Yunomi Tea Discoveries Club, February Review (Part 2)

yunomi2As I mentioned in yesterday’s article – I’m back with “Part 2” of the Yunomi Tea Discoveries Club review of February’s shipment!  Today’s article will highlight my experiences with two more Hojicha teas as well as another Japanese Oolong – I’m excited to get started, so let’s not dilly-dally!  Let’s jump right in!

autumnhojichaThe first tea that I’ll be discussing is Autumn Hojicha Roasted Green Tea from Takeo Tea Farm.  The first thing I noticed about this tea is that it starts out delicately.  My first few sips were very softly flavored.  I could taste light notes of sweet, toasty nut flavor, but they were quite subtle.  It wasn’t until the third or fourth sip that the flavors started to become more focused.  Now that I’m about halfway through the cup, the flavors are sweet, roasty-toasty, and nutty … and very well defined!

With those initial first couple of sips, I was starting to think that this tea was much more delicate than the Hojicha I had tasted for yesterday’s article, but now, I’m thinking twice about that.  These two Hojicha are very similar though, but I think that this one might taste a little more ‘roasted.’  Both are spectacular varieties of Hojicha, though, and I’d heartily recommend either, but this is the one I’d point you toward if you were looking for a stronger roasted flavor.

SONY DSCThe next tea that I’m tasting from Yunomi’s Tea Discoveries February package is #03 Black Oolong Tea from Kaneban Higuchi Tea Factory.  I found myself wondering as I brewed this tea in my gaiwan how much different it would be from last night’s experience with the Oolong tea from Takeo.

And there are some distinct differences in the two.  This has more of a sweet potato flavor to it!  I love that I’m tasting sweet potato!  There are hints of smoke to the flavor.  This reminds me more of a black tea than an Oolong.  It doesn’t have the same texture as I experienced with the Oolong from Takeo.

If I were to attempt to describe this tea in one sentence, it might go something like this:  this tea is what I’d imagine the love child of a Japanese black tea and Formosa Oolong tea would taste like.  I’m getting that rich flavor that I remember from the few Japanese black teas that I’ve tried, and I’m tasting notes of peach that I’d taste in a Formosa Oolong.  Along with the softest hint of smoke.

Quite lovely!

premium-houjicha1The final tea in this month’s Tea Discoveries package is Superior Hojicha Roasted Green Tea from NaturaliTea.  When I opened this pouch, the roasty-toasty aroma filled the air.  This tea seems to have more roasty-toasty-ness to it.

And that’s evident in the flavor too.  The flavor here is much stronger, right from the very first sip.  The roasted flavors are intense.  I can almost taste the charred wood notes of the wood that was used to roast this tea.   Most Hojicha – including the previous two teas that I tasted from this month’s Tea Discoveries Club – tend to have a delicate flavor.  This tea is more in your face.  Very roasty.  Very toasty!  Very nutty and sweet.  I’m getting mineral notes and a distinct charcoal-y flavor from it too.

And smoke!  I don’t usually taste smoke from a Hojicha.  I taste the roasty-toasty, nutty flavors, but the smoke?  No, not always.  I might have noticed smoke on an occasion or two, but here, the smoke is evident, particularly in the aftertaste.  Nice!

This is the tea for those who liked Hojicha but wanted a stronger flavor to it.  This tea delivers that!  It’s warm and cozy and comforting, but it’s also offers a bold flavor that is not common in your average Hojicha.

This month’s Tea Discoveries Club just reaffirms to me that YOU should be joining me on these discoveries!  The teas are remarkable and it’s really interesting for me to see how teas – like Hojicha – can differ from producer to producer.  You should never judge your like/dislike of a particular tea type based only on one sampling.  You should give yourself a chance to explore the teas – even those you may not have enjoyed from other tea companies – because you never know what you might be missing.

The Tea Discoveries Club gives you the unique opportunity to really explore Japanese Teas!

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