Houjicha Gold (Roasted Bancha)

Tea type
Green Tea
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Sweet, Wood, Roasted, Salty, Earth, Nutty, Almond, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Toasted, Toasty, Umami, Autumn Leaf Pile, Smoke, Grain, Toasted Rice, Butter, Plant Stems, Celery, Rice
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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 / 192 ml

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90 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 and loved you then...” 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 form,...” Read full tasting note

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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90 Tasting Notes

42 tasting notes

Got this one with Den’s Tea green tea sampler – it’s the first I’ve tried, because I was craving something roasty one morning.

So far it’s given me a really great and tasty five cups’ worth from the sample! With a tiny bit left over for an extra half cup.

This is one that smells a bit sweeter than it tastes. One thing I kept noticing about it is how full-bodied and nearly creamy it is – it’s really satisfying and filling, like a food (I might be associating that with the nutty flavor). I don’t really notice anything green about it, though it does remind me of the toasted rice in genmaicha. The nuttiness hits me most with the aftertaste, which isn’t too strong but lingers for a really good while afterwards.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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230 tasting notes

Like many of the other tasters I received this sample as part of the $3.00 intro to green tea kit. Dry the leaves reminded me of the smell of a non-tea tisane called ersatz http://steepster.com/teas/coffee-trade-company/20563-ersatz-coffee. The smell was rice-ey and hickory-y.

I did not get any grassy notes. It tasted “crispy”. My husband thought it tasted like asian fish sauce, and after he said that I gave it a thoughtful sip and I must agree.

I really tasted the savory, woodsy, rice + grain notes. It felt soft in my mouth. I have not tried any other houijcha but this was an interesting tea that I would love to try again.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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657 tasting notes

This has a pleasantly roasted, woodsy scent (pine maybe?). The taste is like warm toast on a cold day. Yet it leaves something to be desired. I’m just used to Den’s Tea being more complex. This is rather one-note, though the second steep is better than the first. The roasted flavor remains dominant in the second steep, but there’s also a seaweed note that comes out. This is actually really nice cold – I could see having it as a savory iced tea in the summer. Overall, this tea is tasty enough but nothing special. Another sipdown though!

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131 tasting notes

Although I rarely have had Houjicha (hoji-cha) at home, it is one of the teas I have enjoyed in Japanese restaurants. It is high in umami flavors, with rich pleasant, roasty aroma. It is one of those teas that goes well with almost any meal.

I received this tea in my sampler from Den’s Tea, and have to echo my fellow Steepsterites that anyone who loves Japanese green teas is doing themselves a disservice if they don’t get this sampler (and more!) from Den’s.

Now on to my tasting…
Color of the infusion is a nice reddish brown. there is a wonderfully savory and aromatic nuttiness that blends with the roasted flavor. I find myself salivating and wanting another sip, time after time—and then it is gone! Wait, time to go for another steep.
Soothing, comforting, and really a pleasant feel on the tongue. Another tea to go on my shopping list. ;)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

This tea is tasty hot, but I LOVE it iced. I usually brew it strong and pour over ice, but even just icing whatever you have leftover usually turns out great!

E Alexander Gerster

Hey Cole, I tried the Houjicha iced, using your method, and it is really nice! What a great taste for the summer… :) Thanks for inspiring me to try something new!


Definitely! :) Such a tasty iced tea — the perfect summer treat!

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1626 tasting notes

Yum! Finished this off last night and shared it with my man :) Delicious. Farewell houjicha!

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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280 tasting notes

I’ve been hearing about how good iced houjicha is, so I finally tried it.
I wanted a big pitcher full, so I used 36oz water and 3 heaping TBSP (9 tsp, as the formula is 1 tsp per 4 oz water) of leaf.
After I got the water to a boil, I poured it over the leaves in our big glass teapot. I let it steep a little longer than suggested to make sure it was strong, filtered the tea into the pitcher and once it cooled to room temp put it in the fridge.

(You know what, even though its kind of boring to read, I put all those directions in most of my tasting notes in case I ever come back and want to know how I made something, in case it turned out well. Also, in case there is someone else who wanted to try it.)

Anyway, iced houjicha IS good. Strong sweetness, light roasted flavor, the benefits of iced tea without the bitterness you get from many mass produced, bagged black iced teas. I shouldn’t even compare the two, as they aren’t in the same category, but having dark-colored iced tea in a pitcher reminded me of what everyone drinks in the South (Lipton, Luzianne, etc.), but tasted SO much better.

Definitely recommended!

Iced 1 min, 0 sec

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429 tasting notes

This tea was drinkable, much better than sencha. Its a little earthy and a little nutty tasting. It had a light mouthfeel and not as tasty as the genmaichi. I’m trying to like green teas, but its really not working for me. I like many of the chinese and Indian green teas but the Japanese variety is baffling me.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

The reason you may not care as much for the Japanese greens is the process. They steam them, whereas the Chinese pan fire the leaves. I, myself, far prefer the Chinese to the Japanese for this reason. Just a thought.


Dan, we’re total opposites- houjicha and gen mai cha are the only greens I don’t like lol.

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90 tasting notes

This came as part of my sampler and for some reason I was a little afraid of it. For some reason I thought it would have a strong, funky flavor (I knew from others’ notes that this was not the case but my brain was refusing to believe it).

But my brain was wrong and Steepsterites were right. It’s like a more mellow genmaicha; less green tea-ness and more roasty-toastyness. But not in a ricey way; this roastiness has another layer of flavor, almost a creaminess. I’m quite enjoying this and can see myself purchasing it as a relaxing tea after a meal or in the evening. I’m glad I finally put my reservations aside and gave it a try. But now I’m also sad that there’s no more!

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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237 tasting notes

Brewing up some hojicha and catching up on Doctor Who. Nice and roasty brew with some apricot and celery notes. When I got this sample I didn’t put in my steepster cupboard, and ended up forgetting I had it. Glad it reappeared :)

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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658 tasting notes

Hey, this is pretty good!

This is left from my sampler I got some time over the winter. I was scared of it. I was really scared of it once I opened the little packet and smelled it. Even more so when I accidentally set it to steep for a minute rather than the 15 or 30 seconds recommended.

But, I actually like it. It’s very different from anything else I have. Very roasty and earthy, and I am getting a grainy or maybe popcorn flavour from it. But it’s not as heavy as I expected and it’s not bitter. Quite smooth, in fact.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Mmmm, I love houjicha. Thanks for this post, which reminded me I have about 100g of the stuff pining away, waiting to be drunk.

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