drank Houjicha (GJ08) by Nothing But Tea
1328 tasting notes

I’ve tried Houjicha once before. Just a sample, and I didn’t really like it much then. But when I was ordering samples from Nothing But Tea anyway, I thought it was interesting enough to give it a second go.

The dry leaves smell primarily like burnt toast, and this aroma is also released in large amounts when the water is poured on. After it has finished steeping the aroma is not so much burnt toast as it is burnt microwave popcorn. It even smells a bit salty. There isn’t really anyway around this, it’s the aroma of something that has gone horribly wrong.

Again I’m reminded of the fact that I’ve tried this before with little success.

So it’s with some reservation that I take the first sip and indeed it tastes burnt as well. I know it’s supposed to be roasted and it definitely is. I would even say that maybe it got a few seconds too long. I imagine that this would be suitable as a breakfast tea. If you burned your toast, you could cover it up with the flavour of this tea.

I’m trying really hard to find other flavour components here, and gradually as I sip and get myself used to the flavour, they seem to come out more. I can find something green-ish underneath all the burn, a slightly butter-y but rough green note.
My initial impression here, is the same as the first time around, I think. I don’t think this is something for me. However, the first time around I had not yet been introduced to the wonderful world of smoky teas, so now I’m thinking that while I’m not falling head over heels for the Houjicha right now, there is room for development. I’m not above trying other samples in the future, but at the moment it’s not something I would care to invest in on a larger scale.

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Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
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Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
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Bio last updated February 2014





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