Den’s sampler! The dry tea is medium brown leaves and stems with some broken leaves mixed in. It smells like toasted nuts or grains. Yum, I love toasty teas! I steeped this for two minutes.

The brewed tea smells, unsurprisingly, very toasty. There is also a smell that reminds me of piles of dried leaves in the fall, and a hint of grassiness. I was a little bit surprised that the first thing I tasted with my first sip was bean sprouts. However, this quickly changed to the toasted grains and autumn leaves flavors I was expecting. It’s interesting that there is still a manifestation of green here even though this is obviously heavily roasted. For some reason, this tea made my mouth feel grainy or dusty or something. I wouldn’t really call it astringency but I’m not sure what caused it. Overall, a very tasty tea and I could see this being good with milk. I may try steeping this for longer or with more tea for an even stronger toasty flavor.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grain, Toasted Rice

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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267 tasting notes

This is a tea I’ve had a very long time and haven’t tried. I’m finding that I’m leaning more towards unflavored teas, so I wanted to try out some of the ones I had in my stash. I’m using office water to make this one, so these are all at 165.

Attempt 1: Since I only have 165 degree water, I have to search around a bit to get the right time. This one was two minutes. I can get some roastiness out of this but not much. The color was a light and looked weak. I’ll get some new leaves and try 30 seconds longer

Attempt 2: This one is 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The roast flavor seems more full, and I think I can get some of the actual tea flavor now. It’s also brewed up a very nice light amber color. I’ll try three minutes and see how that is, but I’m thinking this might be the winner

Attempt 3: This one was for three minutes. It seems to somehow have traded roast flavor for tea flavor. While this isn’t bad, I prefer the stronger roasted notes personally.

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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