Rich flavored and wonderful roasted this is a satisfying bancha
Flavors: Roasted, Umami
“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
“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
“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
“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
Houjicha-Gold delivers a delightful and calming cup. Highly aromatic but gentle to your stomach with a low amount of caffeine.
Harvest: Between First and Second Harvests
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.
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Houjicha Gold (roasted Bancha) Sampler packDen's Tea
Bancha HoujichaT Salon
Bancha HoujichaPure Aroma Tea
Houjicha GoldTea Desire
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
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
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.
UPDATE: I LOVE this tea. It has become almost buttery as I continue to drink it. A great, smooth, silky tea that I am just loving. Thanks goodness it came in such an enormous bag – and for such a reasonable price too I might add – so I can keep drinking away for another month or too. Thanks Den’s! You’ve done it agains! (bad joke)
I have received this tea as a sample many times, and I always enjoy a nice roasted green tea. It’s a wonderful blend: dark and robust when steeped for a long time for those who like coffee and the deep flavors of these teas; yet also very light and gentle on the palate at shorter steep times and amounts, if that’s what you prefer. Highly diverse and adjustable, always delicious for my tastes.
I recommend this tea to anyone who enjoys a nice, quality dark roasted tea, or houjicha and bancha teas in general. Excellent as usual, Den’s.
Flavors: Butter, Plant Stems, Roasted, Wood
This is the third sample I’ve tried in the sample package. I was very surprised when I saw the brewing instructions and, honestly, a little scared to try it! Using boiled water for a green tea!
Both the tea and tea leaves (dry and wet) have a strong roasted, wood-like aroma, and the liquor is clear, medium brown. The flavor is like that of a usual houjicha, only slightly more robust – possibly due to the fact that much of the sample consisted of tiny broken leaves. When it lingers, boy does it linger. After letting the tea settle for a few seconds in my mouth, the taste becomes much stronger. Too strong for me actually. The aftertaste is similar to that of a black coffee, which I don’t like.
I was even more surprised at the instructions for the second steeping: 15 seconds! The liquor, this time, is golden. The aroma, weaker, but still maintaining its roasted quality. It is the same for the flavor, which still leaves an astringent aftertaste. All around, the second steeping tasted like the usual houjicha I’m used to drinking.
Overall this tea is very strong and woody. I would probably drink it during an early morning because the flavor would surprise my taste buds (and brain) out of sleepiness.
This was my first Houjicha!
Dry leaves: The leaves smelled very nutty and woodsy. It’s a very familiar smell but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is.
Wet leaves: The nuttiness has gotten a lot stronger and now I can smell a green tea scent.
Steeping produced a very clear, dark golden brown liquor. This tea tastes very smooth and sweet. It tastes a lot like it smells, nutty and twiggy. I feel like it tastes like almonds. Unlike any tea I’ve ever drank, especially green tea. Very good though. Just a hard one to describe.