Nothing surprising here, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. But there was something present, maybe a more fresh flavor, which brought out a different kind of sweetness than I’ve tasted in a houjicha. It could simply be because it has a lot more twigs present, and I’ve not had much kuki-houjicha before.
The wet leaves in the pot had a very nice aroma like coffee.
I think I liked this as much as Den’s Tea Houjicha Gold. The main difference I noticed, besides the (perhaps) fresh flavor or unique sweetness, was the presence of aformentioned twigs (HUGE ones… many 1" long!), and the size of the leaves (large). This is roasted aracha, unsorted tea, whereas Houjicha Gold is roasted bancha. That could likely explain the taste difference, but I’m actually rating this one just slightly better because of how nice the large leaves and twigs look.
I wonder if it has the same, consistent taste every year. Tea merchants (like Den’s Tea) expertly blend several tea lots together to achieve the same taste for their product all the time. However, Obubu Tea is a farm selling directly to consumers, so it makes sense that they would sell aracha. Anyway, I’m rambling, but curious to know if the flavor of this changes noticeably each year.