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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91 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.

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91 Tasting Notes

304 tasting notes

Very mild and comforting cup of tea.
Nice roasted flavor but not overpowering:)

3 min, 0 sec

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42 tasting notes

Quick note because I just got home from work after sitting in traffic for 55 minutes, and all I wanna do sink into the couch with my cup of tea. Got this in my $3 green tea “starter kit.” I can’t stand the way it smells… Like toasted seaweed. On its own, the tea is just okay (my opinion), but I’ll happily drink it with honey!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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353 tasting notes

It is autumn, though it may not feel like it outside. The weather was nippy earlier this week and I was looking forward to enjoying some fall teas in actual fall weather. The chill did not last, though, it’s cold enough in my office that I’m going to pretend.

This was a sample I got from Den’s Tea when I ordered their $3 green tea sampler. I love hojicha – it is a strong savory tea. I normally buy it from the Asian market for cheap. Den’s hojicha was everything I already loved about hojicha magnified. The roasted flavor comes right on through. It brews dark, a lovely chocolate color, with a taste to match. SO GOOD.

3 min, 0 sec

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106 tasting notes

Like others I got this as part of the sampler pack which is very well put together and contains 4 loose green teas with bags, 2 pyramids, and instruction books that contain interesting info on tea. Absolutely loved it especially for $3. Even set aside the tea manual to keep.
Bear in mind this is my first loose leaf green tea so we have a limited sample problem.
1st infusion – boiling 30 seconds. Very flavorful. Nutty earthy taste.
2nd infusion – boiling 15 seconds. Less strong and sweeter liquor
I also did 3rd and 4th infusions which my tea buddy and I both enjoyed as much as the others.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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1711 tasting notes

Got my green tea sampler a few days ago and am on round two of this. This is my first houjicha so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It brewed up a more earthy colour and the smell is reminiscent of genmaicha, a favourite of mine. Even the taste reminds me of that. It’s mild and roasted. Not as bright-tasting, but toasty and soothing.

The second steeping is almost as flavourful, and the colour is a little lighter than before. I’m excited to try the rest of my samples and am delighted to say that I am a houjicha fan!

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28 tasting notes

This is one of those teas that is very enjoyable yet difficult to describe. It is a mild woodsy tea that would best be compared to a soothing cup of broth or the warm feeling one gets after drinking hot sake.

First cup. Western Style. Steep 2 minutes.
Upon the first sip, a rush of grass and barley flavors. As the temperature cools, the taste becomes more balanced. Despite not being sweet or pungent in any way, there is a juicy consistency to the liquor that is refreshing. And yet there is something very pragmatic in the demeanor of this tea. A philosopher’s drink no doubt.

Second cup. Western Style. Steep 2 minutes.
The flavor does not come leaping out of the gates as it did the first time round. There are some buttery notes with this infusion.

Third cup. Western Style. Steep 3 minutes
Halfway through the cup a light peppercorn sensation emerged. All in all, the third cup is very similar to the second, which means that I could probably continue steeping, but I think that’s enough for now!

Other tasting notes: Cedar, artichoke, sesame, soy

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59 tasting notes

This was a very interesting tea. I can’t say I’m very into heavy or smoky flavors, and this was kind of like that. I had had some genmaicha before, so that may have colored my perception of this tea, but I thought it tasted a lot like genmaicha. I didn’t like it as much as I had wanted to, but it was a sample, so I’m not feeling too bad about it.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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5 tasting notes

Got this from a friend; I was a little nervous to try this one. My only real exposure to straight, unflavored tea has been mainly at Japanese and Chinese restaurants, where I’ve been happy to have unsweetened, (mostly) unflavored tea to balance out the tastes of yummy sushi happening.

The aroma is definitely woodsy and toasty (I can definitely see where some of the other comments about an almost-pot-esque aroma come from), and the taste was surprisingly light. Very balanced, nice and toasty like it smells, and not at all bland like I’d been fearing. Drank this unsweetened, and piping hot – it settled my slightly upset stomach, and definitely educated me. I would absolutely have this one again! Not my favorite ever, because I’m still very attached to flavored teas, but a really solid tea to keep around.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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41 tasting notes

I’ve come across Houjicha in a few blends, and thought I might like it. I was looking forward to trying this to see if I really do.

Tada! I do. By itself, it’s a little less exciting than when in blends. But something about this tea reminded me of brownies. It’s in the creamy, satisfying, mouth-coating ability it has. Delish.

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7 tasting notes

Looks like I’m one of many who has purchased Den’s Tea very impressive little sampler. For only three dollars it’s an amazing price; it also includes a coupon code for the cost of the sampler for your next order. Pretty sure I’ll be putting it to use.

Anyway onto what’s most important: the tea! Recently I’ve been really into savory, roasted teas and this fits that perfectly. I didn’t get the sweet note at all that a lot of people seem to have at first, but perhaps I wasn’t looking hard enough for it. What I got was a smooth, dark and mellow drink. This was a handsome cup of tea.

However, the second steep, from the very first sip I had I already noticed the slight sweetness. The roasted flavor seemed to mellow down to more of a ‘nuttiness.’ It was very different from my first steep, and that just reminds me of what made me fall in love with tea in the first place. The variations, even from different steeps of the same leaves just seems exciting to me, especially if trying a tea that I’m unfamiliar with.

I’m definitely looking forward to what’s to come next out of my little sampler.

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