Steepster Freeze 2021 #1: 01/12/21
I don’t typically review teas I’ve reviewed before, and I reviewed this one three years ago now (Original review here: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/373785 ). Needless to say, it is getting quite old and really needs some proper sipdown love soon. Though the planed almonds included in the tea do little for the flavor and seem more decorative to me, the overall “nutty” flavor profile of houjicha (and the fact it is one of the few “non-herbal” teas I can safely drink after my caffeine cut-off hour) made this a suitable pick for my evening cup for National Marzipan Day.
Time has definitely not done this tea any favors. It does still have its mapley aroma and some maple notes are holding on in the flavor, it isn’t as potent as I remember it once being. Mostly, the houjicha itself just feels a bit stale and had a stronger “bitter woodiness” that is coming across almost bark-like now. It was time to experiment and see if there are other ways I can creatively use up this tea (I did cold brew it and mix it in a smoothie not long ago with DAVIDsTEA Maple Matcha, which worked great for the remainder of that matcha sampler packet!)
Tonight, I decided to try a latte. 16oz, 12oz water to 4oz plain oat milk, frothed. I steeped two heaping teaspoons of the houjicha in 205F for around five minutes to create a strong infusion, then mixed in the milk. It wasn’t quite the super creamy, indulgent cuppa I was hoping for, so while I normally don’t sweeten my tea, I did add a teaspoon of maple syrup to this one. That was a game changer! It helped bring out the maple notes from the houjicha blend and smooth the edges on some of the stronger woody/barky notes. Now my cup tastes very much like sweet roasted nuts, maple, and smooth (as opposed to biting) wood. Very soothing!
Flavors: Bark, Maple, Roasted nuts, Toasty, Wood